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Tags: John Kitzhaber

The Worst Exchange in the Country . . . a Reelection Non-Factor?



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The governor of the state with the most dysfunctional health insurance exchange in the country remains a strong favorite for reelection.

In Oregon, the state exchange still couldn’t enroll anyone online at the end of December. The state is relying entirely on paper applications and had to hire an additional 400 workers to process them. Some patients scheduled to go on dialysis next month are still waiting for answers from the exchange about what plans are available. The advertising campaign, directing people to the dysfunctional web site, was pulled down after spending $21 million. The exchange’s board extended a deadline by a week, announcing the decision one hour before the deadline. The $178,992-per-year chief information officer, who helped design the $160 million site, resigned for “personal reasons” earlier this month . . . citing the death of her mother-in-law. This CIO lived in Sacramento, California. Rocky King, the state exchange’s director, resigned for “health reasons.” (Hopefully he won’t have to rely on the exchange to get insurance in whatever new job he starts.)

The term “fiasco” and “disaster” are thrown around without dispute. Clearly, this would be a serious problem for the reelection prospects of Governor John Kitzhaber, seeking his fourth (non-consecutive) term, right?

Nope.

Elizabeth Hovde, columnist for The Oregonian, wrote Sunday that Kitzhaber

is strongly favored to win re-election for good reason: Credible candidates from his own party won’t get in the way, and the last time Kitzhaber ran, he beat former Trail Blazer Chris Dudley — a good Republican option in a state that sees blue. . . . I’m guessing Kitzhaber will be at the helm through 2018, if for no other reason than there will be a “D” next to his name.

Republicans do have two declared candidates, state representative Dennis Richardson and Jon L. Justesen.

If the worst-run, most expensive, most wasteful, over-promised, under-delivered program in the entire nation isn’t enough to get voters to reconsider whether you deserve another term . . . what possibly could?

Tags: Oregon , John Kitzhaber

Running for Reelection, With Massive Failure in the Foreground



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Out in Oregon, the state health-insurance exchange, Cover Oregon, continues to set the standard for epic failure for the rest of the country. The website hasn’t worked, does not work today, and isn’t expected to work until after New Year’s Day. State administrators continue to encourage people to use paper; an entire 219 people have signed up for private insurance through the exchange. The state director resigned to go on medical leave. For the quarter ending Sept. 30, Cover Oregon’s information-technology costs were $25 million over budget. The project has cost $140 million so far.

Cover Oregon must rank among the biggest failures of any state-government program in U.S. history.

Naturally, Governor John Kitzhaber, a Democrat, announced he’s running for reelection yesterday, crediting himself with “restoring civility and rebuilding the political center.”

Two Republicans have announced bids for governor: Jon Justesen and state representative Dennis Richardson.

Tags: John Kitzhaber , Oregon

We Can’t Cling to the Past. Now Give Me My Old Job Back.



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“We have a ten percent unemployment rate. It doesn’t have to be that way, but we can’t move beyond that by continuing to cling to the past,” declares Oregon Democratic gubernatorial candidate John Kitzhaber, who served as governor from 1995 to 2003.

Tags: John Kitzhaber

Dudley Hits Nothing But a Net Lead of 1 Percentage Point



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A Republican leads the gubernatorial race in Oregon? Oregon?

The latest Rasmussen Reports telephone survey of Likely Voters in Oregon finds Republican Chris Dudley with 45% support to former Democratic Governor John Kitzhaber’s 44%. Four percent (4%) like some other candidate in the race, and six percent (6%) are undecided.

I’m tempted to call this race a slam dunk for Chris Dudley, but there’s always the chance that Kitzhaber might try to send him to the foul line.

Tags: Chris Dudley , John Kitzhaber

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