Nerval's Lobster writes: The state of Oregon blames Oracle for the failures of its online health exchange. The health-insurance site still doesn’t fully work as intended, with many customers forced to download and fill out paper applications rather than sign up online; Oracle has reportedly informed the state that it will sort out the bulk of technical issues by December 16, a day after those paper applications are due. “It is the most maddening and frustrating position to be in, absolutely,” Liz Baxter, chairwoman of the board for the online exchange, told NPR. “We have spent a lot of money to get something done—to get it done well—to serve the people in our state, and it is maddening that we can’t seem to get over this last hump.” Oregon state officials insist that, despite payments of $43 million, Oracle missed multiple deadlines in the months leading up to the health exchange’s bungled launch. This isn’t the first time Oracle’s name has circulated in conjunction with the Affordable Care Act’s digital drama. In November, USA Today published a piece suggesting that “communication breakdowns” with Oracle Identity Manager had led to “bottlenecks” in the registration process for Healthcare.gov, the federal online health exchange, which in turn prevented some users from signing up for healthcare. But a single contractor doesn’t lie at the root of the federal Healthcare.gov’s spectacular debacle: despite months of preparations, large sections of the site remained unfinished on launch day, and the completed parts crashed as soon as users began entering the site. According to multiple sources, the Medicare agency tasked with overseeing the project failed to adequately test, much less integrate, the site’s complex elements ahead of launch day. Even if it didn't hold that much responsibility for the federal Website's issues, though, Oracle could find itself the target of much more blame in the Oregon case, where it was reportedly the sole contractor and overseer.
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