SALEM, Ore. -- The Cover Oregon collapse was worse than originally thought.
The On Your Side Investigators are continuing to uncover new details from the state's investigation into Cover Oregon, which shows the agencies responsible for creating Oregon's health insurance exchange -- Oregon Health Authority and Cover Oregon -- were completely unprepared should things go awry.
Of course, things did go awry. Despite millions of federal dollars for the project, an earlier start, and legions of support, Cover Oregon is still the only exchange website in the country where individuals cannot self-enroll online. The Cover Oregon website launched in October 2013.
Cover Oregon should have had a contingency plan, which was a core requirement of the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), the federal oversight agency for health insurance exchanges. In fact, CMS tried to get Cover Oregon to commit to a "plan B" in the summer of 2013 but the agency shifted its focus to planning for mere system outages instead.
There was also no evidence that Cover Oregon shared the CMS's concerns for lack of a backup plan with state lawmakers.
Kitzhaber hired First Data, an independent firm, to answer seven key questions about what went wrong in the rollout of Oregon's state insurance exchange. First Data interviewed 67 people and reviewed more than 3,200 documents. The company was paid $228,000 for its investigation.
Instead of a backup plan, several key players within Cover Oregon kept unfettered faith in the project's main software developer, Oracle.
"If there was an error on our part, it was really, putting a lot of faith in what Oracle was committing to us," former Cover Oregon executive director Rocky King told the On Your Side Investigators late last month.
Oracle was not all it was cracked up to be. According to the same First Data report, Oracle promised that 95 percent of the software should have worked right out of the box when, in fact, almost half the coding had to be created from scratch.
Oracle also continued to post dates for specific deliveries but consistently missed deadlines.
Nevertheless, the continued reassurance of Oracle led Cover Oregon to believe the October rollout was achievable, and Cover Oregon, therefore, continued to reassure the state.
KATU tried to track down King Friday as well as Cover Oregon's newly ousted acting director, Bruce Goldberg, but King was not home and a Cover Oregon spokeswoman said Goldberg was not available.
Full coverage of the troubled Cover Oregon website:
- Watch: Your Voice Your Future Town Hall: Cover Oregon
- Cover Oregon confessions: Are they playing games with your health?
- New report answers many Cover Oregon questions - often for second time
- Cover Oregon directory Goldberg resigns; Governor releases investigation findings
- Cover Oregon: Still pushing for deadline extension
- Oregon tied for last in nation for young-adult health-insurance sign-ups
- Cover Oregon: Apply now if you want health insurance this year
- Federal government announces Cover Oregon investigation
- Former Cover Oregon director says 'all of us' share blame for failures
- Top Cover Oregon official refuses to discuss Lawson resignation
- Official: Oracle not allowing Cover Oregon probe access to 6 employees
- Trouble with Cover Oregon? You may still get federal tax credits
- Cover Oregon website developer pulls 100 worker off project
- Ex-Cover Oregon website chief: 'I stuck to the talking points ... they were not accurate'
- High-level IT consultant on Cover Oregon: 'They didn't know what they were doing'
- New Cover Oregon allegations: 'If it's true, someone's going to prison.'
- Paging Dr. Kitzhaber: What did the governor know about Cover Oregon collapse?
- State rep., U.S. Senate candidate calls for the end of Cover Oregon
- Cover Oregon head: State might scrap all or part of failing website
- State lawmakers to grill Cover Oregon chief
- Family struggles to sign up for insurance through Cover Oregon
- First legal complaint filed over health enrollment mistakes
- Democratic state lawmaker believes Cover Oregon can be saved
- Contractor plans to examine why Cover Oregon failed
- 'We look like fools:' A history of Cover Oregon's failure
- State rep: Ditch Cover Oregon in favor of federal exchange
- Video: Exclusive Interview: Gov. John Kitzhaber - Cover Oregon 1/9/2014
- Gov. denies prior knowledge of Cover Oregon failure, exits exclusive KATU interview
- Kitzhaber outlines Cover Oregon's next steps: 'I can't give you a date'
- Kitzhaber: Firm will review Cover Oregon failures
- Cover Oregon applications left in limbo?
- Man with cancer waiting on Cover Oregon, gets insured
- Man with cancer still waiting on Cover Oregon
- New calls for Cover Oregon to take responsibility for project failures
- Rocky King, director of troubled Cover Oregon, resigns
- Salem man says Cover Oregon error left him in health care limbo
- Some question if they'll be covered by Cover Oregon in the new year
- What doomed Cover Oregon? 'Mismanagement,' say former employees
- After resigning, Lawson not talking about Cover Oregon website failures
- Ore. health official in charge of building Cover Oregon website resigns
- Fewer enrollments challenge Oregon exchange budget
- Executive director of Cover Oregon taking medical leave
- Cover Oregon considers new solutions
- Kitzhaber calls for independent review of Cover Oregon
- New emails show Cover Oregon unraveling in days before launch
- Emails: Cover Oregon executive knew about website problems in May
- Cover Oregon complicated by state's grand vision