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Legislative panel named to dismantle Cover Oregon

Draft legislation will transfer remaining functions to other state agencies.

Legislative leaders have named members of the committee that will oversee the dismantling of Cover Oregon.

The public corporation was set up in 2011 to oversee the electronic marketplace for Oregon private health insurance plans under the federal Affordable Care Act, and to set coverage standards for those plans.

Cover Oregon attempted to develop a website that would allow individuals and small businesses to compare plans, and determine their eligibility for tax credits to help them pay for coverage. But the website failed, and it took extra staff to enable them to enroll in plans.

This year, enrollment is being handled through the federal health insurance exchange.

Gov. John Kitzhaber has called for the transfer of Cover Oregon’s remaining functions into existing state agencies.

The leaders of the new joint committee are Sen. Laurie Monnes Anderson, D-Gresham, and Rep. Mitch Greenlick, D-Portland, who have led the health committees in their chambers.

Senate members are Alan Bates, D-Medford; Brian Boquist, R-Dallas; Fred Girod, R-Lyons, and Elizabeth Steiner Hayward, D-Portland.

House members are John Davis, R-Wilsonville; Alissa Keny-Guyer, D-Portland; Bill Kennemer, R-Oregon City, and Nancy Nathanson, D-Eugene.

Their aim is to draft legislation for introduction in the 2015 session, which starts Jan. 12.


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