Sen. Gaines is suing Covered California

Sen. Gaines is suing Covered California

 

Gaines, from campaign siteObamacare’s most vocal critic in the California Legislature has announced that he will be filing a lawsuit Wednesday against Covered California.

Sen. Ted Gaines, R-El Dorado Hills, has recently sparred with Covered California’s director, Peter Lee, over accountability pertaining to the exchange’s advertising budget. Details of the lawsuit will not be released until Wednesday.

A press release said the lawsuit will “protect consumers from additional harm resulting from the Obamacare disaster and ensure ratepayers and taxpayers are not gouged by Covered California’s reckless spending.”

CalWatchdog.com was the first to report that Gaines demanded an accounting of Covered California’s expenditures for an eight-hour web stream featuring a gyrating Richard Simmons in a lurid dance-off. The Jan. 16 event was part of an ongoing, celebrity-laden marketing campaign titled, “Tell a Friend, Get Covered.”

Covered California did not respond to Gaines’ letter, but told CalWatchdog.com that the campaign cost $1.37 million and would span five months, ending March 31. After Gaines discovered the cost, he formally requested a state audit of Covered California’s marketing budget, saying he was concerned about a $78 million shortfall to the agency in 2016 when federal grants run out.

Gaines, who has a family-owned insurance agency, is a candidate for California’s insurance commissioner on the 2014 ballot.

Media scrutiny

For its part, Covered California says it’s a new agency that is trying to be prudent and becoming self-sufficient doesn’t happen overnight. California law prohibits the exchange from taking money from the state’s general fund.

“We always anticipated a high level of media scrutiny, and we just hope that all the good work we’re doing doesn’t get lost in the noise,” said Covered California spokeswoman Anne Gonzales. “Amidst all the debate, we are staying focused on the fact that, despite all our challenges, hundreds of thousands of people are trying to sign up for coverage, which reaffirms our mission and boosts our potential financial sustainability for the future.”

Covered California has nearly 2 million people enrolled or going through the application process, according to the latest figures available. However, more than a million people have lost their insurance policies in California, Gaines said.

The agency faced a glitch in its computer software last month, causing the site to freeze when consumers were attempting to enroll. The site was taken off line for several days and affected 21,000 people. Covered California called it a software malfunction. The Associated Press wrote that the site had a “potential security flaw.”

4 comments

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  1. Hondo
    Hondo 5 March, 2014, 13:27

    Obamacare was partly a huge slush fund to be diverted to their friends in the media. It was also a huge increase in the IRS which has become the military wing of the Democratic party.
    But don’t expect the Republicans to profit from this train wreck. They are in a circular firing squad with these primary challanges. And the Dems have 20 billionaires on there side to flood the senate races. The republicans only have the Kochs and are woefully out gunned, money wise.
    Hondo…..

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  2. RT
    RT 7 March, 2014, 07:48

    Here are but a few of the problems with California’s Version of Obamacare “Covered California”:
    1. Many of the largest Health Insurance Companies in California are leery of California’s ever changing Health Insurance regulations and the interpretation/misinterpretation of those regulations by enforcement bureaus at the state level.

    2. Just as has happened with “Medi-Cal,” Covered California will soon begin to lose health care providers such as doctors and hospitals due to low payment rates.

    3. Now California residents that are income eligible for CalFresh (Food Stamps) are also automatically eligible for Medi-Cal. Those eligible for Medi-Cal cannot receive the federal subsidies under Covered California and thus are forced into the horrible Medi-Cal system.

    4. In most counties, Covered California customers are being encouraged to contact their local Department of Health and Human Services (The Welfare Dept.) for help. Not only are County Department of Health and Human Services known for their poor customer service, many have gone to “call center” formats which means a customer may get conflicting answers depending on what staff they contact.

    5. As, Covered California customers begin to see the monthly cost and the extremely high deductibles, there will be sticker shock.

    6. Once the federal subsidies tied to Obamacare end the entire Covered California system will crash causing yet another budget crisis for California.

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  3. Lea
    Lea 9 March, 2014, 18:50

    RT is right on ! Nobody seems to acre that Covered California is a mess. Soon it will crash. I did not want to be on Medi Cal and now I have to be. I lost the insurance I had because it was canceled due to Obamacare and now I am on Medi Cal. What a mess.

    Reply this comment
  4. toddlh
    toddlh 8 February, 2017, 16:18

    someone please help us my friend is in horrid pain and needs a doctor.cov.cal.has put her on edge of calapse.6 weeks of trying to get her enrolled their computers website and agent s refuse to take her information and have now locked her out for the year again.she went last year without coverage and I guess they win this year.she’s yelping in pain as 63 yr old with 40 years of typing.some one call 530-344-7861

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