Topics: Obamacare

Oregon gives up on running its own Obamacare exchange

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Beltway Confidential,Opinion,Maryland,Joel Gehrke,Obamacare,Oregon,Health Care,Health Care Exchanges

Oregon's "top information-technology official" is giving up on the state running its own Obamacare insurance exchange.

"Alex Pettit, the state's top information-technology official, will recommend that Oregon move to the federal health insurance exchange, according to a Powerpoint presentation distributed at this morning's meeting of an advisory committee," the Oregonian's Nick Budnik reports.

The Oregon exchange "is the only insurance exchange in the country on which people still cannot buy coverage entirely online," Politico observed at the end of March, when the enrollment period ended.

State officials were still trying to find a silver lining, even at that late date. “We’d like to have us have an operating website," interim executive director Bruce Goldberg said. "But [305,000] people with health care in our small state is pretty dramatic.”

Oregon isn't the only state to have tech troubles with its exchange's website, however. Maryland has given up on running its exchange's online portal, opting to take its cues from Connecticut's technology. "The Health Exchange Board selected a partner with a proven track record to upgrade our website using a platform that has an established record of success,” Maryland Gov. Martin O'Malley said. “We're confident that this partner will have the website upgraded by the time the next open enrollment period begins in November.”

The failures undermine the idea that Republican governors have thwarted the Obamacare rollout. "Some of the worst-performing states (such as Massachusetts, D.C., Oregon, Maryland and Washington) enthusiastically embraced the law," the Washington Examiner's Phil Klein pointed out. "At the same time, states with Republican governors such as Florida, North Carolina and Wisconsin are among the states beating expectations."

CORRECTION: Maryland has given up on running the website for its health care exchange and will borrow Connecticut's technology. The future of the exchange itself was described incorrectly in the original version of this story. The Washington Examiner regrets the error. This story was originally posted at 3:41 p.m. April 24 and was updated at 7:06 p.m. that day.

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