Oregon has spent more than $40 million to build its own online health care exchange. It gave that money to a Silicon Valley titan, Oracle, but the result has been a disaster of missed deadlines, a nonworking website and a state forced to process thousands of insurance applications on paper.
Initially, Oracle promised it could get the job done. But by mid-May, the head of Cover Oregon, Rocky King, had written the company, pleading for "a simple calendar schedule ... to ascertain whether or not we will be able to deliver" a working exchange by Oct. 1.
Five months later, when Oregon's exchange was supposed to go live, the site still didn't work. And as recently as two weeks ago, the state had not yet managed to sign up a single person for private health insurance under the federal Affordable Care Act.