He spoke at City Club of Central Oregon on Tuesday.
He told those in attendance, Oregon's website "Cover Oregon" tried to do much.
"But get the core and make it function and that was completely lost. Oracle says they have their A team on it, so until it's up we've got to operate with paper. But everyone knows Oregon has been ahead of the curve in healthcare, so everyone expected us to have a great exchange. It's very unfortunate we've had the problem, but we have to address it."
Merkley supported allowing people on the individual market to keep their canceled policies as promised. He also thinks for every day enrollment is delayed on the front end -- those days should be added on the back end for people to sign up for health insurance.
The senator also addressed the gridlock in Washington -- specifically the abuse of the filibuster.
Recent Senate Democrats changed the Senate rules to allow judicial nominations to be approved by a simple majority -- following frustration many of the President's nominees weren't getting through.
"And on nominations I had hoped we could reinstate an up and down vote. It was promised in 2005, then in January and then again in July. Three times promised and three times broken. And the rule change we did last week, restores the vision of the forefathers -- that advise and consent is not to be an instrument to block and destroy the other two branches of government. (applause)."