Oregon intends to surrender its dysfunctional Obamacare exchange to the Obama administration, which is making plans to take over the state’s insurance marketplace, sources familiar with the matter confirmed.
The state-based exchange, Cover Oregon, was such a disaster that — despite spending millions of dollars trying to make it work — not a single resident was able to sign up online during the first open-enrollment period from Oct. 1, 2013 to March 31, 2014. Instead, thousands signed up by paper or phone.
On Thursday, Oregon’s top information-technology official recommended to a 16-member advisory board that the state relinquish its broken insurance exchange, according to The Oregonian. The Obama administration expects the full exchange panel to approve the recommendation.
Once the decision is final, the Center For Medicare and Medicaid Services will be tasked with signing up Oregonians — along with residents of most states — during the next enrollment period, which begins Nov. 15, 2014.
“CMS is committed to working closely with states to support their efforts in implementing a Marketplace that works best for their consumers,” said Aaron Albright, a CMS spokesman. “We are working with Oregon to ensure that all Oregonians have access to quality, affordable health coverage in 2015.”
The Republican National Committee pounced.
“While we may be saying goodbye to this failed state healthcare exchange, it will not be lost on anyone that John Kitzhaber and [Sen.] Jeff Merkley were the individuals responsible for giving Oregonians Cover Oregon,” RNC Chairman Reince Priebus said in a statement.