Oregon, the FBI, and the Continued Failure of Obamacare
Though the examples of Obamacare’s failure can be found from sea to shining sea, Oregon has become the latest and most blatant flashpoint for the healthcare disaster. The state scrapped the insurance exchange in April, and now the FBI is joining several other national agencies in investigating the aftermath. While little is known about the extent of the FBI’s probe, the facts surrounding Cover Oregon – the state’s exchange – grow more ominous by the moment. In a country full of poorly-run exchanges, Oregon’s system was likely the worst of them all. Oregonians who want to participate in the Affordable Healthcare Act’s programs must now do so through the federally run exchange.
Fox News and the Wall Street Journal are reporting that the FBI has conducted interviews with several key players in the Oregon exchange. The state’s local media has also reported that the FBI has had meetings with a former, unnamed Republican congressman who has detailed some of the shenanigans that led to Cover Oregon’s downfall. There are rumors that the organization may have fed the government some dubious numbers in order to keep federal dollars flowing into the state. On the record, the FBI remains mum on whether an open investigation is being conducted.
None of this, of course, is good news for Oregon Democrats hoping to run for re-election. Governor John Kitzhaber himself was intensely involved in the creation and oversight of Cover Oregon, a fact that may come to haunt him as further details emerge. Democrat Senator Jeff Merkley does not seem to have the same close ties with the system, but he did vote for the law. He was also among the many Democrat lawmakers around the country who promised his constituents that they would be able to keep their healthcare plans after Obama’s law went into effect. Both politicians are up for re-election in November, and their involvement in the perpetuation of this horrible law could very well hurt their chances.
Oregon’s troubles are only the tip of the iceberg when it comes to Obamacare’s relentless failure. A story reported by the Washington Times shows that initial estimates on the cost of fixing the website were predictably lowball. According to the story, taxpayers can now look forward to having at least $121 million of their hard-earned dollars go to website repair and maintenance before it’s ready for a second round of enrollments. Software contractor Accenture announced the deal on May 6th, stunning onlookers who noted that the final tally is more than it cost to build the website from scratch. Fiscally responsible voters may be forgiven for wondering why they should have to foot such an enormous bill when proof of the law’s failure is abundant.
If the latest Pew Polling numbers are anything to go by, voters are indeed questioning the effectiveness of the rollout. With a paltry 41% of respondents supporting the law, the administration’s insistence on its success seems to have fallen on deaf ears. Try as they might, the mainstream media’s positive spin on Obamacare’s successes have yet to make a difference in the realm of public support.