Dem Gov Kate Brown Tries To Rewrite History On Oregon’s Failed Obamacare Experiment
Wilsonville, OR– After years of highly public struggles with Obamacare, failed Oregon governor Kate Brown is trying to rewrite history regarding the state’s problems with the failed healthcare law as it heads for potential repeal in Congress.
In an interview on MSNBC, Brown praised the failed law, calling it “cost-effective.” But it appears Kate Brown hasn’t paid much attention to the headlines on Obamacare in Oregon for the last few years. Last July, Oregon’s Health Exchange Co-Op, known as Cover Oregon, was forced to close due to poor finances following catastrophic technical and service failures, producing embarrassing national headlines:
The Washington Examiner reported:
“Oregon's insurance regulator closed the co-op late Friday due to poor finances, meaning that 15 of the original 23 co-ops have collapsed. The closures have cost taxpayers more than $1.5 billion in startup and solvency loans.
Oregon's Health CO-OP was put in receivership on Friday and regulators gave its 20,600 policyholders until the end of the month to find a new plan…
The co-op lost $18.4 million last year, mostly because of high claims from policyholders.
What also didn't help was Obamacare's risk-adjustment program, which transfers funds from insurers with healthy enrollees to insurers with the sickest claims.”
Oregon’s Obamacare implosion was even the subject of an investigation by the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, which released a report detailing the systemic issues with Oregon’s Obamacare system:
"In letters to Attorneys General Lynch and Rosenblum, Chairman Chaffetz wrote, 'The documents and testimony show Oregon State officials misused $305 million of federal funds and improperly coordinated with former Governor John Kitzhaber’s campaign advisers. Official decisions were made primarily for political purposes. Cover Oregon was established as an independent organization by the legislature, and was not intended to be a wholly controlled subsidiary of the Governor’s political apparatus. Evidence obtained by the Committee shows, however, close coordination between Governor Kitzhaber, his official staff, his campaign advisers, and the supposedly independent Cover Oregon. The evidence we have uncovered implicates violations of state laws that restrict political activity by public employees.'”
U.S. News reported:
“Here, in brief, is what the committee found:
- State law clearly established Cover Oregon as an independent entity. The governor and his political advisers' involvement in Cover Oregon was inconsistent with Oregon law.
- Campaign funds were used to assist the governor in his official capacity while handling Cover Oregon.
- Cover Oregon became closely tied with all campaign activities, from polling to meetings.
- The governor's political operatives – none had technological experience – micromanaged many of the decisions that needed to be made regarding Cover Oregon.
- Junking Cover Oregon and moving to HealthCare.gov was viewed as a way to "let the steam out of so much of the attacks."
- The Cover Oregon board was told the cost of moving to HealthCare.gov was $4-6 million. A slide showing moving the Medicaid system would cost $36 million was deleted. After the governor complained about the "free independent expenditure campaign" his political opponent was receiving because of Cover Oregon, his political advisers drafted letters asking the attorney general to sue. The letter was sent days later.
- In sum, the committee says, "Cover Oregon failed for two main reasons: The state acted as their own system integrator (like HealthCare.gov), and the state tried to revamp its entire healthcare system, not just build an exchange."
“Now, Kate Brown has her staff engaging in political activity while no one is working to get to the bottom of what happened to the $305 million Cover Oregon funds that were lost," stated Chair Currier. “These funds would come in very handy right now as Brown claims to be doing everything she can to close the sizable $1.8 billion deficit.”
“As Kate Brown continues to bury her head in the sand with regards to Oregon’s disastrous results with its Obamacare experiment, Oregonians learned firsthand just how calamitous it proved for their healthcare," noted Currier. “If Kate Brown is unwilling to accept the reality that millions of Oregonians face with the disastrous Democrat healthcare law, she has no business serving another term as governor in 2018."
The Oregon Republican Party is the state’s arm of the Republican National Committee. It’s Chairman and officers are dedicated to preserving and advancing Republican principles within the state of Oregon and to improving the lives and livelihoods of Oregon’s working families through economic freedom and equal protection under the law.
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