#Obamacare: Employees at failed Cover Oregon exchange receiving $650K in bonuses

June 27, 2014
"Obamacare has arrived"

“Obamacare has arrived”

And yet Oregon might well reelect Governor Kitzhaber, whose responsibility this fiasco is?

How do I get a job where I’m paid a bonus for maintaining something that doesn’t work? Given that the DOA Cover Oregon web site cost the taxpayers around $200,000,000 and that it’s estimated another $40,000,000 will be needed to transition to the federal exchange, one would think pitchforks and torches would be more in order.

via David Freddoso

(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)


#Obamacare Chronicles: yet more flaming wrecks

February 26, 2014
"Obamacare has arrived"

“Obamacare has arrived”

Jim Geraghty brings us more debris samples from the flaming wreckage that is Obamacare. You can read them for yourself, but here’s one of the best:

But perhaps Maryland’s mess looks good compared to Oregon, where the accusations of lying are piling up:

Carolyn Lawson, the IT expert who tried and failed to build Oregon’s online insurance exchange, complained to an Oregon Health Authority official that she was forced to leave under false pretenses in an email uncovered by the On Your Side Investigators.

Lawson emailed OHA chief operating officer Suzanne Hoffman in January to complain that a reporter had been given her personal cell phone number, and asked that the state “allow me to move on with privacy and grace,” after one of the worst health-care-exchange website launches in the nation left her career in tatters.

“I have done everything I have been asked to do,” Lawson wrote. “I stuck to the talking points even though I protested . . . that they were not accurate. I walked away quietly when asked to resign. I wrote the resignation letter per the script I was given.”



KATU Investigators recently uncovered major accountability issues on Lawson’s watch, and former Republican state representative Patrick Sheehan told KATU earlier this month that he’d gone to the FBI with allegations Cover Oregon project managers initiated the design of dummy web pages to convince the federal government the project was further along than it actually was.

Why do I have a feeling this one is going to end up in court, with Lawson (and probably several others) pleading to turn state’s evidence in return for a deal? Is it perhaps because a bill passed in a corrupt (1) manner can only leave corruption in its wake?

Excellent job, Democrats! You’ve earned every bit of what the public is going to give you in November.

Footnote:
(1) Ethically, if not legally.

(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)


Don’t we hold our officials accountable, anymore? Updated.

December 30, 2013
"Even the monkey is embarrassed"

“Even the monkey is embarrassed”

The answer in too many cases, sadly, is “no.” Via The Campaign Spot, here’s a summary of the fiasco that is Oregon’s Obamacare exchange, probably the worst in the nation (1):

In Oregon, the state exchange still couldn’t enroll anyone online at the end of December. The state is relying entirely on paper applications and had to hire an additional 400 workers to process them. Some patients scheduled to go on dialysis next month are still waiting for answers from the exchange about what plans are available. The advertising campaign, directing people to the dysfunctional web site, was pulled down after spending $21 million. The exchange’s board extended a deadline by a week, announcing the decision one hour before the deadline. The $178,992-per-year chief information officer, who helped design the $160 million site, resigned for “personal reasons” earlier this month . . . citing the death of her mother-in-law. This CIO lived in Sacramento, California. Rocky King, the state exchange’s director, resigned for “health reasons.” (Hopefully he won’t have to rely on the exchange to get insurance in whatever new job he starts.)

The state’s already spent over $40 million on the site, itself, on top of the $21 million for advertising. So, one would think, Governor Kitzhaber, who’s been a big supporter of Obamacare, would be in trouble for reelection next year, right? Right?

Yeah, right.

According to an article quoted later in the piece, Kitzhaber is almost a shoe-in for reelection. After all this, voters won’t turn to even another Democrat?

Not that I’m laughing and pointing at Oregonians. Far from it. In California, we continually reelect or elect to other offices pols who do terrible jobs, yet time and again they escape accountability for their performance. It’s indicative of a more fundamental problem: too few people pay attention to the jobs their elected officials are doing, or perhaps even care at all. Elections and politics, though we trust the winning candidates with vast sums of money and essential public services, are just a bother to too many people, who just tick a box on the ballot rather than take seriously the responsibilities of a citizen. Increasingly literally, they just “mail it in” and, for the public, the public’s business is an afterthought.

I know we all have a lot that demands our time and that state, local, and national issues can be mind-numbingly complex, but the pols are not the only ones with “job responsibilities.” We have them, too, as citizens: the duty to pay attention, so that we can audit and judge our officials performance when an election rolls around.

Otherwise, we get the Kitzhaber we deserve.

Footnote:
(1) Though Hawaii, Massachusetts, Maryland, and Vermont are finalists for that honor, too.

UPDATE: And here’s a similar example at the federal level. One of the bureaucrats charged with overseeing the Obamacare rollout is retiring, with pension intact. Naturally, we should celebrate her career.

(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)


Pension crisis hits Oregon, collapse of progressive model continues

November 18, 2012

From the sound of this post by Walter Russell Mead, it looks like whoever manages Oregon’s state pension fund made the same mistakes we made here in California: expecting the extraordinary returns on investments enjoyed during the boom years to continue forever and then making big commitments based on those faulty expectations.

And now, as with their neighbors to the south, Oregon finds itself choosing between pensions or schools:

Oregon’s pension fund for public employees is now in a $16 billion hole caused by the failure of its investments to come anywhere close to the 8 percent rate of return the state was predicting. Now lawmakers are forced to choose between contributing billions of taxpayer dollars to close the pension gap or fully funding the state’s school system.

The Seattle Post-Intelligencer has the details on exactly how the state got itself into this mess. The main culprit, as usual, is a set of overly generous benefits that actually allowed some state employees to earn more in retirement than they did during their working days…

Details may vary from state to state, but the pattern is the same: public employee unions treating the taxpayers as a never-ending golden goose, and politicians (Democrats and Republicans who act like them) handing out ever more golden eggs of benefits and salaries in return for campaign contributions and election help from those same unions.

In short, it’s a mutual kickback game played with our money, and the losers are We, The People.

But, it’s not just California and Oregon. Wherever you see states and cities that have had long-term liberal dominance in government, you find the same problems with obligations that can no longer be met. New York, Michigan, New Jersey, Detroit, Los Angeles… And all of them being lead by Illinois.

The progressives may have won the presidential race and kept the Senate, but it’s a hollow victory. As Oregon is the latest to show, their model is, in the lingo of the Greens, no longer “sustainable.”

UPDATE: Linked by Instapundit. Welcome, visitors!

(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)


Oregon in play? Really??

August 27, 2012

Normally I’d call whoever said that crazy, but it is Karl Rove, after all:

A lot of the political analysis you hear from partisans is predictable. But sometimes they surprise.

That was the case when Karl Rove spoke at a Politico breakfast event in Tampa this morning. Two examples:

(1) When asked what state, now that Wisconsin and Michigan seem to be in play, would emerge next on the target list, he cited Oregon. He noted correctly that the state House is ied 30-30, Republicans almost captured the governorship in 2010 and tha[t] there’s a left wing constituency disappointed in Obama. He surely remembers that in 2000 Ralph Nader won 5.04% in Oregon and tha[t] Al Gore carried it by only 46.92% to 46.52%.

To be honest, I’d expect Oregon to flip about the same time as California, which would also be when the sun goes out. But, much as I thought of the possibility of Obama losing Illinois, the fact that these questions are being raised at all indicates the depth of the problem Obama faces in his reelection race: he may have to spend a lot of money defending what should be his core states, rather than in the battlefield states where Romney is genuinely competitive. Given that Obama is already having trouble raising enough money to keep up with Romney, spreading what cash he has more thinly could cause a real problem come election day. While I’d love to see a “Red” breakout on the West Coast, I’ll settle for making Team Obama scramble to patch a leaky dam.

Read the rest; there are some interesting observations about the Hispanic vote, too.

(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)


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