Sunday, April 07, 2013

Another chapter in the story of Obamacare and crony capitalism

Since many states have not and may not ever establish insurance exchanges,a key component of ACA,the federal government is moving ahead to put in place a federal insurance exchange.

The key to that is the "hub" which will be a gigantic computer system which will house information on everyone in  the country. Data will be imputed from  CMS  (Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services),the IRS,Homeland Security and the Justice Department as well as various state agencies.
A Maryland company QSSI ( Quality Software Services Inc ) has been awarded the contract. QSSI is now owned by a division of United Health Group known as Optum.See here.

Now consider  the revolving door part. Steve Larsen now works for Optum.Mr. Larsen with a resume of variously working for state insurance agencies (including being Maryland's Insurance Commisioner) and health insurance companies and then HHS most recently lead a group at HHS charged with setting up rules for insurance coverage for the exchanges.His new job is- according to the Optum web site-executive vice president in charge of  "government solutions". See here for more details about the contract with QSSI and concern about possible cahoots by expressed by folks in both the Senate and House.

Soon after Obamacare was rammed through passed by Congress folks at ACP and AMA offered praise in part because of their claim that social justice was forwarded.More realistically its passage and efforts aimed at subsequent implementation seems a embarrassing monument to crony capitalism and rent seeking.







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