Head of Failed $160M Oregon ObamaCare Exchange Resigns After Signing Up Zero People

Posted by on Dec 20, 2013 at 7:58 am

Another ObamaCare success story. Over $160 million flushed down the toilet with not a single person signed up on their failed website. But she left for personal reasons or something. Maybe Obama should keep her in mind as a replacement when Kathleen Sebelius is finally given the boot.

Carolyn Lawson, the embattled state technology executive who oversaw much of the development of Oregon’s troubled health insurance exchange, has resigned for personal reasons.

It was Lawson, chief information officer at the Oregon Health Authority, who decided the state could manage the complex exchange project itself, rather than hire a private-sector systems integrator, a decision since criticized by her superiors. Lawson also was close to Oracle Corp., the California technology giant that has been blamed for doing shoddy work and repeatedly missing deadlines.

Nearly three months after the federal deadline for a functional health exchange website, Oregon’s exchange has emerged as a technological train wreck and a PR nightmare. The state has paid more than $160 million and a fully functional site remains weeks — perhaps months — away.

State officials have been forced to spend even more money gearing up a massive system of temporary employees and contractors to manually process paper applications for health insurance.

Lawson started work for Oregon on July 1, 2011. The state paid her $178,992 a year.

So at that rate of success she’s probably raked in nearly half a million dollars. Wonderful. Much like the Obama administration they talked trash about how awesome they were before the game even started.

Oregon leaders bragged for two years that it would have one of the nation’s most advanced insurance marketplaces, but they were embarrassed when the online enrollment site wasn’t ready to launch on schedule in October. It still doesn’t work nearly three months later.

But hey, let’s give her a participation trophy and a nice parting gift for her wildly successful tenure.

“We want to thank Carolyn for her service to our agencies and the state,” OHA Acting Director Tina Edlund and DHS Director Erinn Kelley-Siel wrote in their memo.

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3 Responses to “Head of Failed $160M Oregon ObamaCare Exchange Resigns After Signing Up Zero People”

  1. Nick Shaw on 20/20/13 at 9:56 am

    Parting gifts?
    Don’t forget that sweet pension she’ll be picking up for all of her fine work!

  2. Neo on 20/20/13 at 10:01 am

    The scariest 9 words around …
    “We’re from the government and we’re here to help”