Federal Prosecutors Subpoena Oregon
Health Agency In Grand Jury Probe
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[May 21, 2014]
By Shelby Sebens
PORTLAND, Oregon (Reuters) - Federal prosecutors have subpoenaed
documents from Oregon's health exchange agency as part of a grand jury
investigation into how the state used federal money to set up the
now-failed health insurance exchange, state officials said on Tuesday.
The Oregon Health Authority and Cover Oregon have received
subpoenas from federal prosecutors asking for everything from power
points, outlines and notes to emails between former state employees
who left amid the controversial implosion of the state exchange.
"The agencies take this request seriously and will cooperate fully
with federal officials. We will work collaboratively with the U.S.
Attorney's Office to provide any and all information we have and
make any and all staff available to assist," OHA and Cover Oregon
said in a joint written statement.
FBI officials declined to comment and a spokeswoman for Gov. John
Kitzhaber could not immediately be reached.
A state that fully embraced the Affordable Care Act, Oregon endured
one of the rockiest rollouts of President Barack Obama's healthcare
law, requiring tens of thousands of applicants to use paper forms
since launching on October 1.
The state decided in April to move the troubled state exchange to
the federal system after realizing it would cost substantially more
to try to fix the many technical glitches of the exchange that
failed to enroll a single person online.
Several Cover Oregon officials, including two past directors of the
program, have resigned in recent months amid an independent
investigation ordered by the Governor's office that found
mismanagement and a failure to report problems from the beginning.
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The subpoenas request documents pertaining to information about
representations that had been made about the status or functionality
of the health insurance website during meetings.
Prosecutors also ask for all purchase orders, invoicing and
statements of work by Oracle Corp, developer of the non-functioning
website. The state has received roughly $300 million in federal
grants and has paid Oracle about $134 million.
A separate congressional probe of Cover Oregon is also under way.
(Editing by Dan Whitcomb and Ken Wills)
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