1. The Oracle Oregon fiasco:
We all know by now that the dominant story line of the Obamacare website’s failed launch is that the federal government is terrible at doing high-tech projects — let alone one that involves the e-commerce wizardry that has made Silicon Valley the envy of the world.
But it turns out that one state exchange to sell Obamacare insurance plans has had an even more disastrous launch than the 36-state HealthCare.gov. It’s CoverOregon.com — the website for the Oregon exchange.
In fact, as this Associated Press story notes, last week state officials cancelled an advertising campaign to get people to sign up at CoverOregon.com because the website still isn’t up and running.
But Oregon didn’t rely on a bunch of bureaucrats to supervise its launch. Far from it. The state farmed the entire project out to … drumroll … Oracle, one of the crown jewels of hi-tech America. The company’s chief executive officer, Larry Ellison, perpetually appears near the top of the Forbes 400 list (he’s number three this year) and was eagerly available to the press when he financed his successful America’s Cup entry last fall, at the same time that the website was supposedly being finished.
Nick Budnick of the Oregonian has been all over this story, but the Oregon/Oracle fiasco has escaped the national attention it deserves. And Budnick has been unable to get Oracle to provide any comment.