As reported by our friends at OPB, heavily criticized Cover Oregon director Rocky King has… brace yourself… taken a medical leave. Consisting of three months, no less. The man has battled illness for quite some time, so this shouldn’t be a surprised, but really? Really? REALLY?
In the interim, Bruce Goldberg, director of the Oregon Health Authority, will be stepping in to take temporary control over the exchange in hopes that this doesn’t create yet another monumental hiccup in Cover Oregon’s lurching launch. Now, let’s all collectively hold our breath – and not because this is just one more upset in a long list of them, but because this move is being met with the very public declaration of a search for a new director. One hot minute hadn’t even passed before it was made obvious that King was unlikely to ever return.
In Cover Oregon’s defense, they have managed to enroll nearly 3,500 people by hand – out of the 40,000 or so who have turned-in applications — despite all of the setbacks. These so-called setbacks have included everything from technical difficulties to to securities breaches, a la sending confidential information to the wrong people, to a new kerfuffle over requiring Internet Explorer to be used in order to apply online (which is less of a conspiracy dustup than some are making it out to be). Also in their defense, those billboards are insanely cute. I can feel my liver damage just melting away as I’m driving along and catch a glimpse of all those little people carrying umbrellas and bicycles and whatnot coming out of giant pill bottles.
Buy hey, Oregonians are known for their patience. Well, that’s a lie. But we should exercise it while we have the chance. With so many failures, it can sometimes be hard to remember the merits of fighting for healthcare for all. And besides, you better buckle up. This ride seems far from over.
By Johnny Beaver