Covered CA blames cronyism on Obamacare scramble

Covered CA blames cronyism on Obamacare scramble

Covered California front page, Sept. 24, 2013In an embarrassing new black eye for Covered California, the state’s implementation of Obamacare, the health exchange, has admitted it violated accepted practice by awarding $184 million in so-called “no-bid” contracts, according to a new report by the Associated Press.

State governments routinely consider competing bids for work. It’s a process designed to prevent corruption and the appearance of impropriety.

In the past, government contracting that skirts the process has been a target of prominent Democrats. During Republican President George W. Bush’s 2004 run for re-election, Democratic rivals Sen. John Kerry and Sen. John Edwards campaigned against the energy company Halliburton’s no-bid government contracts in Iraq. Republican Vice President Dick Cheney had been the head of Halliburton.

Now officials with close ties to the Obama administration have come under scrutiny for the practice.

During the Halliburton controversy, the Bush administration’s defenders appealed to one of the few established excuses for no-bid contracts, arguing that no other company was capable of doing the necessary work in the time available. Similarly, Covered California has responded to the current revelations by invoking a state of emergency.

In a statement, executive director Peter Lee explained Covered California “needed experienced individuals who could go toe-to-toe with health plans and bring to our consumers the best possible insurance value.”

Cozy ties

Among those individuals, it turned out, were members of The Tori Group, a contractor whose founder, Leesa Tori, had worked closely with Lee in the early 2000s. Amid the scramble to get Covered California up and running, the exchange’s board approved a grant increasing The Tori Group’s contract to $4.2 million.

“Contractors like The Tori Group,” Lee continued in his statement, “possess unique and deep health care experience to help make that happen and get the job done on a tight deadline.”

Covered California’s relationship with The Tori Group, however, was not a one-time affair. Leesa Tori became Covered California’s director of plan management — one of nine Tori Group personnel with current positions at Covered California.

Lee’s close relations with Tori mirrored those he has maintained with the White House. In the Obama administration, he was a deputy director at the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, after working on national policy with HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius.

A case of emergency

Although Covered California has not necessarily broken any laws in its no-bid contracting, the impropriety of Lee’s intimate professional ties with The Tori Group underscored the risk the exchange was willing to run to succeed in their race to establish viability. Without moving quickly enough to implement the health-care system made possible under Obamacare, officials worried Covered California would befall the same fate as such failed state exchanges as neighboring Oregon’s.

In addition to the political humiliation visited on officials whose state exchanges failed, policymakers feared an excess of failures and a shortfall in enrollments would cause the state exchange system itself to collapse. That, in turn, would place a burden on the federal government which could make Obamacare implementation prohibitively costly and complex.

Through Lee’s efforts, however, Covered California survived. Those efforts, as the no-bid revelations have confirmed, blurred the line between appropriate and inappropriate action.

‘Death spiral’

To stave off a so-called “death spiral” of under-enrollment, for instance, Lee oversaw the inclusion of hundreds of thousands of Covered California applicants with missing or suspect identification. Those numbers helped give Obamacare the critical mass of enrollees it needed for political and policy purposes.

Alone, Covered California was responsible for over one-eighth of individual enrollments in Obamacare, even though California has only one-twelfth of America’s population.

In sum, the story that has emerged about Covered California’s success has captured the weakness of Obamacare implementation. While supporters of the health care law insisted it faced only a few bureaucratic bumps in the road, the reality was different.

Without a successful state exchange in California, the future of the Affordable Care Act would be in doubt. The stakes were high for Peter Lee, and he delivered — netting him a five-figure bonus this year.

32 comments

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  1. LetitCollapse
    LetitCollapse 13 October, 2014, 19:13

    Obola will blame any no-bid impropriety on Bush.

    ObolaCare comes falling down, falling down, falling down….when the money printing stops ObolaCare comes falling down….my fair Janet.

    Reply this comment
  2. LetitCollapse
    LetitCollapse 13 October, 2014, 19:17

    And Obola will blame any no-bid impropriety on Bush.

    ObolaCare comes falling down, falling down, falling down….when the money printing stops ObolaCare comes falling down….my fair Janet.

    Reply this comment
  3. Ulysses Uhaul
    Ulysses Uhaul 13 October, 2014, 19:54

    Teddy,

    He lost it….must be the dank mold in his prepper den!

    Reply this comment
  4. T Mind of Ted Your God
    T Mind of Ted Your God 14 October, 2014, 09:06

    It’s just this easy Mr. U !

    Reply this comment
  5. T Mind of Ted Your God
    T Mind of Ted Your God 14 October, 2014, 09:08

    Collapso? Are you 12? You HAVE to call the Nation’s first African American president “Obola”? You can’t call this Nobel Prize winning world leader “President Obama”? Do you refer to him using the name of a deadly disease which is a crisis in predominantly “black” Western Africa because you respect black people or because you find it funny or ironical? How could the deaths of thousands of humans ever be funny? Have you ever noticed that the professional writers on this blog NEVER make fun of the Presidents name in such a junior high school manner? They don’t like his policies and yet they have a civil veneer across their posts which reflects their educational levels and perhaps their cultural ethos of respect. When an adolescent writes often we don’t see these things. So I ask you— Are you 12? Or do you have deep seated feelings about race which you could explore? Defend yourself LITTLE BOY before your parents get home.

    Reply this comment
    • LetitCollapse
      LetitCollapse 14 October, 2014, 12:59

      Who said ebola was funny, Tedtard? I am only making a statement that ebola and Obola have things in common. Both are dangerous and reckless and damage people indiscriminately. You’re the one who constantly brings up race which is totally irrelevant and didn’t even enter my mind until you said it. If ebola originated in Iceland I would still call Obama ‘Obola’. We are allowed to do that in America. It’s called free expression. If you don’t like it – move. Obama is like a disease to America. Anybody with his eyes wide open can see that. Now move along, chump. Oh, and be aware that Obola is half-white. His mom was a white woman. So calling him our “first African American president” is not entirely correct. He is our first “white-black president”. It’s true. Please take note and adjust your future comments accordingly, since you are so fixated on race. 🙂

      Reply this comment
      • T Mind of Ted Your God
        T Mind of Ted Your God 14 October, 2014, 13:56

        Collapso-

        Of course “you” think it’s “funny or ironical” to use the play on words as you do— thats why you do it. You know what irony is, ah, right?

        Ted “tard”?
        Is that another of your junior high critiques this time using the developmentally disabled as your “clever” metaphors?

        Wow–are you 12?

        Making fun of the Presidents name by using a disease currently originating out of western black Africa and then in the same post to me pointing out that the President had parents of mixed races?

        Your fixation on race is clear and it’s connection to your dislike of the first African American President is obvious.

        But you still have not answered the question little boy— why do you think that the professional conservative writers of this blog NEVER make fun of his name in such a juvenile manner? Do you think they maybe had an upbringing that instilled respect for others that you so sadly lack?

        Or do you think it’s their cannons of professional conduct and personal self respect (both of which you certainly lack) that keeps them coloring between the lines?

        Little boy? Any ideas?

        Reply this comment
        • LetitCollapse
          LetitCollapse 14 October, 2014, 16:08

          “Of course “you” think it’s “funny or ironical” to use the play on words as you do— thats why you do it”

          Don’t tell me what I think, chump. I think ebola is a dangerous and reckless disease. And I think Obola is a reckless and dangerous president. And that’s as far as it goes. So don’t put words in my mouth, chump. Got it?

          “Ted “tard”?

          Colapso? Little Boy?

          “Making fun of the Presidents name by using a disease currently originating out of western black Africa and then in the same post to me pointing out that the President had parents of mixed races?

          Once again, you are making false assumptions and should be ashamed of yourself.

          “Your fixation on race is clear and it’s connection to your dislike of the first African American President is obvious”

          And it has to be obvious to the common observer that you are making off the wall false acusations and disparaging me. You are the one constantly bringing up the race factor. Not me. I simply respond to your disparaging attacks that have no substance or basis.

          I’m not a professional blog writer, Tedtard. I’m just another commenter expressing my beliefs. And I think Obola has a lot in common with ebola. Dangerous, reckless and no respect for the victims they leave in their wake. You don’t like it? Stuff it!

          If you don’t like my comments don’t read them. No one forces you. You want your freedom of speech but you condemn other for exercising their rights. Citizens have criticized presidents from the time this nation was first founded. If that makes you feel uncomfortable – then expatriate. 🙂

          Reply this comment
        • T Mind of Ted Your God
          T Mind of Ted Your God 14 October, 2014, 20:16

          LOL

          All I do is ask a question YOU still can’t answer…and

          Point out the fact that you continually fixate on the President’s race while disrespecting him in a VERY childish way.

          You are squirming— can’t stand the heat?

          Why do you think the conservative professional writers out here never refer to the President (renaming him in a word play to a deadly disease from black Africa) in such a childish and disrespectful manner? You thought it was funny/cute and now that you’ve been caught at it EVERY post of yours is a backpeddle! Any ideas……yet?

          I am almost through with you little boy but please dig your hole a bit deeper first!

          Reply this comment
          • LetitCollapse
            LetitCollapse 14 October, 2014, 20:42

            “Point out the fact that you continually fixate on the President’s race while disrespecting him in a VERY childish way.”

            No. I didn’t initiate race into any discussion. You did. You and NTHEOC mentioned that Obola is our first black president. I am a stickler for facts, so I corrected your errors. He is not our first black president. He is our first white-black president. Again, his mother was white. If you can’t digest the truth, that’s your problem. Disrespecting presidents in America goes back to the days of George Washington. lol. Accept it or ship out!

            “Why do you think the conservative professional writers out here never refer to the President (renaming him in a word play to a deadly disease from black Africa) in such a childish and disrespectful manner?”

            Who gives a crap what professional conservative writers do or don’t do? I don’t get paid for writing. I’m not a professional. So what would that have to do with me? There you go again. Jumping to irrelevant and false conclusions.

            You’re nothing but a provacateur who specializes in false accusations, mindreading and personal attacks on other posters. Rex is right. CWD should ban your butt! 🙂

          • T Mind of Ted Your God
            T Mind of Ted Your God 15 October, 2014, 09:34

            Denial? That’s it?

            You can do better, I think??

            Nheoc mentioned our first black president in a respectful way— YOUR next post brought up his mother, race, and renamed him using a lothsome disease know predominantly for it’s start in black west AfricaQ!

            If you had any class you’d be ashamed of yourself young man. But you were raised differently I suspect.

            lol sad.

          • LetitCollapse
            LetitCollapse 15 October, 2014, 15:44

            I’m in the group of 61% of Americans who disappove of Obola’s performance. How does it feel to be in the minority group, Tedtard? Obola does not respect the plight of the average American. Why should I have any respect for him? Respect or disrespect goes both ways. Obola has not earned any respect. I’m not a professional conservative writer. So why should I play by whatever rules they follow? I’m free. You’re the one who made the connection between Obola and Africa. Not me. So that one’s on you! 😀

          • T Mind of Ted Your God
            T Mind of Ted Your God 15 October, 2014, 15:56

            Well Collapso-
            I guess it’s still funny to you to
            1. Use a derogatory slang term regarding the developmentally disabled
            2. Use a pan African disease name to substitute for the first African American president
            3. Make comments about the presidents race and his mothers race in the context of what could only be described as hate speech.
            I guess that’s funny ir ironic to your 7th grade mind.
            And you have never answered the question little boy. All you have said is that you just don’t care. YOU still have no answer for how your ethics can be so low while writing on such an august conservative blog.
            EVERY post of yours is a backpeddle– like your last one! You are not even man or woman enough to stand by your comments after being called out! NOW you’re saying that mentally never made the continental connection between the president and the African virus! LMAO — Like a child!!
            PLEASE back peddle more! I will shovel over your trench when you’ve dug it deep enough little buddy! HURRY!!!
            – See more at: http://calwatchdog.com/2014/10/13/covered-ca-blames-cronyism-on-obamacare-scramble/#comment-98662

          • LetitCollapse
            LetitCollapse 15 October, 2014, 23:43

            Your vitriol and false assumptions have reached an all-time high, Tedtard. You new theorem could look like this: If A=B and B=D then A=F. Your logic is competely broken. But continue to post, slave! Post now!

          • T Mind of Ted Your God
            T Mind of Ted Your God 16 October, 2014, 09:05

            Any more children’s cartoon analogies little boy?

  6. Bruce
    Bruce 14 October, 2014, 10:09

    Covered Ca. is just following the cronyism of Michelle Obama and Toni Townes-Whitley of CGI Federal, that lovely group the bilked Americans out of some $600 million.

    Reply this comment
  7. Queeg
    Queeg 14 October, 2014, 18:38

    Time to run Collapso out of town again…..I’m scared of bad boys!

    Reply this comment
    • LetitCollapse
      LetitCollapse 14 October, 2014, 20:20

      Tell Tedtard to behave himself, stop mindreading other posters, resist making inaccurate assumptions and refrain from jumping to false conclusions. Remind him that as Americans we have the right to insult and criticize politicians who we feel are doing irreparable harm to our nation. If he can’t handle that….time to pack up and ship out.

      Reply this comment
      • T Mind of Ted Your God
        T Mind of Ted Your God 15 October, 2014, 09:29

        Little Boy Collapso!

        Of course only gov interference with free speech is proscribed by the USC, were you aware? Lmao– as an American I can call you out as I see fit!

        I would ignore your strange postings except that they are so centered on race and the President. Sad.

        LOL— You going to answer my question?

        Ever notice the professional conservative bloggers out here don’t make fun of our Presdient’s name using a Pan African disease?

        Afraid to respond?

        Reply this comment
  8. LetitCollapse
    LetitCollapse 14 October, 2014, 22:40

    All of them know that Obola is a Loser with a capital “L”. He’s failed at everything he’s done, domestically and internationally. Remember how the Germans fawned over Obola in Berlin shortly after his election? Today they scorn him! He’s even radioactive to his fellow dems running for office in 2014. They are avoiding Obola as if he were a leper!!! lol.
    So when informed citizens criticize Obola for his record number of failures (worse than Jimmy Carter) and for the immense damage that he’s done to our nation – the only comeback that his little sychophants have left is “You a razzzzist”. lol. Laugh at them! 😀

    Reply this comment
    • T Mind of Ted Your God
      T Mind of Ted Your God 15 October, 2014, 09:30

      Little Boy Collapso!
      Of course only gov interference with free speech is proscribed by the USC, were you aware? Lmao– as an American I can call you out as I see fit!
      I would ignore your strange postings except that they are so centered on race and the President. Sad.
      LOL— You going to answer my question?
      Ever notice the professional conservative bloggers out here don’t make fun of our Presdient’s name using a Pan African disease?
      Afraid to respond?

      Reply this comment
      • LetitCollapse
        LetitCollapse 15 October, 2014, 12:19

        “Ever notice the professional conservative bloggers out here don’t make fun of our Presdient’s name using a Pan African disease?

        How many times do you want me to answer your question, Tedtard? The answer won’t change from the time before.

        Again, for your convenience, I am not a paid professional conservative blogger. I am just an ordinary ham ‘n egger who writes what I see and hear. It matters not to me what paid professional bloggers do or don’t do. The fact that Obola and ebola came from the same continent has nothing to do with my comparison. If ebola were an icelandic disease – the comparisons beween Obola and ebola would still stand. Both are dangerous, reckless, ruthless and have left many innocent victims behind in their wake. I am comparing the nature of the disease and the POTUS. You made the comparison that both seem to have African ties. While that might be true, it never occurred to me until you said it. You see, I am not an ethnocentrist. 🙂

        Reply this comment
        • T Mind of Ted Your God
          T Mind of Ted Your God 15 October, 2014, 15:54

          Well Collapso-

          I guess it’s still funny to you to

          1. Use a derogatory slang term regarding the developmentally disabled

          2. Use a pan African disease name to substitute for the first African American president

          3. Make comments about the presidents race and his mothers race in the context of what could only be described as hate speech.

          I guess that’s funny ir ironic to your 7th grade mind.

          And you have never answered the question little boy. All you have said is that you just don’t care. YOU still have no answer for how your ethics can be so low while writing on such an august conservative blog.

          EVERY post of yours is a backpeddle– like your last one! You are not even man or woman enough to stand by your comments after being called out! NOW you’re saying that mentally never made the continental connection between the president and the African virus! LMAO — Like a child!!

          PLEASE back peddle more! I will shovel over your trench when you’ve dug it deep enough little buddy! HURRY!!!

          Reply this comment
          • LetitCollapse
            LetitCollapse 15 October, 2014, 23:44

            Your vitriol and false assumptions have reached an all-time high, Tedtard. You new theorem could look like this: If A=B and B=D then A=F. Your logic is competely broken. But continue to post, slave! Post now!

          • T Mind of Ted Your God
            T Mind of Ted Your God 16 October, 2014, 09:05

            OK– But you still do not have the courage to answer the question?

            You still use the developmentally disabled slang because why? You don’t care about what is right?

            You still continue to be fixated on the president’s name/race/unrelated disease from Africa?

            That’s it little buddy?

            Are you 12?

          • LetitCollapse
            LetitCollapse 16 October, 2014, 11:56

            “OK– But you still do not have the courage to answer the question?”

            I did answer your stupid question. At least 3 times under separate blogs. Can’t you read or comprehend or remember what you’ve read. Go get a full medical exam.

            “You still use the developmentally disabled slang because why? You don’t care about what is right?”

            There you go again. False assumptions and broken connections. Tard = musTARD. Bitter and known to produce a highly toxic gas.

            “You still continue to be fixated on the president’s name/race/unrelated disease from Africa?”

            Not fixated in the least. Only responding to inaccurate claims that Obola is our ‘first black (or AA) POTUS’. I merely corrected your inaccuracy.

          • T Mind of Ted Your God
            T Mind of Ted Your God 16 October, 2014, 17:25

            “MusTARD”

            LMAO— well, it’s conclusive—- you’re a coward as well. You can’t even admit what you wrote and what it meant. Whoa man—- pathetic.Do you think ANYone believes you mustard story? You got caught writing things all normal folks would conclude to be gravely inappropriate. Got caught— and tries to back peddle. = COWARD.

            On another note— You can’t possibly think you’ve even once answered the question with any sort of substance, right? You just basically said, you don’t care, which I guess I will accept as your sad answer. Figures.

            I won’t beat this up too much longer– you dug your own grave, and a deep one at that. Any time I see you making inappropriate racial or social comments as an American I will comment.

            Goof luck little boy– you need it.

          • LetitCollapse
            LetitCollapse 17 October, 2014, 10:55

            Pull your shorts out of the crack, tedtard. You’re a little high-strung, good buddy. Are you related to Miss Cleo? lol. You tend to think that you have mind reading ability. lol. Last night in a dream I saw you sprinting in a white cotton dress being chased by a flock of crows!!! What did it mean? INTERPRET, slave!!! POST NOW!!! lol. 😀

          • T Mind of Ted Your God
            T Mind of Ted Your God 17 October, 2014, 15:07

            2 observations-

            1. You are dreaming about me— man its easy to spin u up little boy!

            2. Still using the slang against the developmentally disabled? Or are you still not man enough to confront your hatreds?

            LMAO— man this is easy!
            HURRRRRY post now slave troll!!!

  9. T Mind of Ted Your God
    T Mind of Ted Your God 15 October, 2014, 09:36

    Hurry Collapso—

    there is still time to backpeddle and collapse more!!!

    Reply this comment

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Covered CaliforniaObamacarePeter LeeJames Poulos

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