Oregon Has Signed up Zero People on Its Health Care Website

Reporting on Politics and Policy.
Nov. 22 2013 4:25 PM

Oregon Has Still Signed up Zero People for Its Health Exchange

Beautiful Oregon!

Photo by Craig Mitchelldyer/Getty Images

Say what you will about healthcare.gov, but it's still signed up infinitely more people than Oregon's state exchange. Cover Oregon, the state's health exchange site, has failed to sign up a single person for private health insurance since it launched October 1. This is because Oracle, the company who Oregon paid $43.2 million to develop Cover Oregon and provide consulting, "has missed numerous previous deadlines" to bring the site up to speed.

Exchange Director Rocky King faced sharp questioning from state lawmakers for the first time since his organization missed the October deadline to allow people to enroll online.
King said the latest projections show the system should be ready for individuals to enroll online beginning Dec. 16, which would mean people who enroll on the first day would get coverage beginning in February.
"We're not broken," King told lawmakers. "It's just not done."

Aside from news wires like the AP and Reuters, the only consistent coverage has come, unsurprisingly, from right-wing blogs. The only mainstream national journalists I've seen cover the issue are Ezra Klein, who recently called Oregon "perhaps the worst disaster zone in Obamacare's implementation," and his fellow WonkBlogger Sarah Kliff—the number one health care policy reporter you should be following, if you aren't already—who wrote about it last month. But otherwise, crickets.

Health policy reporters are usually drawn to Oregon like moths to a flame because of its interesting method of awarding Medicaid coverage to its residents via lottery (and through Obamacare's "fast-track" program, the state has expanded Medicaid coverage to 70,000 people since October). So why hasn't the New York Times, for instance, run a single story about Oregon's state exchange since before its launch? National newspapers should be reporting on the site's failure and holding Oracle accountable. For now, Larry Ellison is getting off scot free.

Emma Roller is a Slate editorial assistant. Follow her on Twitter.


Frame Game

Hard Knocks

I was hit by a teacher in an East Texas public school. It taught me nothing.

What Hillary Clinton’s Iowa Remarks Reveal About Her 2016 Fears

After This Merger, One Company Could Control One-Third of the Planet's Beer Sales

John Oliver Pleads for Scotland to Stay With the U.K.

If You’re Outraged by the NFL, Follow This Satirical Blowhard on Twitter


Don’t Expect Adrian Peterson to Go to Prison

In much of America, beating your kids is perfectly legal. 

The Juice

Ford’s Big Gamble

It’s completely transforming America’s best-selling vehicle.

I Tried to Write an Honest Profile of One of Bollywood’s Biggest Stars. It Didn’t Go Well.

Here’s Why College Women Don’t Take Rape Allegations to the Police

The XX Factor
Sept. 15 2014 1:51 PM Here’s Why College Women Don’t Take Rape Allegations to the Police
  News & Politics
Sept. 15 2014 8:56 PM The Benghazi Whistleblower Who Might Have Revealed a Massive Scandal on his Poetry Blog
Sept. 15 2014 7:27 PM Could IUDs Be the Next Great Weapon in the Battle Against Poverty?
Sept. 15 2014 4:38 PM What Is Straight Ice Cream?
  Double X
The XX Factor
Sept. 15 2014 3:31 PM My Year As an Abortion Doula
  Slate Plus
Tv Club
Sept. 15 2014 11:38 AM The Slate Doctor Who Podcast: Episode 4  A spoiler-filled discussion of "Listen."
Brow Beat
Sept. 15 2014 8:58 PM Lorde Does an Excellent Cover of Kanye West’s “Flashing Lights”
Future Tense
Sept. 15 2014 4:49 PM Cheetah Robot Is Now Wireless and Gallivanting on MIT’s Campus
  Health & Science
Bad Astronomy
Sept. 15 2014 11:00 AM The Comet and the Cosmic Beehive
Sports Nut
Sept. 15 2014 8:41 PM You’re Cut, Adrian Peterson Why fantasy football owners should release the Minnesota Vikings star.