People of Northwest Public Radio
Tue November 19, 2013
Oregon Lawmakers To Grill Leaders Of Beleaguered Health Insurance Exchange
Originally published on Tue November 19, 2013 3:08 pm
Oregon lawmakers want to know why the state's beleaguered health insurance exchange has yet to enroll a single applicant through its website.
The head of Cover Oregon will face scrutiny during a pair of hearings Wednesday at the state capitol.
Most Oregonians first heard about Cover Oregon when the agency rolled out a series of upbeat commercials last summer. But that peppy optimism quickly gave way to bureaucratic backpedaling, as it became clear the online health insurance sign-up website wasn't ready.
The state assigned hundreds of employees to process paper applications. But Oregon lawmakers want to know how things got to this point.
"We've heard a lot about their hopes and their dreams and what they expect to do," says Democratic representative and House Committee on Health Care Chair Mitch Greenlick. "But I really want them to give us, even if it's bad news, to give us a straight story on where we are and what's happening."
But Greenlick says for now, he doesn't think it's a good idea for the head of Cover Oregon, Rocky King, to lose his job. Greenlick says switching leadership at this point would simply cause even more problems.
Slow Healthcare Start