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Obamacare in Oregon: Inoperable website, zero subscribers

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Cover Oregon

And to think, I had such high hopes for the state behind this marketing campaign...

Oregon, a state that fully embraced the Affordable Care Act, is enduring one of the rockiest rollouts of President Back Obama's signature health care law, with an inoperative online exchange that has yet to enroll a single subscriber, requiring thousands to apply on paper instead. ...

Oregon's online exchange has remained inaccessible to the public, requiring the state to sign up applicants the old-fashioned way, using paper forms. This has made comparison shopping more difficult for consumers and severely slowed the enrollment process.

"Oregonians have questions," said state Senate President Peter Courtney, a Democrat, in a written statement on Tuesday. "What went wrong with the rollout? How are they going to fix it? When are they going to get it right? Is the website contractor doing everything it can? Our people need to know."

Courtney urged state lawmakers to "ask the hard questions" of officials overseeing the state's healthcare exchange, and the Oregon Health Authority, at a pair of legislative hearings on the program scheduled for Wednesday.

With its online insurance marketplace out of commission and unavailable to the public indefinitely, the state has resorted to urging would-be subscribers to fill out applications that are between nine and 19 pages long by hand, said Michael Cox, a spokesman for Cover Oregon.

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