For months, Oregon officials have publicly blasted software giant Oracle over the state’s problematic health insurance exchange website.
Oracle was the state’s primary contractor hired to build the website.
Oracle has so far refused to comment publicly. Now, a letter from Oracle’s President Safra Catz to Cover Oregon has surfaced giving insight into what Oracle thinks about the whole thing, reports Jeff Manning at the Oregonian
The upshot: Oracle blames the state for mismanaging the project, particularly for its decision not to hire what’s known as a systems integrator, or a tech consultant that builds computer systems by combining hardware and software from lots of different tech companies.
Catz has also offered an olive branch: “We encourage Cover Oregon to immediately hire a systems integrator to lead the project, as it represented it would do in the first place,” she said in the letter.
Oregon’s website was supposed to be the crown jewel of state health insurance exchanges. It was to be the model by which other states could build their own. Now it’s the poster child of the awful technical rollout of Obamacare. It has been called “the worst disaster zone” of state exchanges by the Washington Post’s Ezra Klein.
The site has cost $US200 million so far, with more than $US130 million going to Oracle. Oracle wants to charge still more reports Manning.
After missing deadline after deadline, the site is limping along today, requiring people to use paper forms for at least part of the application process. All told, about 217,000 Oregonians have enrolled in coverage through Cover Oregon, reports the Statesman Journal. Work on the website continues.
Like all massive IT projects that spiral out of control (and research shows that 66% of them do), the truth is there’s plenty of blame to go around.
Oracle declined to comment.
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