Thousands of released emails, including those between former Oregon Governor John Kitzhaber and his fiance, who was recognized as “First Lady” of the state, Cylvia Hayes, show an alleged mixing of state work with private business.
While Hayes used state staff for both personal and state work, she influenced the governor on many issues, including his handling of the failure of the state’s $300 million Obamacare exchange, Cover Oregon. Now it seems quite puzzling that the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, which had shown interest in investigating the Cover Oregon disaster, has reportedly backed off from that investigation.
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Kitzhaber, as governor, was going to show the country how effectively his state could administer the new Obamacare system, via the creation of its state-based exchange, Cover Oregon.
In the end, the $300 million state-based exchange failed, no Oregon citizens successfully signed up for health insurance through the web site, and the governor pulled the plug on the exchange in the heat of his 2014 campaign for re-election to his fourth term.
In the process, he appointed a political adviser to oversee the shutting down of Cover Oregon. They initiated a lawsuit against the firm that created the site, Oracle, and blamed them for the failure instead of taking responsibility for their own failure to effectively administer Obamacare via their state-based exchange. Hayes was involved, as the release of emails showed, and Kitzhaber and Hayes sought to keep this secret from the public.