Cover Oregon goes to Healthcare.gov

  • News
  • Thread starter nsaspook
  • Start date
  • #1
nsaspook
Science Advisor
948
1,385
http://www.washingtonpost.com/national/health-science/technology-group-to-decide-cover-oregons-future/2014/04/24/cd96afd2-cb77-11e3-b81a-6fff56bc591e_story.html [Broken]

PORTLAND, Ore. — Oregon, once expected to be a national leader in the federal health care overhaul, on Thursday moved to become the first state to dump its troubled online health exchange and use the federal marketplace instead.
...
Oregon has received a total of $305 million in federal grants to fund its operations from 2011 through the end of this year. As of March, the state has spent nearly $248 million of that money, Cover Oregon interim executive director Clyde Hamstreet said.
What a waste of money that could have been spent on actual heathcare instead of some pie in the sky bureaucratic program.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xVUJNEDpEkg#t=19

Epic fail
 
Last edited by a moderator:

Answers and Replies

  • #4
mheslep
Gold Member
311
728
So that bit of community action would be filed under the not cute category then.
 
  • #5
nsaspook
Science Advisor
948
1,385
They would have been perfect for a Cover Oregon Mental health and substance abuse disorder services ad.

 
Last edited by a moderator:
  • #7
OmCheeto
Gold Member
2,129
2,564
Two different viewpoints, cute and ~cute

...

Awesome video. :thumbs:

ps. I've never heard a ukulele being played here. Mandolins maybe, but never a ukulele.

pps. Learning that Larry Ellison is the 3rd richest man in america, and CEO of Oracle, the private company paid to provide a product, which it didn't, made me wonder: Do uber wealthy americans yield the power to suck $250,000,000 out of federally funded state coffers by not providing what they were paid to do?

It's less than a buck per american, so I'm sure the rest of the nation doesn't really give a, um, hoot.

ppps. hmmm.....

I wonder how much of Mr. Ellison's $77,000,000 paycheck last year came from your pockets?
hmmm.... less that 25 cents per american. Who's going to notice that.

pppps. One of my favorite local yocals, Kari Chisholm, had the following to say:

Is Oracle's Larry Ellison going to pay Oregon back for the Cover Oregon debacle?

Yah, it looks bad on the surface, and makes you feel good to point fingers at stupid "Portlandy" type people, which might make you feel a little bit smarter. But in the end.....

Why, if we're so stupid, is everyone, moving here? Please, go away, and move, back home.

Janes....

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k80nW6AOhTs

------------------------------
ok to delete, infract, and ban. :cry:
 
Last edited by a moderator:
  • #8
nsaspook
Science Advisor
948
1,385
Tell it like it is man.
http://www.kpic.com/news/local/259530231.html [Broken]
"It was a mass of excrement as far as what we got from the Health Authority and Oracle," Jovick told KATU. "It was a cockamamie system that nobody in their right mind could make work."

Jovick said there was not a single smoking gun but rather several problems that led to the website failure, including the lack of a system's integrator. A system's integrator is like a general contractor that would help ensure the exchange would be operational in time for open enrollment. While a vast majority of state-run exchanges hired one, KATU learned, Oregon did not.

It was one of the only states that chose instead to oversee the project itself.

Jovick also blamed Oracle's unusual contract with the state, which allowed Oracle to bill on what was essentially a time and materials plan, rather than charging the state a set fee for work delivered. Jovick believes Oracle got away with doing shoddy work and he felt OHA didn't hold Oracle accountable.
...
Cover Oregon went live on Oct. 1, 2013 but never managed to fully function as promised. Despite a grand vision, an earlier start and approximately $305 million from the federal government, the website has yet to enroll a single individual in a single sitting online. It's the only state in the country with that dubious distinction.
 
Last edited by a moderator:
  • #9
mheslep
Gold Member
311
728
Why is it that with any other commercial enterprise that buys or builds bad IT the CIO loses his head but when govt does this, why, then it's the fault of evil forces who stole from the people? The Target CEO who was just forced to resign would no doubt love to have media writing articles on his behalf, deflecting negligence onto nefarious dark forces.
 
  • #10
nsaspook
Science Advisor
948
1,385
There's plenty of blame to go around but Oracle has been at the center of several big failures in the past. I partly blame simple human nature, if somebody throws a few hundred million for you to spend with a tight time schedule, you get busy spending it.
 
  • #11
nsaspook
Science Advisor
948
1,385
Yet another case for a Cover Oregon Mental health and substance abuse disorder services ad.

http://www.katu.com/news/local/Womans-car-attacked-by-self-identified-high-elf-battling-evil-259598811.html?mobile=y [Broken]

A man dressed in chain-mail with a helmet, shield and carrying a sword and staff ran into traffic and started attacking her car.

She called 911, reporting that "a pirate" was attacking her car.

When police got there, they detained Konrad Bass of Glendale, Oregon.

Bass told officers that he wasn't a pirate but a "high-elf engaged in battle with the evil Morgoth."
25514634_BG1.jpg
 
Last edited by a moderator:
  • #12
nsaspook
Science Advisor
948
1,385
http://www.oregonlive.com/health/index.ssf/2014/05/cover_oregon_kitzhaber_says_it.html

It promises to be a difficult case. With $37 billion in annual revenue, Oracle is a deep-pocketed foe. That the company failed to deliver a functional product is well documented. But several poor decisions by state managers contributed to the mess. Opting not to hire an experienced technology company to serve as systems integrator, a sort of general contractor overseeing the project, was a big mistake, Kitzhaber conceded.

Also, the state signed Oracle to so-called "time and materials" contracts that typically didn't require Oracle to deliver anything specific. "There is no question that the failure to hire a system integrator and the use of time-and-material contracts contributed significantly to the culpability on the state side, and we have taken steps to address that," Kitzhaber said.
Another idiotic legal mess of a time and materials contract, follow the money.

http://www.oregonlive.com/health/index.ssf/2014/05/fbi_issues_subpoena_to_cover_o.html
The federal criminal investigation of Oregon's health insurance exchange took a step into public view Tuesday when the U.S. Attorney's office issued broad subpoenas seeking information from Cover Oregon and the Oregon Health Authority.

While the Federal Bureau of Investigation's interest in the exchange debacle had been previously reported, the legal demands dated May 13 indicate things may have moved beyond a preliminary inquiry to a full-blown investigation.
 
  • #13
SteamKing
Staff Emeritus
Science Advisor
Homework Helper
12,796
1,668
And if the U.S. Attorney for Oregon gets too close to the truth, AG Holder in DC is there to backstop anything from sticking to Obama.

There's nothing inherently wrong with a T&M contract, but when the system you are trying to implement is only partially designed or, in this case, described by the ACA legislation and subject to a continuing series of interpretations and rule-makings by at least two huge bureaucracies, HHS and the IRS, not to mention various waivers issued to friends of the administration, you can expect some slippage in the delivery schedule and a reduction in the quality of the finished product.
 
  • #14
nsaspook
Science Advisor
948
1,385
you can expect some slippage in the delivery schedule and a reduction in the quality of the finished product.
I would still expect actual delivery of something that works to the point that people can login and complete the basic forms that they have to do in paper now. They never enrolled a single person with the system. Other states and the feds seem to have at least something functional.

http://govwin.com/knowledge/time-and-materials-contracts [Broken]
 
Last edited by a moderator:
  • #15
SteamKing
Staff Emeritus
Science Advisor
Homework Helper
12,796
1,668
I would still expect actual delivery of something that works to the point that people can login and complete the basic forms that they have to do in paper now. They never enrolled a single person with the system. Other states and the feds seem to have at least something functional.

http://govwin.com/knowledge/time-and-materials-contracts [Broken]
It's not clear why you think the Oregon program should be singled out for special notice, or that these sorts of problems have not cropped up elsewhere.

In fact, the other states which have dabbled with setting up their own exchanges, not to mention the federal exchange itself, have reportedly experienced a multitude of problems and delays. Even Massachusetts, which has been in the mandatory health insurance biz for a lot longer (Romneycare, anyone?) is scrapping their website entirely:

http://www.bostonglobe.com/lifestyl...-broken-fix/oVT1f1X9hE4jaNOfF5XaiP/story.html

Maryland is scrapping their system in favor of one used by Connecticut:

http://www.washingtonpost.com/local...6a3a3e-b6d2-11e3-8cc3-d4bf596577eb_story.html

The federal website still has its share of problems for the enrollment portions of the site, while the payment back end is still undergoing development, so healthcare.gov is not a done deal by any stretch of the imagination. As time goes on and people start having life changing events, like moving to another state or having kids, expect to see more problems crop up with users having to shop for insurance in a different state and add new family members to their policies.
 
Last edited by a moderator:
  • #16
nsaspook
Science Advisor
948
1,385
It's not clear why you think the Oregon program should be singled out for special notice, or that these sorts of problems have not cropped up elsewhere.
We are the worst by a long shot and saying others have had problems is not an excuse for a child , a company or a government and if it's given as a reason then you should compare it with the efforts of others. Others have had the implementation problems seen with any large task but the entire process here was a disaster from start to end and was completely avoidable with proper management and accountability.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs...-up-with-the-nations-worst-obamacare-website/

And it's not just health care the state bungled, they can't even build a bridge across the Columbia.
http://www.oregonlive.com/business/index.ssf/2014/04/columbia_river_crossing_tab_ap.html
 
Last edited:
  • #17
SteamKing
Staff Emeritus
Science Advisor
Homework Helper
12,796
1,668
Unlike Massachusetts and Maryland, it seems that the state officials in Oregon are still grappling with reality and are reluctant to make the hard choices necessary, w.r.t. healthcare and insurance.

I remember another state recently built a bridge to nowhere, so that particular failing is not unique either. With less than $200 million sunk in the still-born bridge, I'd say Oregon got off easy. Massachusetts and the feds poured over $14 billion into the Big Dig in Boston.

It's not as if Oregon politicians and bureaucrats have been struck by some incompetence virus which has left officials in other states or in the federal government unscathed. It's been said that "Politics is the art of the possible," (by Otto von Bismarck, no less), but when politicians delude themselves into thinking that anything and everything is possible by writing this or that legislation, that's where the trouble starts.

If the voters don't hold their representatives accountable at election time, that's the voters' problem.
 
  • #18
1,834
205
Kentucky Kynect worked great from early on, and California's seemed to perform reasonably well (California's problems stem more from very limited networks and an over-focus on low premiums).

So I strongly disagree with the idea posed by some in this thread that it's the ACA that made these exchanges to difficult to implement. They really shouldn't have been that hard to lay out, and they're working better every day.

It's the incredible incompetence of our gov't that has made them such a disaster.
 
  • #19
mheslep
Gold Member
311
728
To which people do you refer? The ACA is not directly mentioned in this entire thread. There are a couple mentions of other exchanges (#15), and an oblique reference to healthcare.gov
 
  • #20
1,834
205
The ACA is not directly mentioned in this entire thread.
Yes it is.

My response was not restricted to that one post, but it's a good example.
 
  • #21
mheslep
Gold Member
311
728
I did miss that one. You mean there are other examples here in this thread?
 
  • #22
SixNein
Gold Member
42
16
Kentucky Kynect worked great from early on, and California's seemed to perform reasonably well (California's problems stem more from very limited networks and an over-focus on low premiums).

So I strongly disagree with the idea posed by some in this thread that it's the ACA that made these exchanges to difficult to implement. They really shouldn't have been that hard to lay out, and they're working better every day.

It's the incredible incompetence of our gov't that has made them such a disaster.
From a software engineering perspective, the web sites are difficult to create. I don't think people respect the real complexity involved. Many software engineering projects are just as complicated as the space program. Failures are going to happen.

In my opinion, software engineers are getting belittled by a lot of people. I could use similar arguments that one should cancel funding on science programs because they have failures. Instead of accepting the reality of the field, we could just blame it on government.
 
Last edited:
  • #23
1,834
205
I guess hard is a relative term.

I couldn't create the exchanges in my basement.

But the government of a 16 trillion dollar economy with a three year head start should have been able to build them pretty easily*. If you read post-mortems on the federal exchange fixes, the problems were utlimately administrative, not technical in nature (meaning there were technical problems that were easily solved given the right management).

* Edit: And states should have been able to as well. We know this, because two did.
 
  • #24
1,834
205
So one thing I'm trying to get across is that the answer to this statement:

It's not clear why you think the Oregon program should be singled out for special notice,
Is that we should single out Oregon for special notice because it's especially bad.

A few other exchanges may go down. I believe all of them had different vendors than Oregon, and hearsay suggests they had differing problems, too. A few state exchanges will not work this year, but may come up to speed next year. Exchanges in these two groups include MA, VT and at least one other in the northeast (forget which).

Some exchanges will work, but may get shut down for financial reasons, rather than technical ones. HI and CO I think fall into this category, and maybe NV, too.

And then some exchanges may run for some time. I certainly can't imagine CA coming down anytime soon. I think, ultimately, that there's no reason for state exchanges - might as well use the federal one. But as soon as they built them, they created jobs in their state, so it may be hard to undo. . .

Oregon definitely deserves its own thread, and its failure is special in its own unique and wonderful way.
 
  • #25
SixNein
Gold Member
42
16
I guess hard is a relative term.

I couldn't create the exchanges in my basement.

But the government of a 16 trillion dollar economy with a three year head start should have been able to build them pretty easily*. If you read post-mortems on the federal exchange fixes, the problems were utlimately administrative, not technical in nature (meaning there were technical problems that were easily solved given the right management).

* Edit: And states should have been able to as well. We know this, because two did.
A web site is nothing more than a description of the type of interface being used. It doesn't communicate the complexity of the over all system.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Software_crisis

In general, most people who have been writing about the web sites have no experience what so ever with software engineering, and they don't seem to have bothered with consulting those who do before publishing.

he biggest contractor, CGI Federal, was awarded its $94 million contract in December 2011. But the government was so slow in issuing specifications that the firm did not start writing software code until this spring, according to people familiar with the process.
http://www.nytimes.com/2013/10/13/us/politics/from-the-start-signs-of-trouble-at-health-portal.html

Software engineering projects are extremely hard to estimate. The real failure here was in estimation. Someone took the software requirements and gave a bad estimate on what it takes to create it, and the time required to complete it. There may have also been some bad feasibility calls on certain methods. In addition, there were political realities involved that made the project even more difficult.

Project developers for the health care website who spoke to the AP on condition of anonymity - because they feared they would otherwise be fired - said they raised doubts among themselves whether the website could be ready in time. They complained openly to each other about what they considered tight and unrealistic deadlines. One was nearly brought to tears over the stress of finishing on time, one developer said. Website builders saw red flags for months.
http://apnews.myway.com/article/20131022/DA9JEPK81.html
 
Last edited:

Related Threads on Cover Oregon goes to Healthcare.gov

Replies
2
Views
2K
  • Last Post
Replies
5
Views
3K
  • Last Post
2
Replies
31
Views
9K
  • Last Post
2
Replies
28
Views
3K
  • Last Post
Replies
1
Views
3K
  • Last Post
Replies
19
Views
3K
  • Last Post
Replies
5
Views
3K
  • Last Post
Replies
5
Views
898
  • Last Post
2
Replies
47
Views
11K
  • Last Post
Replies
2
Views
2K
Top