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Oregon Lawmakers Vote To Dissolve Health Insurance Exchange

State lawmakers are set to grill the leaders of Cover Oregon on Monday and Tuesday.
Cover Oregon
State lawmakers are set to grill the leaders of Cover Oregon on Monday and Tuesday.

Oregon's troubled health insurance exchange is one step closer to being dismantled.

The Oregon House Friday signed off on a measure to disband Cover Oregon. Lawmakers like Republican Bill Kennemer all but said, "I told you so."

"I didn't vote years ago for the exchange,” he said. “I had some concerns that it was over-reaching. Perhaps I was right, I don't know. But what we do know is that what happened didn't work."

Even Democrats who voted to create the exchange are now calling it "an unfortunate chapter" in the state's history.

The Cover Oregon website never fully functioned and state officials scrambled to sign people up for health insurance via pen and paper. Now, the state and technology contractor Oracle are pointing fingers in court over Cover Oregon's failures.

The bill to do away with it now heads to the desk of Governor Kate Brown, who's expressed support for it.

Copyright 2015 Northwest News Network

Chris Lehman graduated from Temple University with a journalism degree in 1997. He landed his first job less than a month later, producing arts stories for Red River Public Radio in Shreveport, Louisiana. Three years later he headed north to DeKalb, Illinois, where he worked as a reporter and announcer for NPR–affiliate WNIJ–FM. In 2006 he headed west to become the Salem Correspondent for the Northwest News Network.