Posts Tagged ‘Oregon’
October 2nd, 2015 at 9:39 am
Is the U.S. a Particularly Violent Nation? No. Five Must-Read Graphs Rebut 2nd Amendment Restrictionists
Posted by Print

Is the U.S. a particularly violent nation, one that stands as an outlier in terms of murder rates or gun violence?  No.  Unfortunately, Second Amendment restrictionists like Barack Obama hastily trot out that tired claim whenever they attempt to politicize the latest highly-publicized crime to advance their agenda.

The actual numbers tell a far different story.

The U.S. is by far the world’s leader in terms of firearms per capita, but its murder and violent crime rates aren’t particular outliers.  Fortunately, the Crime Prevention Research Center provides a helpful set of five data graphs illustrating these facts in vivid terms that even the most hardened Second Amendment opponents can understand (even if they won’t admit it).  It provides an invaluable and instant rebuttal to their attempts to spread misinformation and cliches, so please share it far and wide.

Leftists constantly claim fealty to “science,” except on issues like Second Amendment rights and U.S. crime rates when the data completely undermines their agenda.  Fortunately, groups like the CPRC help set the record straight.

June 27th, 2014 at 6:17 pm
Cover Oregon Offers Bonuses to Staff Not to Leave

Oregon’s failed ObamaCare website is so fraught with failure the state is offering to pay employees bonuses just to keep them on the job.

After spending over $250 million – and retaining more than $50 million in federal grants – to build an ObamaCare health insurance exchange that failed to enroll a single person, Oregon decided to switch to, the federal equivalent.

Apparently, though, the crisis isn’t over. Since April, 27 staff members of Cover Oregon have left, taking with them valuable skills that can’t easily be replaced in time to transition to the federal website. To staunch the bleeding, Oregon is making a total of $650,000 in bonuses available to the remaining 163 employees, if they stay on till the end of the job.

As I explained in my column this week, state officials are primarily responsible for the costly disaster that is Cover Oregon. This news is just one more reminder that simple, avoidable mistakes by politicians and bureaucrats have huge and prolonged consequences.


June 24th, 2014 at 6:42 pm
Oregon v. Oracle ObamaCare Brawl Heating Up

There is a nasty fight brewing between Oregon’s governor and Oracle, the software company the state hired to create its doomed ObamaCare website.

Earlier this year Cover Oregon, the state board that contracted with Oracle, decided to scuttle the project after spending upwards of $300 million for a website that failed to enroll a single person.

When Oregon nixed the deal in April, Democratic Governor John Kitzhaber blamed the entire fiasco on Oracle, suggesting the state should consider suing the company to recover its losses.

But at a House Energy and Commerce hearing last week in Washington, D.C., Oracle hit back.

“The website was operational in February,” Oracle said, but “the state of Oregon pulled the plug on it for political reasons.”

The company had previously written to state officials that “Cover Oregon executives have stated to Oracle that application functionality is sufficient to support individual enrollment. However, Cover Oregon has not agreed to give individuals direct access to the application. Thus Cover Oregon, not Oracle, made the decision to keep the exchange closed to individuals even though the functionality has been delivered by Oracle.”

Kitzhaber may face a surprisingly difficult reelection campaign due to the spectacular failure of Cover Oregon. The governor embraced ObamaCare early, so any negative fallout from the law’s poor local performance could sink him.

To be fair, though, Oracle isn’t totally without blame. Saying that the website was functional in February when the enrollment period began in October – and ended in March – is hardly prompt performance. Does anyone seriously think that one of Oracle’s private sector clients wouldn’t be threatening legal action under the same circumstances?

Whatever the outcome of the ongoing investigation, Oregon’s ObamaCare debacle is sure to cost taxpayers even more money as lawyers, tech consultants and political strategists get their part of a never-ending spending spree.

May 21st, 2014 at 1:55 pm
Nevada Closes Its ObamaCare Exchange, Hawaii Next?

Fed up with a dysfunctional health exchange operated by Xerox, Nevada officials voted to terminate the contract and transfer responsibility to the federal government.

Apparently, spending $75 million to enroll about one-fourth the number of people initially projected convinced Nevada to throw in the towel.

Nevada joins Oregon, Maryland and Massachusetts as states who have scrapped their original state-based exchanges because of exceedingly poor performance.

The next domino to fall may be Hawaii, whose ObamaCare exchange – the Hawaii Health Connector – has registered just 8,500 people but needs at least 150,000 enrollees to ensure the program is self-sustaining.

Not surprisingly, Hawaiian officials are already being pressured to shut it down.

April 30th, 2014 at 5:33 pm
Oregon Scraps $248M ObamaCare Exchange

Oregon spent $248 million developing its own ObamaCare insurance exchange and never enrolled a single person online.

That kind of return on investment convinced state officials “to abandon the exchange entirely and switch to the federal website, the first state to do so,” writes Lou Cannon. “The Oregon board made its decision after being told it would cost $78 million to fix Cover Oregon compared to $4 million to $6 million to make the technical changes needed to join the federal exchange.”

Investigations are ongoing into why the state’s heavily bankrolled website was such a bust. Once thought to be a model for progressive high-tech governing, Cover Oregon is now a source of embarrassment for the state’s Democratic establishment.

Whatever the causes for the technology failure, Oregon’s switch to the federal alternative could hit enrollees hard. An estimated 70,000 Oregonians enrolled with paper applications through Cover Oregon, making many of them eligible for federal subsidies. However, the text of ObamaCare doesn’t make subsidies available if insurance is bought via the federal website. So far, the IRS isn’t making the distinction, but a three-judge panel at the D.C. Circuit seems ready to apply the law as written.

The intent of ObamaCare’s drafters was to reward state citizens with federal subsidies if they chose to shoulder the start-up costs associated with running a state-based exchange. Now that Oregon is pulling the plug on its failed website, its citizens may be losing the assistance they need to make ObamaCare affordable.

December 11th, 2013 at 2:48 pm
So Far, Oregon Spending $6.8 Million Per Obamacare Enrollee

Q: What does $300 million in federal grant money to build one of the nation’s most expensive Obamacare exchanges get you?

A: If you’re Oregon, 44 enrollees.

So far, federal taxpayers have spent about $6.8 million per Oregon enrollee. And that doesn’t include the federal subsidies any of these Oregonians might qualify for, nor does it contain the remaining premium amount each enrollee will pay to have health insurance.

Maybe the Obama administration will reverse course and start claiming that Oregon’s exchange is really a job creator since someone got paid with all that money because at this point, it’s certainly not a financially viable health insurance portal.

H/T: Philip Klein

September 30th, 2013 at 7:34 pm
Shaky Launch for ObamaCare Exchanges Looming

However tonight’s government shutdown/showdown plays out, tomorrow’s big news is likely to be how well the 51 ObamaCare insurance exchanges are performing.

Projections don’t look pretty, according to the New York Times.

A few of the low-lights include:

·    The District of Columbia will not be able to determine online whether people qualify for Medicaid or for a federal subsidy (the difference is crucial)

·    In Nevada, a Spanish-language version of the exchange’s website will not be ready until mid-November

·    In Maryland, small businesses will not be able to buy insurance for their employees until January

Rocky King, Oregon’s exchange director and winner of the Mr. Honesty award, tells the Times, “I have no idea what this thing’s going to look like on Oct. 1. We could crash and burn and have to close it down.”

We’ll know soon enough.

August 9th, 2012 at 3:09 pm
An ObamaCare Exchange By Any Other Name…

God bless residents of the Pacific Northwest for casting rightful suspicion on ObamaCare’s state-based, federally-directed, health insurance exchanges:

Focus groups in Oregon expressed emotions about buying coverage that included “skepticism” and “frustration,” and some individuals and small businesses used “black hole” and other less-kind terms to refer to insurance, brand design firm Sandstrom Partners told the Oregon Health Insurance Exchange in a presentation made available by the exchange.

The word exchange “raises some suspicions of loopholes and fine print” and “implies current coverage may needed to be traded for something else,” wrote communications company GMMB in a presentation to the Washington State Health Benefit Exchange. Part of the problem, GMMB said, was that the word was “perceived as a verb and unfamiliar as a noun” and reminded people of the New York Stock Exchange or military exchange stores.

Washington state is leaning toward calling its program Washington HealthLink, as long as it doesn’t conflict with existing trademarks, and plans to use green and blue in its logo design because the colors are considered to be reassuring, said Michael Marchand, the state’s exchange director. The exchange’s board of directors will make the final decision on the name, he said.

Focus group participants had also been asked to consider HealthChoice but it “makes some wonder if Washington State is making the choice for them,” consultants and the exchange board concluded.

The Wall Street Journal article from which these excerpts are culled goes on to detail other stories of states trying to brand government-created “marketplaces” as something other than a first big step to government-run health care, but you get the point.

No matter what you call an ObamaCare exchange, it’s still an entry point for socialized medicine.

January 25th, 2010 at 3:42 pm
Have Oregonians Learned Anything From California?
Posted by Print

Oregon, whose 11% unemployment rate exceeds the national rate by a full percentage point, sits just to the north of California, whose suicidal economic policies have provided a close-up lesson that reducing economic freedom reduces prosperity. As a result, Oregonians have seen first-hand the mass exodus of jobs and residents stemming from those policies.

So as Oregonians head to the polls tomorrow to consider two tax-raising ballot measures, we’ll see whether they’ve internalized California’s straightforward lessons.

Proposition 66 would increase Oregon’s personal income tax on “the rich” by fully 2%, and Proposition 67 would foolishly increase the corporate income tax. You know…  those corporations that actually create jobs and add to the economy.

Just as California’s reckless tax-and-spend policies have driven residents and jobs to surrounding states, Oregon may astonishingly slit its own wrists in the same manner by passing these measures.  Residents and community leaders in Washington, Idaho, Utah, Montana, Nevada and Arizona may welcome the resulting influx, but it will mean doom for Oregon. Nike, Inc. founder and chairman Phil Knight, hardly a starched-collar conservative, has labeled Propositions 66 and 67 “Oregon’s Assisted Suicide Law II,” and some economists predict 70,000 lost jobs if the measures pass.

So which way, Oregon?  Freedom and prosperity, or suicidal tax increases?  Massachusetts, Virginia and New Jersey voters have learned the lessons of Obamanomics, and now we’ll see if the news has traveled out to the West Coast…