February 17, 2014
On December 20, Cover Oregon—one of 14 state-based Obamacare insurance exchanges—began robocalling all Oregonians who had attempted to get health coverage through the state’s new marketplace. “If you haven’t heard from us by December 23, it is unlikely your application will be processed for January 1 insurance coverage,” said the prerecorded call. “If you want to be sure you have insurance coverage starting January 1, you have other options.” For months, an expensive ad campaign promoting the exchange had blanketed the airwaves with a twee folk song, “Long Live Oregon,” promising coverage for the state’s “loggers . . . stay-at-home dads . . . and indie rock bands”—among other very Oregon vocations—yet now the exchange was so broken it had managed to sign up only 44 people in its first two months. The state was essentially telling thousands of Oregonians who had lost their health insurance under Obamacare, “Save yourselves!”
One day before the calls started going out, Carolyn Lawson, the chief information officer for Cover Oregon who was responsible for building Cover Oregon’s nonfunctioning website, resigned for “personal reasons.” Following Lawson’s departure, on January 1, Rocky King, the executive director of Cover Oregon, resigned citing “medical reasons.”
I wonder if he had insurance.