Obamacare has provided more jokes than it has coverage. Here’s another one. What spent $300 Million and never signed up one person? The state exchange called Cover Oregon! I know it’s not a funny joke, but it is true. The state of Oregon and Former Governor John Kitzhaber was proud for his state to take the lead among states on Obamacare. Somehow they managed to secure many more millions than other states with similar populations. Weird, huh? Only California and New York received more money.
With all that money floating around you might expect a little corruption. At least I would, but maybe that’s because I cynically write about government corruption almost weekly. Corruption and the back room deal seem to be the rule, not the exception. However, the Cover Oregon story really takes the cake. For $300 Million taxpayer bucks the people got nothing! No, really…nothing. Not one thing. The website didn’t ever work and not one Oregonian was signed up, but somehow the money is gone. Strange.
The fine Governor Kitzhaber realized he had a public relations nightmare on his hands so he quickly shut the whole thing down and sued Oracle. Oracle is the company hired to build Cover Oregon. It’s their fault, of course. Well that’s just great. In Maryland, another failure story, they spent about $200 Million on their failed exchange that was eventually shut down and sued their web developer receiving a $20 Million settlement paid back over time. That doesn’t instill a lot of confidence that the taxpayers will ever see much of the Oregon 300 Mill ever again.
Oregon State Rep. Greg Walden (R) has been sounding some alarm bells. Where there’s smoke there’s fire…and there is enough smoke coming out of Oregon for House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform chaired by Utah Senator Jason Chaffetz to launch an investigation into just where, oh where, did all that money go? With all that smoke (300 million dollars worth) he might need some of those smoke jumpers to even get in there.
The problem is that Oregon’s corruption surrounding Obamacare is a harbinger of things to come nationwide on Obamacare. These exchanges are a free for all. The Wild West. The obscene piles of cash with no accountability around the exchanges is like handing candy to a baby for many a politician. At the end of the day is corruption and the lining of pockets is the only thing that is being served by Obamacare. When Obamacare finally collapses like the Hindenburg that it is, men like Jason Chaffetz or Greg Walden will be looking for where did all the money go…but the vast majority of it will never be seen again. Even if they do recover 10% from lawsuits, like they did in Maryland, that money goes right back to the corrupt government who lost it or stole it in the first place!
I suggest that Oregon and other states like them should give it back to the taxpayers. Every lawsuit that yields a return, the state who is benefiting from that return should be forced to give that money back to the taxpayer in the form of a refund. That’s not too much to ask. A small token of the amount stolen from the citizenry given back to simply say…we’re sorry for being such corrupt, greedy, crooked, politicians.
The moral of the story is never trust Big Government with Big Money…unless you don’t mind the big money miraculously vanishing into thin air. That is the one trick government and politicians are really good at.