Oracle is being publicly flogged for Oregon’s dysfunctional Affordable Care Act website. The website has been called “the worst disaster zone” in the Obamacare’s roll out,” by
the Washington Post’sEzra Klein.
That’s because the state’s website cost $US43 million ($1.7 million over budget) and hasn’t been able to sign up a single person. Worse still, it might not be working until after the March 31 deadline for enrolling in health care. So said the Oregon executive responsible for the state’s rollout, Rocky King, in a hearing last week, as reported by Blue Oregon’s Kari Chisholm.
Cover Oregon board member Ken Allen blasted Oracle at the hearing, saying:
This is their failure. … Their dates have shifted and shifted and shifted. … The Cover Oregon staff are tremendously dedicated folks who have worked really hard … All of that good will and support from the business community is being frittered away because Oracle didn’t get it online. It’s 98% Oracle’s screw up.
Meanwhile, Oregon hired 400 temp workers to process paper applications by hand, so that people who apply for coverage by December 15 will have coverage by January 1, Allen said.
Oregon Senator Jeff Merkley blasted Oracle on television, too.
When NBC’s Chuck Todd asked him on Friday if he could explain the problems with Oregon’s health care rollout, he answered “Yes. Oracle.”
And he let that word hang in the air until Todd asked him for details. Then Merkley said:
Oracle was contracted to write the exchange. They promised it would be fully delivered on time, it would be beautiful and do more than any other exchange in the country, and it’s in complete dysfunction. So we had to return to paper applications.
The irony of this situation is that Oracle is one of the Silicon Valley companies that the Obama administration has called in to help fix the disastrous federal website.
We asked Oracle if it had any response, or explanation for Oregon’s website’s problems. Oracle had no comment.
Watch Sen. Merkley blame Oracle (at 5:05):