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July 2 2015

Uh-Oh: Cover Oregon in Trouble with Oversight Committee

Hadley Heath

We've commented before on Cover Oregon's epic demise. This was no innocent accident of government waste... This was a campaign consultant calling the shots on an important a state health care program, with the goal of saving face for then-Governor John Kitzhaber (who has since resigned in disgrace).

Here's the latest development: Members of Congress, specifically in the House Oversight Committee, would like to know more about Oregon's failure. They've sent a letter requesting all documents and communications between the state and the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS). Uh-oh, someone's going to get in trouble! As someone should. 

The Washington Times reports:

The letter, signed by Rep. Jason Chaffetz, Utah Republican and the panel chairman, notes that despite Cover Oregon having cost hundreds of millions only to be scrapped and have the state’s Obamacare customers turned over to the federal HealthCare.gov site, CMS in February 2011 “identified Oregon as an ‘early innovator,’ one of only seven states granted large sums of federal dollars to design reusable IT systems in hopes of providing a state-based model for other states to follow.

"Oregon received five separate federal grant awards to build its exchange, totaling more than $300 million” before the state turned it over, reads the note sent directly to Andrew Slavitt, the HHS acting administrator.

The letter alleges that “questions about the use of federal funds to develop Cover Oregon remain” and that several media organizations have reported accusations that the exchange was shut down for political reasons.

Ya think? All evidence so far would suggest that many of the decisions about Cover Oregon were made for political reasons. Thankfully, Members of the Oversight Committee are now doing the important work of figuring out how this mess happened and where our tax dollars went. The complexity of ObamaCare has invited much corruption, but Cover Oregon might be the most egregious example so far. 

Independent Women's Forum is an educational 501(c)(3) dedicated to developing and advancing policies that aren’t just well intended, but actually enhance people’s freedom, choices, and opportunities. IWF is the sister organization of the Independent Women’s Voice.​
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