by Nick Budnick
OregonLive, October 10, 2014, updated October 11, 2014
A consultant's long-awaited report on the state's health insurance exchange was considered so sensitive that Cover Oregon officials asked him not to turn it in, The Oregonian has learned.
The story becomes yet another example of the secrecy that has often cloaked the troubled exchange due to high legal and political stakes.
Gov. John Kitzhaber recruited high-profile business consultant Clyde Hamstreet to take the reins of Cover Oregon last April, at the height of the health care exchange's chaotic technological failure.
Hamstreet's firm left the project in September after getting paid more than $600,000. But documents and interviews show that officials asked him not to deliver the written report he was contractually bound to produce, apparently thinking it would then remain a secret.
The firm's final report could provide valuable insight because Hamstreet, the corporate turnaround expert who heads the firm, served as interim director of the exchange during a crucial time, when the decision was made to shelve the project and move to the federal exchange instead.