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Ex-Head of Troubled Health Insurance Site May Sue, Citing 'Cover-Up'

Unknown Lamer posted about 6 months ago | from the doomed-from-the-beginning dept.

The Courts 162

itwbennett writes "Carolyn Lawson, the former CIO for Oregon's troubled health care insurance website, is alleging that state officials engaged in a 'substantial cover-up' meant to deflect blame away from themselves and onto herself and the project's contractor, Oracle. Lawson, who was forced to resign in December, this week filed a tort claim notice, which is a required precursor to filing a lawsuit against the state." Claims are made that the state was the typical bad client, refusing to articulate "business requirements" effectively and repeatedly increasing the scope of the project. But then again Oracle was involved.

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Government contracts (3, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46524201)

Everyone knows the first thing you do in a government contract situation is document what you did so you can cover your ass later. I can't wait to see what dirt she has on Oracle sandbagging Oregon.

Re:Government contracts (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46524487)

If she knows what is good for her, she better shut her mouth. It is getting close to mid-term elections. She is going to quickly find herself on "no-fly" lists and subject to IRS audits if she does anything that could embarrass the current administration in DC.

Re:Government contracts (1)

Ralph Wiggam (22354) | about 6 months ago | (#46525145)

She's suing the Oregon STATE government.

Re:Government contracts (-1, Troll)

Jane Q. Public (1010737) | about 6 months ago | (#46525245)

"She's suing the Oregon STATE government."

... over its handling of a FEDERAL program. There. FTFY.

Re:Government contracts (1)

Sarius64 (880298) | about 6 months ago | (#46525137)

Change you can count on!

Obamacare Circus (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46525421)

I wonder what act they will have next...Flying Monkeys?

Maybe a parade of donkeys Braying about signing up.

As an enterprise user of oracle based systems (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46524219)

I can can comment without reading the article or lawsuit claims at all... Oracle is at fault. Those folks might do great database but they haven't a clue about usability or stability of user facing components. I can't imagine anybody hiring them to build any aspect of website (other than hidden from site back end database -- and even then only if i was getting kick backs).

Re:As an enterprise user of oracle based systems (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46524803)

I can can comment without reading the article or lawsuit claims at all... Oracle is at fault. Those folks might do great database but they haven't a clue about usability or stability of user facing components. I can't imagine anybody hiring them to build any aspect of website (other than hidden from site back end database -- and even then only if i was getting kick backs).

Oh, they have lots of clues. Lots and lots of clues. Just look at the utter pile of shiite that is My Oracle Support.

It's just that every last one of the plethora of clues that Oracle does have are all like Malaysian 777s - they just fly off into the ether, never to be seen again.

Re:As an enterprise user of oracle based systems (1)

cusco (717999) | about 6 months ago | (#46525285)

I have been involved in a lot of database project over the years on a variety of platforms. Only two of them were Oracle and both of them were multi-year multi-million dollar fiascoes. One of them was ripped out and replaced with a home brew solution built by staff on SQL Server less than two years later. The only good thing that I can think of to say about Oracle is that they're not based in Seattle so I don't have to deal with their people.

Re:As an enterprise user of oracle based systems (3, Interesting)

Bartles (1198017) | about 6 months ago | (#46525571)

So you're saying Oracle's malfeasance and ineptitude was widely know prior to them being contracted to build Oregon's exchange.

Inadequate experience? (-1, Troll)

pegr (46683) | about 6 months ago | (#46524227)

In other news, Carolyn Lawson has apparently never worked a large IT development for government before.

Re:Inadequate experience? (5, Insightful)

gstoddart (321705) | about 6 months ago | (#46524261)

At a certain point, "refusing to articulate "business requirements" effectively and repeatedly increasing the scope of the project" becomes the primary reason for project failure.

This invariably gets blamed on the project people and the contractors by the client, but the reality is if the client makes it impossible to get the job done through their own stupidity, blaming everyone else for that failure is just CYA by those who really caused the project to fail.

You can't force the client to actually do what is required, no matter how you'd like to.

I'm betting the exact same things happened with the Federal one.

And I suspect most of us have been there.

Second page of TFA (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46524365)

TFA:

A scathing investigative report recently conducted by the federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services put blame on both Oracle and Cover Oregon officials for the project's woes.

Parent:

You can't force the client to actually do what is required, no matter how you'd like to.

You can, however, make it REAL clear and document that the client was informed about the ramifications of their indecisiveness and scope creep. IF Oracle was doing their job correctly, they would have plenty of documentation to back up that they were in no way at fault or better still, the client was helped in creating clear specs.

They don't.

What I think happened were that the guys in the expensive suits and Rolex watches (Oracle's salespeople) were doing what they do best - getting more revenue by encouraging the client to act against their best interests.

A poorly managed project means more money for the vendor.

And I just have to ask, WTF was the CIO doing? Why wasn't she holding Oracle's feet to the fire and sending letters written by lawyers?

Re:Second page of TFA (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46524845)

TFA:

A scathing investigative report recently conducted by the federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services put blame on both Oracle and Cover Oregon officials for the project's woes.

Parent:

You can't force the client to actually do what is required, no matter how you'd like to.

You can, however, make it REAL clear and document that the client was informed about the ramifications of their indecisiveness and scope creep. IF Oracle was doing their job correctly, they would have plenty of documentation to back up that they were in no way at fault or better still, the client was helped in creating clear specs.

They don't.

What I think happened were that the guys in the expensive suits and Rolex watches (Oracle's salespeople) were doing what they do best - getting more revenue by encouraging the client to act against their best interests.

A poorly managed project means more money for the vendor.

And I just have to ask, WTF was the CIO doing? Why wasn't she holding Oracle's feet to the fire and sending letters written by lawyers?

Of course Oracle doesn't do that - they won't get the next contract.

Because one of the biggest jobs a contractor has is to take the blame when something fails.

Re:Inadequate experience? (1)

Lonewolf666 (259450) | about 6 months ago | (#46524451)

You can't force the client to actually do what is required, no matter how you'd like to.

In theory, as a contractor you could say "I'm not taking this job unless there is a decent set of requirements". But that will leave you with a very small set of potential employers.

In practice, most people need the money and try to manage somehow.

And then there are the unscrupulous contractors (usually companies, not individuals) who make big promises, knowing that those are not realistic. Or knowing that the requirements are incomplete and fulfilling them will not be sufficient to make a succesful project.
I strongly suspect that this is what happened with Toll Collect (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Toll_Collect [wikipedia.org] ) in Germany. Just for instance.

Re:Inadequate experience? (2)

Tharkkun (2605613) | about 6 months ago | (#46525343)

You can't force the client to actually do what is required, no matter how you'd like to.

In theory, as a contractor you could say "I'm not taking this job unless there is a decent set of requirements". But that will leave you with a very small set of potential employers.

In practice, most people need the money and try to manage somehow.

And then there are the unscrupulous contractors (usually companies, not individuals) who make big promises, knowing that those are not realistic. Or knowing that the requirements are incomplete and fulfilling them will not be sufficient to make a succesful project. I strongly suspect that this is what happened with Toll Collect (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Toll_Collect [wikipedia.org] ) in Germany. Just for instance.

I have yet to meet a 3rd party contractor or consulting firm who bids on a project *not* attempt to extort additional money when it suddenly doesn't meet the scope of the project. That's business as usual for everyone.

Re:Inadequate experience? (1)

bluefoxlucid (723572) | about 6 months ago | (#46524545)

I thought I was the only competent project management person here. Do you have a PMI membership?

Re:Inadequate experience? (1)

gstoddart (321705) | about 6 months ago | (#46525037)

I thought I was the only competent project management person here.

LOL, I work on the tech side of house ... which means I've seen quite a few projects end up going this way.

Often, the client is the biggest impediment to successful completion -- either because they have no clue what they want, or all of the players are still trying to carve out and preserve their own little fiefdoms and protect their own little patch they've had for years.

Usually, the goal of the project conflicts with the people who want to retain absolute control over one aspect or another, or clients who can't even tell you what the specifications are and should be -- and when they do, you inevitably find out they're all bloody well wrong in the first place.

With government contracts (not exclusively, but often), I find it even worse as every little petty manager insists his little widget is the single most important thing in the world, or the political infighting between departments.

It really becomes impossible to do anything when the client tells you 5 contradictory statements in the same meeting, and changes those in every other meeting.

Re:Inadequate experience? (2)

swb (14022) | about 6 months ago | (#46524707)

You can't force the client to actually do what is required, no matter how you'd like to.

Call me naive, but I would have thought by now that some of this known behavior by clients would have been worked into contract language that more or less "forces" clients to make decisions, accept the outcomes of scope increases, etc? The contactor can essentially stop work on the project if necessary, mandate that some scope increases will result in increased up-front fees and automatic schedule adjustments, etc.

For better or for worse, these problems exist at small-scale projects and large-scale projects. I do small SMB projects and we run into the same issues, except our owners are too greedy/timid to deal effectively with them.

But I would figure an outfit run by sharks like Oracle would have figured this out long ago and had the leverage and basic schmaltz to make client indecision, scope creep, etc difficult to get away with and very expensive.

Re:Inadequate experience? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46524799)

At a certain point, "refusing to articulate "business requirements" effectively and repeatedly increasing the scope of the project" becomes the primary reason for project failure.

This invariably gets blamed on the project people and the contractors by the client, but the reality is if the client makes it impossible to get the job done through their own stupidity, blaming everyone else for that failure is just CYA by those who really caused the project to fail.

You can't force the client to actually do what is required, no matter how you'd like to.

I'm betting the exact same things happened with the Federal one.

And I suspect most of us have been there.

Nonsense. A primary obligation of the business analyst is to manage client expectations and gather and analyse the client's needed versus wanted requirements. Having experience as a business analyst and a systems analyst let me say unequivocally CYA is a tactic of the inept and those engaged in fraud. The consulting firms should have been sued by the state and federal governments to get back all money paid thus far for these failed projects.

Re:Inadequate experience? (1)

saleenS281 (859657) | about 6 months ago | (#46524823)

Right, except for the part where when the state brought in outside consultants to try to determine WHY things were so off-tilt, the consulting firms (yes, more than one) told them they didn't have the staff in house to properly scope the project. When Lawson was made aware of this, she simply gave more money to Oracle to provide contractors who could scope it for them. NOW she's claiming it's the state's fault for not scoping... MY HEAD HURTS.

Read a great article on it a couple months ago and am struggling to find it :/

Re:Inadequate experience? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46525099)

If you ask your consultants to write requirements and scope for you, your project has already failed. You are just covering your eyes and ears. I've been on projects like that.

not inadequate experience (2, Informative)

globaljustin (574257) | about 6 months ago | (#46524301)

Carolyn Lawson has apparently never worked a large IT development for government before.

This is a total trolling comment.

First, Oracle **is** a large IT development company and they screwed the site up....they have a (well earned) reputation for screwing up projects

IT experience? You mean has she ever hooked up a router?

She knew enough to ask questions that got her fired...and she was told to help in the cover up!

2nd, Lawson was & still is one of the few who speak out about the **actual** problems of the exchange

Re:not inadequate experience (1)

Tharkkun (2605613) | about 6 months ago | (#46525363)

Carolyn Lawson has apparently never worked a large IT development for government before.

This is a total trolling comment.

First, Oracle **is** a large IT development company and they screwed the site up....they have a (well earned) reputation for screwing up projects

IT experience? You mean has she ever hooked up a router?

She knew enough to ask questions that got her fired...and she was told to help in the cover up!

2nd, Lawson was & still is one of the few who speak out about the **actual** problems of the exchange

Companies who purchase software from Oracle also are notorious for spending the least amount of money on hardware to run the software they purchase. Companies cut so many corners and then wonder why the software doesn't work.

Re:not inadequate experience (1)

Bartles (1198017) | about 6 months ago | (#46525589)

First, Oracle **is** a large IT development company and they screwed the site up....they have a (well earned) reputation for screwing up projects

Then how in the hell did they get hired? I have to think that corruption is involved.

Re:Inadequate experience? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46524757)

In other news, Carolyn Lawson has apparently never worked a large IT development for government before.

I cannot speak for other consultants hired for government projects but I always delivered the solution on-time and on-budget, many times under budget. I witnessed the "too big to fail consulting firms" wasting time and money over and over yet they kept winning these contracts. The fact the State of Oregon hired Oracle to implement a healthcare insurance website speaks volumes about the incompetence of management within the state government. Oracle should have been hired for the database portion while a web development company specialising in software-as-a-service projects should have been awarded the user-facing portion. In all seriousness the entire project should have cost less than one million dollars; with libre and open source software the costs could have been reduced further.

Name names... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46524229)

and hope she has everything in writing.

Let's go Bayesian (1)

serviscope_minor (664417) | about 6 months ago | (#46524231)

I think a Bayesian analisys is in order here.

Basically the prior probability of Oracle delivering crap and screwing up a contract while collecting a vast fee approaches one, let's say P(oracale == shit) = 0.99999.

Given that prior, we really need overwhelming evidence in favour of Oracle before I'll believe it wasn't their fault. Actually I think 0.99999 is rather generous. That means they've probably delivered at least one system which didn't utterly fuck over a customer. That seems like a really dubious claim to me.

So, I'm gonna go with "bet you 50 bucks it was Oracle's fault".

Re:Let's go Bayesian (1)

afidel (530433) | about 6 months ago | (#46524671)

Meh, we've got a lot of Oracle software in house (JD Edwards, Hyperion, OBIEE, Oracle DB) and it all works fairly well. We've had two duds from Oracle as well, Oracle VM was complete crap (we were only running it because of their ridiculous licensing for OBIEE) and the application we received based on BPEL was a completely unmaintainable turd, but that could have been the third party group that designed and built the application (though we found plenty of faults with base BPEL functionality so we lay the blame more on the stack than the third party). Frankly it's about the same ratio as MS has had for us for business apps and significantly better than Symantec or what I've previously experienced from CA. To be honest the only enterprise software group that's never let me down is Quest, they always bought good companies and did a good job of maintaining updates and support but now that they're part of Dell I doubt that will continue.

Re:Let's go Bayesian (2)

jedidiah (1196) | about 6 months ago | (#46524967)

Most of that stuff are things that Oracle bought. They weren't produced by the Oracle hive mind, they were produced somewhere else. They aren't Oracle products really.

The core RDBMS is solid but things quickly degenerate once you get much beyond that.

Re:Let's go Bayesian (1)

Charliemopps (1157495) | about 6 months ago | (#46525031)

Oracle is by far and away the worst company I've ever had the displeasure of working with. Yesterday their support told me they didn't know what a "POP Email account" was and they didn't think that was supported in their product. When I forwarded them a link to a search of their support site on "POP Email account" showing dozens of articles they said they'd to escalate my ticket to the "next tier" for further investigation.

Yes, Oracle, who we pay MILLIONS of dollars a year to for our support contract has even worse support than DELL.

Re:Let's go Bayesian (1)

Tharkkun (2605613) | about 6 months ago | (#46525387)

Oracle is by far and away the worst company I've ever had the displeasure of working with. Yesterday their support told me they didn't know what a "POP Email account" was and they didn't think that was supported in their product. When I forwarded them a link to a search of their support site on "POP Email account" showing dozens of articles they said they'd to escalate my ticket to the "next tier" for further investigation.

Yes, Oracle, who we pay MILLIONS of dollars a year to for our support contract has even worse support than DELL.

Exactly why are you still using POP3 in a business infrastructure? There's a reason why no one knows what it is...

Re:Let's go Bayesian (1)

Bacon Bits (926911) | about 6 months ago | (#46525525)

Exactly why are you still using POP3 in a business infrastructure?

Because it's a simple, established technology that is well understood, and provides a trivial mechanism for an application to access an email box. How exactly do you think automated email to applications works?

Additionally, Oracle's legacy Sun software includes an email server (Oracle Communications Messaging Server [oracle.com] ).

Re:Let's go Bayesian (1)

Bartles (1198017) | about 6 months ago | (#46525619)

Then why do you work with them? And more to the point, why did Oregon hire such a shitty company to work on a mission critical product? Who's fault is this, really?

Re:Let's go Bayesian (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46525345)

But what are the odds that Oracle came in contact with not one, but several bureaucrats who's expertise is in inflating scope and budgets by micromanaging contractors? Might be another order of magnitude on that one.

Re:Let's go Bayesian (1)

Bartles (1198017) | about 6 months ago | (#46525609)

That's ridiculous. If it's widely known that Oracle has a %99.999 chance of screwing a project up, it's the fault of the people that hired them and expected to get a functional product. I'd bet that it's Oregon's fault for picking Oracle considering I have not seen one person on this discussion praise Oracle.

Enough said! (1)

technical_maven (2756487) | about 6 months ago | (#46524251)

Oracle was involved. Need we go any further?!

Re:Enough said! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46524449)

Oracle was involved. Need we go any further?!

Need to? Probably not. However I do like this little +5 from the linked Slashdot article: rage! [slashdot.org]

If Carolyn Lawson's lawsuits are designed to point out that being the middleman between bureaucrats and Oracle was only slightly better than a death sentence, I could support that claim. If she honestly believes Oracle's claims, then she was a worthless CIO in the first place and never should've been trusted with that authority.

ObamaCare is a Horrific Debacle (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46524263)

It's now apparent that Obama and the Democrats were lying when they said people could keep their insurance, lying when they said people could keep their doctors, lying when they said families would save $2,500 a year on their insurance, and lying when they said it would extend health care coverage to most of the uninsured (who are largely not signing up). Millions of people have lost their insurance [twitchy.com] or had huge hikes in their premiums.

The only people the law has been good for are insurance companies, Medicaid bureaucrats who get to expand their budgets, feminists who get to force taxpayers and Catholics to pay for their abortions and people paid to make those insulting "get covered" ads.

As far as I can tell, ObamaCare has not a single defender outside the ranks of Obama's defenders and the Democratic Party.

It's a horrific law that should be repealed in full.

Re:ObamaCare is a Horrific Debacle (0, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46524383)

I would give you more credit, if you had the balls to post under your name.

Love,

Another AC with no balls.

Re:ObamaCare is a Horrific Debacle (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46524393)

insurance rates were going to go up anyways, have a pre-existing condition before OC, you were going to loose your insurance anyways. Quit spreading right-wing fud. With the exchanges I'm free from the shackles of my crappy employee insurance and can not contract on my own and buy insurance on the exchange at about the same rate I paid before.

You want to talk about horrific laws, how about the medicare part - d, or the invasion of Iraq, or the patriot act.

Re:ObamaCare is a Horrific Debacle (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46524453)

I have a hard time taking anyone serious that doesn't know the difference between "loose" and "lose".

Re:ObamaCare is a Horrific Debacle (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46524493)

Story [freebeacon.com] of a man with cancer that is refused treatment because of a pre-existing condition, on an Obamacare exchange policy.

Right wing fud is not fud, its actual facts and people are being harmed by it.

Re:ObamaCare is a Horrific Debacle (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46524819)

This article is so full of equivocation I don't know where to start.

"The insurance plan they enrolled in will not begin for another two weeks, leaving them essentially hanging by a thread."

So he doesn't have the new health insurance until April.

"January- was diagnosed with stage 3 cancer of the esophagus had insurance, but due to a previous heart condition, the insurance did not cover the treatments he needed for his cancer."

So his old crap insurance didn't cover squat.

"The Angrans have until the start of April to pay $7000- their copay under their new Obamacare health insurance plan."

So his NEW insurance under Obamacare has him covered! What's the problem here?!

"It will cost them more than $800 a month." That's not bad compared to what my employer pays for my wife and I as a healthy young couple.

Re:ObamaCare is a Horrific Debacle (2)

jedidiah (1196) | about 6 months ago | (#46525029)

I'm really having trouble figuring out what a heart condition has to do with a guys throat or cancer in general. If this is for real, then this is the kind of crap and nonsense that is driving people to socialized medicine. If true, the insurance companies are running amok and state regulators are not doing their job.

"Big Government" steps in when the market and state governments fail.

Big Government gets a lot of criticism while Big Business gets a free pass and is allowed to act without any oversight or regard to it's customers, it's employees, or society at large.

This situation is a clear example of "Big Business screws the little guy".

Hopefully it crashes soon (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46524433)

and we can start building the single-payer system we should've had 50 years ago.

Re:ObamaCare is a Horrific Debacle (4, Insightful)

serviscope_minor (664417) | about 6 months ago | (#46524467)

feminists who get to force taxpayers and Catholics to pay for their abortions

There is no rational reason to not pay for abortions. Firstly, it appears that having available abortions does nothing to increase the rate: women who REALLY don't want to have a kid will find a way not to. The results are however dangerous and and much more frequently result in injury.

Therefore from a life preservation perspective, not having abailable abortions does not in fact save babies lives (in fact it serves only to endanger lives). From an economic perspective having them unvailable causes injuries to people who do have them which removes potential workers, increases poverty and that generally leads to more crime.

Hence there is no rational reason to not oay for them, especially as we make people pay for many other things for the greater good (e.g. police, fire department, roads, military, etc).

So please stop whining about imaginary enemies.

Re:ObamaCare is a Horrific Debacle (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46524661)

Firstly, it appears that having available abortions does nothing to increase the rate

Source?

Re:ObamaCare is a Horrific Debacle (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46524717)

Firstly, it appears that having available abortions does nothing to increase the rate: women who REALLY don't want to have a kid will find a way not to. The results are however dangerous and and much more frequently result in injury.

Why should I care if a bunch of whores injure themselves?

Re:ObamaCare is a Horrific Debacle (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46524811)

there is no rational reason

I think I found your problem...

Re:ObamaCare is a Horrific Debacle (2)

AioKits (1235070) | about 6 months ago | (#46524949)

What I find humorous about the current topic and the posts being flung onto the wall like so much feces is that posts like yours good sir, whether I agree or not, add to the discussion and yet are being modded flamebait for no real apparent reason. After this modding, posts such as yours usually have a small flood of ACs follow your commentary with short, witless posts which quite frankly add nothing to the discourse. I'm all for being an AC from time to time, as it serves a purpose. However, at the moment, it feels like it is being abused by one or a few select individuals whose goals seem to be to misrepresent the dialog being built under this topic and burying that which they do not agree with.

Now, mind you my post is off-topic and I will expect it will be modded as such, as the flood of AC seems to be cresting quite the large wave as of late. This AC behavior has been growing as of late, and seems most apparent on politically charged topics. I only hope this pattern is temporary and just wished to say, bravo for having the balls to attach your name to your beliefs.

Re:ObamaCare is a Horrific Debacle (4, Insightful)

Dan667 (564390) | about 6 months ago | (#46524471)

The US has healthcare costs nearly double the next first world country and it was that way before Obamacare. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/F... [wikipedia.org] Private healthcare is the villain you are looking for.

Re:ObamaCare is a Horrific Debacle (1)

blueg3 (192743) | about 6 months ago | (#46524643)

In a strange world where 15 is nearly double 11, yes.

Re:ObamaCare is a Horrific Debacle (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46524647)

Here's a theory, and I'd like you to answer thoughts on this since you think private healthcare is the problem. It's a theory no politician will ever answer.

My theory: US healthcare is so expensive because of lawyers. We sue, sue and sue. This suing needs to be paid for somehow. Often, this is done with malpractice hugely expensive insurance (a friends wife of mine is a dentist and she pays over $3,000,000 a year in malpractice insurance though she's not even been sued once!). Now, this isn't to say that people shouldn't be able to sue if a doctor is truly incompetent, but there needs to be limits and reasonable cause. I believe if we limited the suits and also the lawyers who are trying to keep busy, the cost of medical coverage in the US would fall. But I also believe this will never happen since most politicians are lawyers.

Since you're convinced that we need to go socialized, what is your answer to my theory?

Re:ObamaCare is a Horrific Debacle (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46524785)

Exactly

Your health insurance is expensive because the doctor has to charge a ton to cover the expense of -his- insurance. Its a feedback loop that, instead of making horrifying squealing noises, funnels money into insurance companies.

For decades the insurance industry has been milking this cow at both ends... theyve milked it to death & now are demanding we put it on life support so they can milk it some more.

Re:ObamaCare is a Horrific Debacle (3, Informative)

mspohr (589790) | about 6 months ago | (#46524873)

Your theory of lawyers being the cause of expensive health care has been studied extensively and it is wrong. Malpractice insurance/ lawsuits/ defensive medicine/ etc. only contributes 1 or 2 % to the high cost of health care. If you'd like to read about this, here are some good places to start:
http://theincidentaleconomist.... [theinciden...nomist.com]
http://theincidentaleconomist.... [theinciden...nomist.com]

Re:ObamaCare is a Horrific Debacle (2)

nedlohs (1335013) | about 6 months ago | (#46525303)

Do you have an non-anecdotal evidence for your theory?

http://content.healthaffairs.o... [healthaffairs.org] seems to contradict your claim with actual data - though it's data is getting old, so maybe you have something newer rather than just making up theories in your head with no actual evidence for them?

Re:ObamaCare is a Horrific Debacle (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46525577)

I'm sorry, but that paper that you posted, did you actually read it? It's written by 3 laywers and one medical person who works at a law school. And let me pull some of my favorites which make me question the paper.

"There is no comprehensive, national repository of information on medical malpractice claims" - in other words, they have to make inferences and aren't basing their work off of hard numbers.

"We took the approach of itemizing indemnity and administrative costs rather than reporting total premium costs for two reasons" - So, they're not actually counting the cost of the insurance, but their viewed numbers on what the actual legal cost is, not the total cost. Total cost is the portion that jacks rates up. They say it themselves, their analysis is arguable at best for it's accuracy.

This one is a bit long
"It is impossible to determine how much of the increase in volume constitutes defensive medicine—services performed primarily to reduce liability risk—as opposed to services performed primarily to enhance revenue. Price may also be affected by a reduced supply of medical services. If rising malpractice premiums lead some clinicians to leave practice or reduce the range of services they offer, the remaining providers may be able to charge higher prices.

Such effects are, however, largely theoretical at this point. We did not include effects on prices in our estimates because we were unable to quantify them reliably" - they say afterward because it might be double counting is why they aren't. They don't know.

I'm sorry, but you've posted an article to debunk a theory which says lawyers might be to blame, that was written primarily by lawyers that says they aren't the problem. Surprise! It's a paper that really does feel like it's trying to minimize costs. If you want to debunk something, take worst case, not best case. If the worst case comes out not being very bad, then you've got a point. If your best case comes out not very bad, well, you've discovered nothing.

It's a soft piece at best being that there's a lot of "theoretical numbers" in the paper by their own admission. I don't argue the need for those, because quite simply, again by their own admission, the numbers DON'T EXIST.

Re:ObamaCare is a Horrific Debacle (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46525349)

Your theory falls on it its face because Texas has had tort reform for years that places severe limits on malpractice lawsuits and the healthcare cost difference between Texas and states that don't have those limits is a pittance.

Re:ObamaCare is a Horrific Debacle (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46524759)

Maybe this [wikipedia.org] is the cause?
 
Americans demand to shove crap food down their throat like there is no tomorrow and at the same time demand the best healthcare they can buy. It's like taking a Bentley mud-bogging and paying to have the scratches and dings removed then crying about maintenance costs.
 
And your math sucks too.

No (1)

geek (5680) | about 6 months ago | (#46525615)

States playing favorites with healthcare providers and giving them the same type of monopolies in their states that they do telcos is the problem. There is zero reason why every insurance provider can't compete in every single market, yet states consistently block providers for participating. There is no free market presently.

Re:ObamaCare is a Horrific Debacle (0)

_xeno_ (155264) | about 6 months ago | (#46524491)

Well, yeah, you could have just looked at Massachusetts and known this would happen.

Fun fact: the amount of emergency room treatment went up in Massachusetts when Romneycare passed. Fewer people were seeing their doctors than prior. I personally know people who moved to other states because the health insurance requirement meant that they lost their job.

The hugely ironic thing is that, thanks to Obamacare, there are something like 100,000 people in Massachusetts who are going to lose their Romneycare because of the new Obamacare healthcare connector requirements. And because the new Massachusetts website was made by the same people who made Healthcare.gov, it still doesn't work and the people on Romneycare (like my brother) are flat-out screwed. By the end of the month, they still won't have insurance, and the deadline to sign up will pass.

Ah, hope and change.

Re:ObamaCare is a Horrific Debacle (1)

mspohr (589790) | about 6 months ago | (#46524907)

"Fun fact: the amount of emergency room treatment went up in Massachusetts when Romneycare passed. Fewer people were seeing their doctors than prior."
Nice "fun fact" but it is wrong.
This has been carefully studied by many authors and ER visits went down, admissions through the ER went down, more people visited their primary care doctors, etc.
Here is a good summary of a real study (not just Fox news "fun facts") with links to the actual studies:
http://blog.academyhealth.org/... [academyhealth.org]

Re:ObamaCare is a Horrific Debacle (1)

Tharkkun (2605613) | about 6 months ago | (#46525411)

"Fun fact: the amount of emergency room treatment went up in Massachusetts when Romneycare passed. Fewer people were seeing their doctors than prior." Nice "fun fact" but it is wrong. This has been carefully studied by many authors and ER visits went down, admissions through the ER went down, more people visited their primary care doctors, etc. Here is a good summary of a real study (not just Fox news "fun facts") with links to the actual studies: http://blog.academyhealth.org/... [academyhealth.org]

Except these operating room visits are now covered by insurance. Instead of being uninsured and costing the state the full amount.

Healthcare.gov works fine. (4, Insightful)

sjbe (173966) | about 6 months ago | (#46524991)

the amount of emergency room treatment went up in Massachusetts when Romneycare passed.

Most studies [dailykos.com] indicate that after an initial spike, the number of ER visits fell over a period of several years.

I personally know people who moved to other states because the health insurance requirement meant that they lost their job.

So we shouldn't have health insurance for everyone because a few people lost jobs and found different ones elsewhere?

And because the new Massachusetts website was made by the same people who made Healthcare.gov, it still doesn't work

Heathcare.gov works fine. The majority of the people in my company used it to sign up (including myself) and it worked fine. For the few people who did have an issue (weird social security issues) they were able to call the hotline numbers and get enrolled. You do not have to simply rely on the website if it, for whatever reason, is not working for you. There are alternative ways to sign up.

By the end of the month, they still won't have insurance, and the deadline to sign up will pass.

They've had months to sign up. If they haven't by the deadline it is because they didn't put any effort into doing so. I've done it and it isn't hard.

Re:ObamaCare is a Horrific Debacle (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46524535)

I agree with you, and am willing to bet that amongst this site, you get modded down as either troll or flame bate.

Re: ObamaCare is a Horrific Debacle (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46524557)

Welcome to the USSA (United Socialist States of Amerika) headed by Barrack Hussein Obama

Re:ObamaCare is a Horrific Debacle (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46524563)

It's now apparent that Obama and the Democrats were lying when they said people could keep their insurance, lying when they said people could keep their doctors, lying when they said families would save $2,500 a year on their insurance, and lying when they said it would extend health care coverage to most of the uninsured (who are largely not signing up). Millions of people have lost their insurance [twitchy.com] or had huge hikes in their premiums.

The only people the law has been good for are insurance companies, Medicaid bureaucrats who get to expand their budgets, feminists who get to force taxpayers and Catholics to pay for their abortions and people paid to make those insulting "get covered" ads.

As far as I can tell, ObamaCare has not a single defender outside the ranks of Obama's defenders and the Democratic Party.

It's a horrific law that should be repealed in full.

Yes, it should be repealed in full.

Speaking of horrific, what did the trend look like before Obamacare came along for insurance premiums? Oh yeah, that's right...gee, can't wait to get back to that shit.

Re:ObamaCare is a Horrific Debacle (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46524611)

It's horrific on purpose. The idea is to mangle the healthcare system so badly that the government will need to step in and nationalize it in order to keep it from full collapse otherwise. Too big to fail will spell the end of competition in the fields of health insurance and health care. Some will applaud this move but in the long run I can't help but think the American people will be worse off and medical progress will grind to a crawl because of it.
 
It will be another episode of the government breaking your legs then giving you crutches to insure that you can't live without their hand outs (that are paid for by you but administered in the most inefficient of methods... Aren't they just a bunch of swell guys and gals?)
 
In the meantime the economic "bubble" that will break as private industry fails will also have the fantastic side effect of bankrupting more of the middle class just like it happened between 2006 and 2010 by destroying the value of what little they could invest. And again the man on the street who saved for decades to have a few years of his life off before he dies will be forced into filling jobs that use to be made for teens back in the heady days of American prosperity until he physical can't produce another ounce of value for anyone.
 
The Democrats will blame the Republicans. The Republicans will blame the Democrats. 90% of the voters will fall in lock step with their parties like sheep to the slaughter as the government moves on to the next industry they feel that they should control. Probably energy production. But don't worry, people will invest more time and thought into who'll be winning Super Blow LXXV than will they will invest in their future and the future of their children. The cycle will continue...
 
And so it goes.

Re:ObamaCare is a Horrific Debacle (0)

Fulminata (999320) | about 6 months ago | (#46524779)

Whatever the validity, or lack thereof, of the rest of the post, I have to love the beauty of this self-fulfilling Catch 22 statement:

"As far as I can tell, ObamaCare has not a single defender outside the ranks of Obama's defenders and the Democratic Party."

Let me guess, how can you tell if someone is an "Obama defender?": they defend "ObamaCare!"

Re:ObamaCare is a Horrific Debacle (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46524809)

Except the people who lost their insurance were sold those policies after the ACA was passed and the insurance companies knew they would be canceled when they wrote them.

From 1999 to 2008; before the ACA took effect, my insurance premiums increased approximately 8 fold, my coverage went down. And I have the pay-stubs to show it.

Step one.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46524265)

Step 1:) Pass legislation
Step 2:) ???
Step 3:) Landslide reelection

Oracle vs the state (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46524289)

Is there a way that both sides can lose a lawsuit?

That's not a "bad client" ... that's just a client (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46524295)

Obviously, some projects are impossible and some clients just can't be helped. I'm certainly not rushing to judge Ms. Lawson, because I've had my fair share of those.

But ... usually, the blame can be laid at the feet of the project leader (I'd guess, in this case, the CIO). Managing expectations, dealing with a changing business landscape, keeping everyone focused on your vision and strategy ... those are all responsibilities of the project leader.

How often do we have to hear stories like this? Doesn't anyone learn? Virtually all clients are "bad clients" if you define them by the inability to articulate business requirements and a penchant for expanding the scope. This is normal, not exceptional. If you can't deal with that, then you shouldn't be running development projects. Things will change, the world doesn't stand still. Get used to it.

In short, stop complaining and do your fucking job.

Explain Oregon Politics to Me (1)

glennrrr (592457) | about 6 months ago | (#46524405)

I've read that the Governor is heavily failed to be re-elected. Why is this true given the clearly bad job his administration did here?

Re:Explain Oregon Politics to Me (1)

glennrrr (592457) | about 6 months ago | (#46524409)

typo meant "heavily favored"

Re:Explain Oregon Politics to Me (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46524511)

Well because we have turned politics into another team vs team sport. It doesn't matter how or why, as long as "your" team wins, and theirs loses.

Re:Explain Oregon Politics to Me (2)

jeauxkewl (1465425) | about 6 months ago | (#46524627)

It's certainly not limited to Oregon, it's a politics thing at all levels of federal, state and local government. Correlation != causation. Many political shysters continue to be (re-)elected regardless of their poor performance or qualifications.

Re:Explain Oregon Politics to Me (3)

BenSchuarmer (922752) | about 6 months ago | (#46524641)

This is just one issue. People aren't happy about this, but most people are satisfied with what he's done in general.

Also, the blame has stayed further down the org chart.

Also, the republican party in (statewide) Oregon is a mess (I think it's been several years since a republican was elected for a statewide office). Oregonians tend to be liberal or libertarian on social issues, and the republican party here has trouble figuring out it's identity.

Re:Explain Oregon Politics to Me (1)

timeOday (582209) | about 6 months ago | (#46525081)

A website is a single relatively minor issue.

A Relatively Minor Issue (1)

glennrrr (592457) | about 6 months ago | (#46525193)

My impression is that this minor issue cost two hundred million dollars, and prevented anybody from signing up for insurance (as in 0 enrollments) for 5+ months. It also did it in the most public possible way, with a credible case for the Governor not telling the truth about what he knew and when. But I'm not from Oregon and this might only be a false impression. Perhaps someone who's followed this closely can fill in the details.

Re:A Relatively Minor Issue (1)

Obfuscant (592200) | about 6 months ago | (#46525461)

It also did it in the most public possible way,

We suffered through several months prior to the 1 Oct turn-on date of really banal advertising for Cover Oregon with really happy warm-fuzzy music and feel-good slogans about "long live Oregonians", in ads that didn't really ever say what Cover Oregon was. They were just spending development money pre-loading good feelings and kind thoughts into the public consciousness.

The Cover Oregon management created an expectation that they knew couldn't be met -- it was announced ahead of time that the "buy insurance" button wasn't going to work. But you could download forms to apply for another set of forms to fill out that you could mail back ... And when I looked on the site for a local "community partner", I was shown an insurance agent in Kenniwick Washington.

Of course, this is in a state where one of the insurance companies is now running an ad campaign with the slogan "Think Well ... Be Well" (Trillium). Yes, as long as you think good thoughts to keep the icky sickness away our insurance will be perfect for you. I sometimes think that the spotted owl is not the true reason some Oregonians protest timber sales, I think they've found the secret hiding place of the last of the unicorns and want to protect their secret pixie dust mines. And we have this [oregoncountryfair.org] .

Re:Explain Oregon Politics to Me (2)

Obfuscant (592200) | about 6 months ago | (#46525231)

A website is a single relatively minor issue.

A website where people who either have no health insurance to start with, or have lost their coverage because the government has regulated the plans they can afford and/or like out of existence, go to meet the government deadline for getting insurance so they can cover their families and themselves and avoid paying a tax on top of hefty co-pays, which has no way of signing up for said insurance, is a pretty major issue for many people.

It was a major enough issue that the laws creating the system had to be passed before anyone could actually read what the proposed laws said, and important enough that the President has been modifying the laws unilaterally to prevent any changes from being slowed by a deliberative legislative process.

It was an important enough issue that the federal government for the first time demanded that people buy insurance that they actually can't buy using the Cover Oregon website that was created to be a place to buy insurance.

The only people who don't think this is a major issue are those who want a huge part of the GDP and US economy under the direct control of the federal government, and want to use the health care system as a bludgeon for social engineering purposes.

Re:Explain Oregon Politics to Me (1)

dlt074 (548126) | about 6 months ago | (#46525383)

be careful with those valid concerns. you may get labeled a racist, or worse yet, a "climate change" denier!

Re:Explain Oregon Politics to Me (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46525611)

the government has regulated the plans they can afford and/or like out of existence

But those plans were substandard. You didn't want them anyway, and it was morally, and now legally, wrong for them to be sold. As the President said, "if you like your plan, you can keep your plan." In this case, you should not have liked your plan. The fail is on your part. It is not on the part of government.

Re:Explain Oregon Politics to Me (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46525539)

As a citizen of Oregon and through my work as an IT consultant to many county governments in the state, I've had ample opportunity to deal with and observe the State government. Typical of large organizations, there several are distinct classes:.

  • A political class that is nominally in charge: elected officials and political appointees in this case. They see themselves as policy people who deal with the larger questions, who never have to involve themselves in the details of day-to-day management. Their world is one of grand ideas and political flackery. They come and go with alarming rapidity, occasionally making improvements, more often sewing disorder, but rarely leaving any mark on actual operations. I feel safe in my conjecture that neither the Governor nor anyone on his staff has had any real involvement in Cover Oregon beyond appointing its leaders.
  • A career management class that actually "runs" daily operations. At the Sate of Oregon, this class exhibits a culture of sustained incompetence that has to be seen to be believed. Its members practice a sort of "management theater", in which they are the stars--and they act that way. They strut, they preen, they display all the stylish wardrobe and electronic accoutrements that define their status.They view themselves as absolutely the greatest of managers, when in truth they they are little more than purveyors of fashionable management trends. The class is utterly inwardly-directed, unable to see anything beyond their own needs. The consequence is that their organizational units are purged of all life and initiative. (One of this group once told that they were going to place a lien on my home because, for "business reasons", that was easier for them than processing my amended tax return that eliminated the debt.)
  • A long-suffering worker class. Here, anyone with real ability and initiative is either crushed into submission or quickly driven away, leaving a workforce mostly of certified drones, with a sprinkling of dispirited capable workers who are stuck there by financial circumstances. The worst feature is that this is the pool from which managers are selected--thus perfectly sustaining the incompetence of that class.

The failure of Cover Oregon comes as absolutely no surprise to me; the real shocker would have been a site that worked.

wow (1)

roc97007 (608802) | about 6 months ago | (#46524443)

This just gets more and more entertaining.

/sigh (1)

Guppy06 (410832) | about 6 months ago | (#46524619)

Claims are made that the state was the typical bad client

And yet it's only after you sign the contract that you think to get a lawyer involved.

Oracle probably has better lawyers than Oregon (1)

peter303 (12292) | about 6 months ago | (#46524705)

They'll twist their disaster into a tort victory.

Gotta love /. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46524765)

Whining about the state, and out much government sucks.

Then bashing a successful business like oracle.

So government sucks, big business sucks!

Woot Maria DB.

Except Maria and MySQL are both lousy databases and very much embarrassments to the F/OSS community, and developers who actually deploy either of those 2 platforms should hand their heads in shame. Just because there's a lot of it out there, doesn't mean it should actually be used-- ever. There's a lot of Access database out there as well. Spend some time and actually do some research--as an architect/lead that's what you're expected to do.

Re:Gotta love /. (1)

jedidiah (1196) | about 6 months ago | (#46525089)

> Then bashing a successful business like oracle.

Yes. How DARE we criticize "job creators" and our corporate overlords!

Don't confuse the success of their RDBMS product with any ability to deliver on promises in ANY other area. Even those of us that are fans of their RDBMS will readily admit that they fall down pretty much completely anywhere else.

Your adoring attitude of Oracle is EXACTLY why they get these contracts that they don't really deserve. It's a cult of marketing that leads to their product being used even when it is gross overkill.

For projects that don't warrant a 60K per CPU database, MySQL is a very respectable product.

Use PostgreSQL (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46525409)

No MySQL is never a respectable product for any deployment.

You don't want to pay 60K per CPU PostgreSQL, and I don't blame you.

MySQL is nothing but a pile of garbage deployed by people who are too lazy to actually bother do any research.

The only tragedy in all this (1)

MikeRT (947531) | about 6 months ago | (#46524983)

Is that if she has a paper trail showing specific government employees kept screwing the pooch that she likely cannot hit them personally such that they lose their shirts in the lawsuit. It shouldn't be primarily the tax payers who foot the bill, it should be the senior government executives who kept messing up. And if their federal counterparts' compensation is any indication, those responsible here have more than enough salary to be expected to foot the bill here for their malfeasance.

Believable.. (1)

malkavian (9512) | about 6 months ago | (#46525229)

I can pretty much believe it..
In the Govenmental areas, there are so many people that are used to being able to say "Yes, but wouldn't it be a great idea if...".. And when they're told no, it's not possible in the current scope, they bring in all kinds of political manoeuvers to make life extremely difficult unless it gets added (and these manoeuvers can extend time drastically). So, more gets added that they should have identified initially. Or it can be a 'clarification'. "Oh, we meant this.. In this context.. Sort of. Until we change our minds."
They aren't used to thinking critically. They aren't used to doing specifications (and they actively resist attempts to perform a full specification gather, as "they don't have time for all those useless questions". They have "things to do,don't you know").
That's when it starts out as a big project.. Some smaller ones can actually start with a well defined set of requirements, and be entirely achievable. They other people hear that there's funding attached to a project, so they want a slice of the pie.. Get themselves on the steering groups, have the "bright ideas that weren't there originally that just _have_ to be put in there now", and move things in an entirely different direction. Or at least pull in it, as there are usually a whole bunch of people pulling in different directions, getting opposing things added to the requirements.

Sometimes you get lucky and find that there's someone with clout who is also technically savvy, and they can stamp on internal rubbish and let a project go properly.. Unfortunately, they're reasonably rare, and the voices that understand the reality of it are drowned out by the higher management that haven't touched tech, don't understand it, don't want to understand it, and believe if they have a bright idea, someone will wave a magic wand and the solution will magically appear.

Re:Believable.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46525455)

In areas, ...

FTFY.

I wish this was merely a government problem. It isn't.

If you'll excuse me, I'm off to deal with a client whose idea of a plan is, "Stuff works," with nary a description of what "stuff" constitutes.

I shit you not.

$130 million question (3, Interesting)

linuxguy (98493) | about 6 months ago | (#46525313)

I live in Oregon. I have been trying to buy health insurance for myself and my family of 4. Because of my income, I am ineligible for any subsidies. My case is a very simple one. I am paying full price for a health insurance plan. However I cannot register on the damn website or buy insurance. The only way for me to register an account on the website is by mailing in a paper application. I have done that. They called me to confirm that they have received the application and are processing it. They have hired 500 people to process paper applications. These people have yet to enter my paper application into the computer.

How did Oracle receive $130 million for developing this website when I cannot even register a damn account on this website, much less select and buy insurance?

Re:$130 million question (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46525471)

> I live in Oregon

That's what you get for voting for Republicans to rule over you. You people destroyed your own state. The Republicans there do not want the exchange to work so they do not allow it to work. There is no longer any hope for that state. I moved from there four years ago, and while the place where I live now is fucked-up completely by CONservatives that are ruining our lives, it is still better than the Portland shithole. Seriously, over 40% of the people in that state voted for Palin for VP in 2008. That was when I started making plans to flee. WTF is wrong with you morons there? Can you even begin to articulate why you are so fucking stupid and support Palin?

> How did Oracle...

It sounds like you are a Republican trying to irrationally defend them and cast blame in other directions. Oracle didn't do this to you. The Republicans did. Stop trying to defend your fellow racists and admit you are part of the problem.

I wonder what went wrong (2)

slashmydots (2189826) | about 6 months ago | (#46525433)

So Oracle + government + morons in charge causing scope creep + IT contractors. That's a recipe for a category 5 shitstorm.

Not the first time for her to be in hot waters (2)

linuxguy (98493) | about 6 months ago | (#46525467)

Several whistle-blowers came forward and said that this lady, Carolyn Lawson, was "abusing and misusing state resources". Oregon's OHA director Bruce Goldberg thought that these were personality conflicts.

Also, she was accused of and investigated for mismanaging contracts when she worked for the state of California. In one instance she tried to award a no-bid contract to her previous boss.

I don't think she has a leg to stand on.

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