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Sunday, December 8, 2013

Maryland Sacks Obamacare Wonder Woman

I think it fair to say that what happens in Oregon stays in Oregon. That's because the other 49 states don't give a damn what happens in Oregon. Not since 54.40 or Fight. To date no one in the Beaver State has been able to use Cover Oregon's website. Presently some 500 state employees are working through 54,000 paper application and boasting that over 4000 applications have been completed but not boasting that some 140,000 Oregonians have lost the coverage that they were promised they could keep. Insurance Commissioner Laura Cali has said they can keep their policies if they can get them back, choosing to go along with the Obama fix. She was good enough to warn that the policies might not measure up to the ACA compliant policies that would be available if the state exchange actually worked.
It's enough to make one sick. In fact it did make Cover Oregon Executive Director Rocky King sick. He is taking a three month medical leave.
"Rocky has been dedicated to building Oregon’s health insurance exchange so that individuals and small businesses can get coverage," said Gov. John Kitzhaber. "I know how difficult it is for him to leave during this crucial time, but he has to put his health first. I have full faith in Bruce Goldberg to continue to get people enrolled and address Cover Oregon’s IT issues."
Right. Oregon's IT issues are ripe to be addressed but in a system only Bangladesh would envy Rocky's horror show goes on while the director and executive producer calls in sick.
Not everyone has it so good. The Oregon Duck and Cover website could be infected with stuxnet and the national media would never know but when one screws up in close proximity to Washington in full view of the national press corps people do get fired. O. Henry once referred to New York City as an aviary over populated with jays but that would also describe Maryland's congressional delegation. Steny Hoyer, Chris Van Hollen, and Elijah Cummings perpetually preen in the warm reflection of the media pool and Governor Martin O'Malley has presidential ambitions so there is a limit to the incompetence one can bring to the job and still keep the job.
Rebecca Pearce, who until Friday ran Maryland's bug prone health care exchange, is now treading water in the free agency pool. Gone is the $175,000 annual salary. Just because Obama can load up Air Force One and leave town when the going gets tough doesn't mean Maryland bureaucrats can take week long Caribbean Thanksgiving vacations where they cannot be contacted by email or phone while the Maryland peasantry agonizes over cancelled health insurance and a buggy website. After all Maryland is the birth place of Nancy Pelosi and it has an image to maintain.

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