SALEM, Ore. -- Gov. John Kitzhaber is expressing pessimism about the ability for Cover Oregon to get its website fully functioning before the March 31 deadline for people to sign up for insurance under the federal health care law.
In a statement Monday, Kitzhaber says "it has become increasingly clear that we may not be able to have the public portion of the website operational for the current enrollment period."
He says the state must do everything possible to ensure people can sign up through backup enrollment procedures.
Kitzhaber's statement followed an announcement by Cover Oregon that it will pay its main technology contractor $44 million of the nearly $70 million it was withholding in payments. In return, Oracle Corp. has agreed to continue working with the state during a transition period.