Millions of taxpayer dollars were spent on an insurance enrollment website, but the Cover Oregon website didn't work out.
Lawmakers learned Tuesday they'll have to continue a partnership with the company that they say failed them, website developer Oracle.
In a hearing at the capitol in Salem, a legislative committee heard from Cover Oregon officials. Two weeks ago, the state-run health care enrollment board decided to switch to the federal healthcare exchange. It's a lower-cost, easier fix than trying to make Cover Oregon fully function by the November 2014 open enrollment period.
Background: Cover Oregon votes to join federal exchange
The state is stuck with developer Oracle from here on out, no matter what Cover Oregon looks like after this year. That's because the software runs off of Oracle technology and there are still thousands of applications left to process.
Also, the Oregon Health Plan will still enroll patients through the website. Governor Kitzhaber has said he's considering suing the web developer over the debacle. Coveroregon.com will freeze, just the way it is, very soon.
It will still be used the rest of this year to finish up applications. Despite it being one of the worst insurance rollouts in the country, the governor's office spokesman is still touting Cover Oregon's positive numbers. He said 75,000 Oregonians got private insurance by a combination of filling out paper applications and doing online work.
Although the technology did not work the way we wanted it to, we exceeded the number of total enrollments we thought we were going to get a year ago today, so I think we shouldn't lose that, Kitzhaber's spokesman told the panel of seven state representatives.
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