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Oregon considers moving broken healthcare exchange site to federal network

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By Shelby Sebens

PORTLAND (Reuters) – Top officials for Oregon’s troubled health insurance network, dogged by technical glitches that have kept a single subscriber from enrolling online, recommended on Thursday dumping the state website in favor of a federally run healthcare exchange.

Oregon, a state that fully embraced the Affordable Care Act, has endured one of the rockiest rollouts of President Barack Obama’s signature healthcare law, requiring tens of thousands of applicants to apply on paper since launching on October 1.

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Managers of the state exchange, called Cover Oregon, have determined it would cost about $78 million to fix and continue under the beleaguered system, well above the projected cost of switching over to the federal exchange, spokesman Alex Pettit said.

Under the latest proposal, the private insurance plans now offered through Cover Oregon would be moved to the federal website, while individuals seeking coverage under an expansion of Medicaid, a state-federal healthcare plan for the needy, would apply through the Oregon Health Authority, spokeswoman Ariane Holm said.

The recommendation came during a meeting of the Cover Oregon working group put together last month in a bid to sort through the issues plaguing the state exchange.

Several Cover Oregon officials, including two past directors of the program, have resigned in recent months amid an independent investigation that found mismanagement of the system and a failure to report problems from the beginning.

Oregon is not alone. Officials in Maryland and Massachusetts also considered shifting their state-run exchanges to the federal network after experiencing technical problems.

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Maryland ultimately kept its exchange intact using special technology developed by Connecticut to manage the system, at a cost of about $45 million, Pettit said.

In addition to Oregon, the federal government already is running exchanges for 36 states that initially declined to establish their own networks, though at least two of those – New Mexico and Idaho – have said they plan to launch their own next year.

The Cover Oregon Board of Directors is expected to decide on Friday whether to approve the recommended transfer.

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Cover Oregon has already paid $134 million to Oracle Corp. for development of the non-functioning website, and the state has received roughly $300 million in federal grants for the program.

Members of Oregon’s congressional delegation have called for a further investigation of the failed state exchange.

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(Reporting by Shelby Sebens; Editing by Steve Gorman and Jan Paschal)

[Image via Agence France-Presse]

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Roger Stone’s health in question as prosecutors have him ‘dead to rights’: NBC reporter

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Jurors deciding the fate of longtime Donald Trump political advisor Roger Stone did not reach a verdict during their deliberations on Thursday and will reconvene on Friday morning.

But there were fascinating details from the courtroom revealed by NBC News correspondent Ken Dilanian.

"What about Roger Stone, does he look like he’s about to burn here?" MSNBC anchor Chris Matthews asked. "Does he look like he’s going down?"

"He does," Dilanian replied.

"And also, physically, he doesn't look well at this trial. He’s walking around the courthouse kind of unaccompanied, shambling around," he continued. "He doesn't look like a happy warrior, which is usually his persona."

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GOP lawmaker smacked down after suggesting impeachment is only for capital crimes

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On Thursday's edition of MSNBC's "All In," Rep. Tom Reed (R-NY) tried to argue that impeachment is only intended for when presidents commit capital crimes — and was immediately corrected by anchor Chris Hayes.

"I saw an earlier interview you gave to Chuck Todd where you didn’t think this was, so far, from what you’ve heard of, the level of impeachable behavior," said Hayes. "I’m curious what you view the standard as the Constitution sets out for you as being high crimes and treason and misdemeanor."

"Crimes that are subject to the penalty of death is essentially what the Constitution is to me indicating with impeachment," said Reed. "And this whole claim of bribery, the American people aren’t stupid, Chris. This is not going to sustain the review of the American people, and they’re the ultimate ones who are going to judge this because I don’t see this becoming an impeachable subject to the removal of the president."

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WATCH LIVE: Trump holds campaign rally to shore up GOP support in Louisiana

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One day after the first televised impeachment hearing, President Donald Trump traveled to Louisiana for a campaign rally.

The rally is being held at the CenturyLink Center in Bossier City, which has a 14,000 seat capacity.

On Saturday, November 16th, voters will travel to the pools to choose between Governor John Bel Edwards (D-LA) and Trump's pick, Republican businessman Eddie Rispone.

Watch:

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