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CA’s Obama-Care Exchange Is ‘Granted Secrecy’

From a suddenly concerned Associated Press:

AP Exclusive: Calif. exchange granted secrecy

By MICHAEL R. BLOOD | May 9, 2013

LOS ANGELES (AP) — A California law that created an agency to oversee national health care reforms granted it sweeping authority to conceal spending on the contractors that will perform most of its functions, creating a barrier from public disclosure that stands out nationwide.

The degree of secrecy afforded Covered California appears unique among states attempting to establish their own health insurance exchanges under President Barack Obama’s signature health law.

It’s maybe unique for now. But as Obama-Care expands, more and more things will have to be made secret.

An Associated Press review of the 16 other states that have opted for state-run marketplaces shows the California agency was given powers that are the most restrictive in what information is required to be made public.

California also has the most electoral votes. But that’s probably just a coincidence.

In Massachusetts, the state that served as the model for Obama’s health overhaul, its Health Connector program is specifically covered by open-records laws, rather than providing exemptions from them, as is the case for contracting in California…

But, God, that Mitt Romney is hateful.

In California’s case, the exclusions may run afoul of the state constitution, one legal expert said…

Who obviously likes a good joke.

In setting up the California exchange, lawmakers gave it the authority to keep all contracts private for a year and the amounts paid secret indefinitely. "Except for the portion of a contract that contains the rates of payment, contracts entered into pursuant to this title shall be open to inspection one year after their effective dates," reads the code specifying what exchange records are exempt from public disclosure…

What is the problem? There is no record of fraud in the healthcare industry, especially when the government is involved.

According to agency documents, Covered California plans to spend nearly $458 million on outside vendors by the end of 2014, covering lawyers, consultants, public relations advisers and other functions.

Only a half a billion dollars? What could go wrong?

Other exchange records that are allowed to be kept secret include those that reveal recommendations, research, strategy of the board or its staff, or those that provide instructions, advice or training to employees. Minutes of the board meetings also are exempt from disclosure….

The closeted spending was quietly authorized in a bundle of amendments added to the bill just days before it was passed by the Senate and Assembly during a blitz of activity in August 2010, when California was sprinting to become the first state to embrace the most extensive health care changes since Medicare

Hey, ‘pass legislation in haste, repent in leisure.’ Which should be the lesson of Obama-Care in general.

This article was posted by Steve on Thursday, May 9th, 2013. Comments are currently closed.

2 Responses to “CA’s Obama-Care Exchange Is ‘Granted Secrecy’”

  1. Mithrandir says:

    Welcome to the DPRK.

    Republic of

    Transparency is secrecy
    Spending cut is an increase
    Illegal immigrants are not illegal
    Homosexuality is a civil right
    Rule of Law doesn’t apply to party supporters

  2. GetBackJack says:

    Because, you know … Obama

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