Obamacare

Oregon's Obamacare Exchange Tech Won't Be Ready On Time

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credit: Ian Sane / Foter / CC BY

You'll probably find a lot of chatter about how calls to delay Obamacare are just nuts, or pandering to delusions of the GOP base.

But take a look at what's happening in Oregon, via The Oregonian:

Though Oregon's health insurance marketplace will launch Oct. 1 as planned, there's one hitch. People will only be able to immediately purchase health insurance on it with certified insurance agents and "community partners."

The online marketplace won't be fully accessible until mid October—at the earliest.

So Oregon's health exchange is "launching." But it's not really launching. It might be ready a few weeks late. It might not be ready until sometime after that. ("At the earliest" means it will be ready whenever it's ready, and no one knows with any confidence when that will be.)

The biggest hangup won't surprise anyone who has been following the law's implementation: It's technical. There are also funding issues. 

On Oct. 1, Cover Oregon will list agents and community partners who can walk individuals through the complicated new sign-up, the agency announced at its board meeting Thursday.

"We want to make sure we don't overload the system and to make sure we quickly identify and resolve any bugs, but at the same time we want to open Oct. 1," said Cover Oregon spokesperson Lisa Morawski.

In addition to working out kinks, Cover Oregon is also dealing with a $16 million shortfall. The Oregon Health Authority, a sister agency, had expected to fund computer programming for Cover Oregon through June with a $59 million federal grant. But documents show the grant ran out in April, due to a "misprojection" of remaining funds.

And this is in a state that has enthusiastically embraced Obamacare from the beginning, a state which the story says "started early setting up its online insurance marketplace."

Nor is Oregon the only state where officials say they have had trouble hitting deadlines. Connecticut scaled back its exchange to a "bare-bones version of what was initially envisioned," according to July report in The Washington Post.

As a result of the rush, the report said, "the insurance marketplace [that state officials] were working on nights and weekends won't be completely ready on time." About 30 percent of the online exchange functionality had hoped to have ready in October have been delayed. "This is a two- to three-year implementation we're doing in 10 months," the exchange's top official told The Post. "I wish we had one more year."

To be clear, I'm not saying that a full-on delay is likely. It's not. But it's not nuts either. 

Cover Oregon did, of course, manage to get this terrifyingly twee Obamacare sign-up ad produced on time:

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  1. S’OK.
    The King will issue and edict.

  2. “This is a two- to three-year implementation we’re doing in 10 months,” the exchange’s top official told The Post. “I wish we had one more year.”

    Translation, it’s really a 5 year project that we could probably get a functioning prototype into production in 2 – 3 years

  3. OT, don’t know if this has yet been written about here but this is astounding.

    Why I changed my mind on weed
    By Dr. Sanjay Gupta, CNN Chief Medical Correspondent
    updated 8:44 PM EDT, Thu August 8, 2013

    Long before I began this project, I had steadily reviewed the scientific literature on medical marijuana from the United States and thought it was fairly unimpressive. Reading these papers five years ago, it was hard to make a case for medicinal marijuana. I even wrote about this in a TIME magazine article, back in 2009, titled “Why I would Vote No on Pot.”
    Well, I am here to apologize.
    I apologize because I didn’t look hard enough, until now. I didn’t look far enough. I didn’t review papers from smaller labs in other countries doing some remarkable research, and I was too dismissive of the loud chorus of legitimate patients whose symptoms improved on cannabis.

    1. You forgot the part where Gupta writes in his will that he wants government researchers to be his pallbearers, so he can be let down one last time.

      1. I take it, it has been covered?

          1. Sorry. Have a real life this week and can’t keep up.

  4. You’ll probably find a lot of chatter about how calls to delay Obamacare are just nuts, or pandering to delusions of the GOP base.

    Chatter?! Shut down the embassies!

    1. +1 reasonable caution

  5. That video is fantastic. It looks like a parody.

    1. It actually makes Oregon sound kind of nice until the Cover Oregon banners come out. But if I didn’t already know what Cover Oregon was, I still wouldn’t after that video, and I wouldn’t be that motivated to find out. So as an ad for the exchanges it pretty much sucks.

  6. I saw that video the last time it was posted here. I haven’t there yet, but I’ve been told by residents that Oregon culture really is like that.

    1. Just watch Portlandia!

      1. I think I have a hand in the chain of events that led to that show’s subject matter. PBR had been my grandfather’s brand, and my own, once I could buy my own beer, but it wasn’t available in Athens bars. It finally got picked up by one bar, and since then, it’s been the volume leader by far, and I’ve since been told that Athens is the reason why there’s PBR in Williamsburg.

        1. Alternatively, it could just be the latest hipster trend.

          1. We’ve exported our fair share of those, too.

        2. PBR fan?!?!

          Kindred spirits….I’m embarrassed at how excited I get when I can find it in bottles!

        3. Do they still make St. Pauli Girl? That used to be the “high class” stuff with the PBR and High Life.

      2. Portlandia is absolutely not an exaggeration. I grew up there many years before all the hipster bullshit, and I don’t even recognize it as home anymore.

    2. I haven’t there yet, but I’ve been told by residents that Oregon culture really is like that.

      The Neo-Americana movement is a fucking embarrassment. These people are looking for any excuse to tie themselves to depression-era America in an attempt to seem downtrodden and spat out by TEH 1 PERSENT!!!

      1. To be fair, we do have a president that’s trying his damndest to out-do FDR.

      2. Portland is so effing precious now, they’ll latch onto any hipster trend and make it even less bearable.

  7. Well let it never be said that Sandra Fluke didn’t do her part for Team O….who knew she could play the guitar?

  8. I remember that.

    /you did not enroll on time and have died of dysentery

  9. Well hell at least we got the video done and there’s a nice soundtrack and all…

    Christ, why do I feel like this is the mindset of every jagoff who supported this POS? Let’s sing on the guitar and be cutesey and it’ll all work itself out. Good intentions solve everything – free healthcare for all!!11!!

    Then in spite of the presidential fiats, delays and overrides, when it crashes and burns, we can just pass another law to screw things up even more.

    1. More jam fests are sure to solve all our problems!!

    2. Then in spite of the presidential fiats, delays and overrides, when it crashes and burns, we can just pass another law to screw things up even more.

      If you’re not fucking up, you’re not trying hard enough.

      /fed govt

  10. In some ways, I think advertisements, like the one for that exchange in Oregon, are more important to progressive types than whether the exchanges are actually doing anything.

    Who cares if the little people end up struggling with less or more expensive healthcare than they had before? The important thing is to feel like something is being done–and to feel superior about it.

    That’s another reason why progressives are America’s most horrible people.

    1. The important thing is to feel like something is being done–and to feel superior about it.

      You’re just now getting that?

      1. No, I just thought I’d remind people.

        It isn’t the exchanges that are the problem. It’s what’s in people’s heads that’s the problem.

    2. That’s another reason why progressives are America’s most horrible people.

      A SoCon will then come along and declare that two men having consensual pooper sex is a Crime Against Gawd and must be punished.

      Remember kids, you must decide whether to vote for Theoretically-Forward-Looking Statists or for Openly-Trogolodytic Statists. And either way, the welfare and corporate welfare must continue.

      1. “A SoCon will then come along and declare that two men having consensual pooper sex is a Crime Against Gawd and must be punished.”

        Excuse me, but as much as I dislike social conservatives, they’re nowhere near the threat that progressives are.

        Religious people are about evenly split on the issue of gay marriage, and although social conservatives get a lot of airplay, the chances of them achieving something like criminalizing gay sex, again, is extremely unlikely. They’d have to do so over the objections of their fellow believers.

        http://www.post-gazette.com/st…..ge-692745/

        More than 60% of U.S. Catholics support gay marriage. More than 20% of white Evangelicals support gay marriage!

        So, anyway, you’re comparing what the social conservatives in your head would do–with what the progressives have actually done and are actually doing.

        Progressives really are America’s most horrible people.

        1. Progressives might be more politically powerful (at the moment), but it doesn’t make SoCons any better. The precise nature of the Utopia they seek may be different, but both have the same gleeful attitude toward bludgeoning unbelievers into compliance. Come to think of it, considering the bipartisan popularity of a lot of welfare programs, both are members of the Party of Moar Free Shit.

          1. “The precise nature of the Utopia they seek may be different, but both have the same gleeful attitude toward bludgeoning unbelievers into compliance.”

            Well, then, why haven’t you mentioned the Amish anti-electricity menace?!

            Is it because they aren’t ideologically as frightening as progressives–or does it have something to do with the fact that their chances of actually achieving any of their anti-electricity objectives are ridiculously low?

            The threat of social conservatives taking over and implementing the anti-gay boogeyman agenda in your head? is almost as ridiculous as the Amish anti-electricity menace.

            Look around you. There is virtually no danger of social conservatives threatening us with their anti-gay agenda–meanwhile, the progressives are actually implementing their plan to crush us under their wheels.

    1. Goddamn. Two blowjobs on one plane ride? I’ll bet she’s a popular girl.

  11. OT:
    Cato Makes Dick Durbin’s Enemies List

    Durbin smelled blood in the water and, continuing his rampage against corporate political speech?pretty rich for someone who inserted a consumer-unfriendly provision into Dodd-Frank at the behest of Walgreens and other large retailers in his home state of Illinois?is now seeking to shame anyone ever associated with ALEC.

    That includes Cato. Earlier this week, we received a letter from Durbin asking two questions…

    http://www.cato.org/blog/cato-…..emies-list

    1. Cato is in the business of speaking truth to power?the more and better we do it, the more we advance liberty and the more our donors like us?so playing pen-pal with crusading senators is par for the course. But what about those who don’t have Cato’s mission or independence, whose livelihood depends on being in the good graces of a regulator who understands the way political winds blow? (Heck, we’re all beholden to the IRS; I apologize, honey, if we get audited next year.)

      I laughed.

    2. I thought that piece of shit was removing his snout from the federal tough…as a greasy pol….I mean legislator?

  12. Let’s not forget: the specs, etc. to get the software project rolling were locked in a box for several months (or more) during the Presidential campaign. The only reason they didn’t have the time they say they need is the President’s campaign staff made a political calculation that he personally would be better off if work on the HIEs didn’t start until either very late in the campaign or after the election.

    1. “The only reason they didn’t have the time they say they need is the President’s campaign staff made a political calculation that he personally would be better off if work on the HIEs didn’t start until either very late in the campaign or after the election.”

      Sort of like the business mandates, then.

  13. It’s too bad they can’t just outsource the registration process. Either MasterCard or Visa would have everyone signed up by COB next Friday.

  14. Ha ha, LarryA!

    There is a marketplace called Navix Marketplace (www.navixmarketplace.com) that is already operational. Anyone, regardless of where they live, can use it to purchase insurance or get questions answered. What is killing me is that there really is not official “roll-out” of this program. Sure, the date is Oct 1, but until then, unless you’re doing your own in-depth research, this whole marketplace thing is a bit daunting and remote-souding.

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