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Dispatches from public radio's correspondent at the Oregon Legislature. This is a venue for political and policy coverage of the state government in Salem and its impact on the people of Oregon.

Candidates Jump On Cover Oregon's Troubles

Cover Oregon

The finger-pointing is underway now that the state of Oregon has decided to scrap its troubled health insurance exchange website.

And most of the fingers are being pointed by Republican politicians running for office.

The two leading Oregon Republicans running for U.S. Senate have been competing for months to see who can trash talk Cover Oregon the most.

The underdog is state Representative Jason Conger. He initially voted for Cover Oregon because he didn’t want the state relying on the federal exchange. But as time has passed, he's repeatedly distanced himself from it.

With this newest development Conger issued a statement saying, "Cover Oregon has been a complete disaster.”

His chief rival for the GOP Senate nomination, Monica Wehby, is already running ads denouncing Cover Oregon. One of the ads says, "Doctor Monica Wehby has opposed Obamacare from day one, fighting for patient rights and to expose the bureaucratic incompetence at Cover Oregon."

Meanwhile the leading Republican candidate for Governor accused incumbent John Kitzhaber of "gubernatorial malpractice" for failing to step in earlier. Dennis Richardson says he repeatedly warned lawmakers that Cover Oregon was flawed.