A kick in the pants to the continuous stream of bad news and wasted tax dollars emanating from the Oregon Health Authority.
The state program has an annual budget of $10 billion per year — and not all that money is going to provide quality health care to Oregonians.
The authority is on the hook for $74 million in overpayments to Medicaid providers in three years, problems that may have been caused by technical glitches that kept the organization from verifying eligibility for federal health benefits. And that’s not all: OHA officials also hatched, though failed to carry out, a plan to discredit a Portland-area medical provider with negative stories in the press. That dastardly plan helped bring about a change in management at the agency, which we would argue came none too soon. And all of these mishaps are under the specter of the colossal Cover Oregon failure, where hundreds of millions of taxpayer dollars went down the tubes.
Understandably, Oregonians have lost much of their trust and faith in the OHA. That’s when political opponents can pounce, and Republicans are.
Oregon Secretary of State Dennis Richardson said last week that an audit of the state’s Medicaid program, expected to be complete by early December, will highlight management problems. And you can bet the leading Republican candidate for governor, Knute Buehler, will use the millions of dollars wasted or misused by OHA high up in his talking points
Many experts, both partisan and nonpartisan, blame Oregon’s one-party Democratic rule for the OHA’s poor management and refusal to correct or own up to mistakes. The culture of protecting one’s “team” to the detriment of Oregon as a whole must end.
A tip of the hat to Oregon State Police for donating old bomb-detecting robots to the Umatilla Robotics Team.
The crew of students will get hundreds of hours of education out of them — learning as they dissect, rebuild and operate the machines. And these robots were no longer useful to OSP, as they have since been replaced by newer technologies.
So instead of gathering dust in government storage somewhere, the robots will have a positive effect on the lives of area students. That’s the best outcome for outgoing technology, and we appreciate when we see government entities look for ways to help each other.