State lawmakers to grill Cover Oregon chief

State lawmakers to grill Cover Oregon chief

PORTLAND, Ore. -- The man currently overseeing Cover Oregon is prepared for an earful from state lawmakers on Wednesday.

Dr. Bruce Goldberg will testify before three different legislative committees; each one is expected to grill him about what led to the website’s failures and what's being done to right all of the wrongs.

"I've publicly said that we are not happy with where we are. Certainly, I’ve apologized to individuals to take responsibility for fixing this and turning it around,” said Goldberg last Thursday after a Cover Oregon board meeting.

Goldberg is the interim director of Cover Oregon. He inherited that post back on December 2, 2013 after Rocky King stepped down for medical reasons.
 
"No. No one's talked to me about stepping down. So far, everyone's supported me and as far as I know, this was really a personal decision that I’ve had to come to,” said King in December.

King permanently resigned on Jan. 1, 2014. He is on medical leave until March 5th.

Goldberg's first testimony on Wednesday is before the Joint Committee on Legislative Audits, Information Management, and Technology. Coincidentally, that's the same committee that grilled King days before he resigned.

It's also the same oversight committee Carolyn Lawson assured in December 2012 that the website would be working by October 1, 2013.

"We are very aggressively going after the risks. Even with the number of risks that we have we are still on target,” Lawson told the committee.

She's the woman who initially directed building the website until she resigned for personal reasons last month after the On Your Side Investigators uncovered the project was actually in shambles before then and she knew it.

Goldberg will also go before House Interim Committee on Healthcare. He'll have to answer questions about enrollment numbers, and what Cover Oregon is doing to get people, especially vulnerable populations, signed up despite the website hiccups.

And finally, Goldberg will go before the Senate Interim Committee on Healthcare and Human Services.

Senator Elizabeth Steiner Hayward is on that committee. She told KATU News earlier this week she believes Cover Oregon can be fixed, but she's frustrated with its failure. 

"Do I feel like there could have been a little bit more full disclosure? Yes,” said Senator Steiner Hayward.

The first of those hearings starts at 11 a.m. on Wednesday.

KATU will have a crew in Salem for the hearings. We’ll have a full recap for you starting Wednesday on KATU news at 4 p.m.