.. just what did he know ?? …
.. [h/t — katu.com]..
.. [link] to the news report …
»Play VideoGov. John Kitzhaber is interviewed by KATU’s Hillary Lake in early January.
‘We look like fools:’ A history of Cover Oregon’s failure
PORTLAND, Ore. – In a brief interview with KATU in early January, Gov. John Kitzhaber made an incredible claim about the failed launch of Cover Oregon’s website.
“In late October was when I first learned about the problems,” Kitzhaber said.
The claim was incredible because the website had already missed its Oct. 1 launch date. Kitzhaber was, in effect, saying he didn’t know there were problems until weeks after one of the most important projects under his watch had already failed.
It was incredible because mountains of reports from the state’s quality-assurance contractor had been raising glaring red flags for almost two years.
It was incredible because the state had implemented a stringent set of checks and balances for the specific purpose of making sure the project didn’t spiral without people in power knowing.
And it was incredible because the KATU Investigators have unearthed emails and conducted interviews laying out repeated attempts by lawmakers and others involved with the project to get Kitzhaber’s help in righting what was clearly a sinking ship.
KATU’s review of thousands of pages of emails and reports, as well as interviews with many of the key people involved, suggest that either Kitzhaber knew more than he has acknowledged, or that he and his staff somehow remained oblivious to the unfolding disaster despite numerous attempts to bring it to their attention.
“The governor’s office was not doing anything,” said state Rep. Dennis Richardson, R-Central Point. “He’s got advisors in his office who are over health policy. None of them were doing any oversight that we can see.”
‘They promised … the governor’s office would be very involved’
Let’s start with a quick history lesson.
Cover Oregon began life as perhaps the most ambitious state health exchange in the nation. Its website would include not just access to health-insurance plans, but to all state entitlements: things like food stamps, WIC and Medicaid would all be available through one portal.
The strategy was called “No Wrong Door.”
The federal government liked the idea so much it, offered the state a $48 million “early innovator” grant to fund the project. That amount later ballooned to $59 million.
Not everybody was sold though. With an already tight deadline for building a complicated website, some thought the proposal crossed the line from ambitious to foolhardy.
Richardson, who has announced he will run against Kitzhaber in the fall, was one of those early skeptics. As co-chair of the powerful House Ways & Means Committee in February 2011, he at first blocked the federal grant. He relented only when an agreement was reached to ensure regular independent quality-assurance reports from a company called Maximus and strict oversight of the project.
Richardson sat down for an exclusive interview with KATU in which he revealed new information about Kitzhaber’s oversight of Cover Oregon.
“They were just diving in,” Richardson told KATU. “It was like trying to paint a car that’s already moving instead of making sure that everything’s done before you start moving ahead.”
>>Click here to watch Hillary Lake’s full interview with Richardson
From the outset, project oversight was designed to be headed by the governor’s office.
The KATU Investigators obtained an organizational chart illustrating the oversight structure. At the top is the governor’s office, to which several different groups report.
There’s the Department of Administrative Services, a government watchdog group that makes sure rules are followed and budgets met.
There’s the Cover Oregon board of directors, the members of which Kitzhaber appointed.
And there’s a joint oversight committee made up of Cover Oregon managers and the Oregon Health Authority – which was led by Bruce Goldberg, the man who has since became director of Cover Oregon.
… LEC here again … Huge , huge oops !! This one is going to continue to snowball … More to come …