The Obama Administration told Americans that the Affordable Care Act would provide less expensive insurance to more people and with easier access. Unfortunately, these promises all turned out to be lies. The latest example (and failure) comes from one of the most liberal states and its health care exchange, Cover Oregon.

Last Friday the board of Cover Oregon voted to abandon the state-run website and exchange entirely and convert to the federal website, HealthCare.gov. The board made this decision after learning it would cost $78 million to fix the Cover Oregon site compared to an estimated $4 million to $6 million to convert to the federal portal.

The state had already hired Oracle, a well-known Silicon Valley firm, and paid them $134 million to create the state exchange website. The federal government contributed another $250 million in grant money. Do the math. It appears $384 million is the going rate to build a failed health care website these days.

To add insult to injury, not one citizen of the Beaver State was enrolled in health insurance through the Cover Oregon website. However, 70,000 Oregonians enrolled for health insurance with paper applications and another 172,000 enrolled in the Oregon Health Plan. That’s the state’s version of Medicaid, which provides health care for low-income families and individuals.

Cover Oregon, Governor John KitzhaberThe downfall of Cover Oregon is a big political embarrassment to three-term Governor John Kitzhaber (D) – an emergency room physician – and other state officials. It certainly doesn’t help the Governor’s campaign to be re-elected this November.

An independent investigation ordered by Kitzhaber found that Oracle was guilty of shoddy work and state managers repeatedly ignored warnings of technical problems. Five officials connected to the development of the Cover Oregon website have resigned, and the Government Accountability Office in Washington has launched an investigation to determine if any of the federal grant money given to develop Cover Oregon can be reclaimed.

Cover Oregon’s epic failure is another example of how government will never do a better job than the free market to deliver goods and services — especially when politics, greed and corruption are involved.