Oregon’s Democrat Governor John Kitzhaber has more in common with Barack Obama than just his political party; he, too, has no idea what’s going on in his own administration. Of course, President Obama tends to find out about administration screw up’s via the news–remember the collective conservative jaw drop when he announced that he’d found out the IRS was targeting Tea Parties from a news report? Even Jon Stewart, who provides political news for liberal America, razzed Obama over his little intel-gathering technique.
Gov. Kitzhaber had no idea that the Cover Oregon online healthcare exchange had “problems”, specifically with Carolyn Lawson, the Chief Information Officer in charge of technical issues with the website. The exchange has not signed up one person since its launch on October 1; all 114,000 of the new Obamacare enrollments have been done on paper or over the phone. Kitzhaber was speaking at a planned time to go over the Cover Oregon topic, but when the going got tough, he got going…after just four minutes. The governor’s office claims that they were simply trying to keep him on schedule. Nice to know he takes this fiasco seriously.
Gov. Kitzhaber claims that Cover Oregon is exceeding expectations by citing the 114,000 enrollees. “We figured that this would be a two-year process,” he said. “What we didn’t anticipate was actually this many (people enrolling).” After that ridiculous claim, things went downhill fast when he was asked about an email that was sent to his office by Rep. Patrick Sheehan, member of the legislative oversight committee for Cover Oregon, warning of problems with Lawson. The email was sent 10 months before the governor says he found out about it – even though his legislative director responded to it and promised to give it to Kitzhaber. Lawson resigned for “personal reasons” in November.
“It had (the email) come to my office, but I didn’t see it,” said Kitzhaber during the interview. That’s when his aide suddenly decided the governor only had time to answer one more question. How dare they ask the leader of the state to explain such an incredible failure? What about the millions of dollars invested in the program? What about the residents who had their coverage messed up and still have no help or answers? Rep. Sheehan doesn’t believe that Kitzhaber didn’t get the email. Looks like Kitzhaber is playing the same game as the president: deny, deny, deny. Why not? It works like a charm for Obama.
Check out the interview with Gov. Kitzhaber on KATU. Do you think he’s being honest?