MEDFORD, Ore. — Cover Oregon’s website continues to be only partially functional, leaving those needing coverage to fill out paper applications by hand until the website is fully up and running. Recently Governor Kitzhaber said he learned of the problems in October of 2013. Representative Dennis Richardson said he personally shared his concerns to the governor more than a year before the launch.
“I’m not sure why he would say that but all I know is he and I had personal conversation relating to the problems and the likely hood of the failure of Cover Oregon back in September 2012,” said Rep. Richardson
Rep. Richardson sent Newswatch 12 e-mails he sent to the governor and other state officials with Cover Oregon. One e-mail centers around a chart put out by a third part quality assurance overseer, showing categories that are “high risk” for completion.
“Repeatedly they said that this is in crisis that on current trajectory it will not work and it will not launch on time,” said Rep. Richardson
Rep. Richardson said despite those repeated warnings, the governor told him to “trust the team” and that he would take care of it.
“There was plenty of information indicating that the governor knew about this, that his leaders knew about this and they ignored the warnings and pressed on and the launch’s failure was fully anticipated,” said Rep. Richardson
Now Rep. Richardson said Governor Kitzhaber must admit he made a mistake and action must be taken.
“What has to happen now is to shut down Cover Oregon and find a replacement for it,” said Rep. Richardson.
This February, Rep. Richardson said he plans to propose the state cut their losses on Cover Oregon and instead move to the federal exchange, healthcare.gov.
Newswatch 12 reached out for a comment from the governor’s office however those requests were not immediately returned.