Workers at Cover Oregon will receive bonuses if they stay on the job during the state’s transition from its own failed Obamacare website to one run by the federal government.
Cover Oregon interim CEO Clyde Hamstreet said in a letter that since April, 27 employees have left the state’s disastrous attempt at building their own health-care exchange, which has been the subject of severe criticism and media scrutiny. According to Oregon Live, the state spent about $250 million on the effort, but never produced a fully functional website.
Because of the failure, the state will now adopt the federal exchange. To prevent more employees from leaving, the CEO decided to reward its workers. Thirty-eight of the remaining 163 employees will get bonuses of one to three months pay, and most will receive at least a bonus of two weeks as long as they remain with the operation through the next nine months.
“Many of the employees who voluntarily left Cover Oregon had key skills that are not easily replaced both in IT and in health-care laws and regulations,” Hamstreet said. “We cannot afford to keep losing valuable employees if we are to complete the workload for the remainder of 2014 and the IT transition project.”
Critics have been quick to point out that taxpayer dollars will be used to reward these employees for simply sticking around. In total, the bonuses won’t cost more than $650,000, Hamstreet says. But the General Accountability Office is already investigating the issue at the request of several Oregon representatives, according to the Daily Caller.