Report: Sebelius Awarding Healthcare Exchanges to Friends

Monday, 10 Dec 2012 04:37 PM

By Newsmax Wires

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Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius appears to have awarded a cushy healthcare contract to a pal, The Weekly Standard reports.

A source tells the Standard’s Jeffrey Anderson that last January, HHS awarded Quality Software Services what The Hill describes as “a large contract to build a federal data services hub to help run the complex federal health insurance exchange.”

At that time, according to Anderson, the director of Obamacare’s newly-established Center for Consumer Information and Insurance Oversight — which The Hill calls “the office tasked with crafting rules for the national exchange” — was Steve Larsen.

Larsen had been the insurance commissioner for Maryland when Sebelius was the insurance commissioner for Kansas, and "the two are reportedly close,’’ Anderson reports.

“The CCIIO awarded the Obamacare exchange contract to QSSI while Larsen was the CCIIO’s director, and he played a central role in planning the construction of the exchanges — although it’s not known whether he made the decision to award the contract to QSSI or not.’’

In other words, the HHS has contracted with a subsidiary of a private healthcare company to help build and police the very exchanges in which that company will be competing for business, according to Anderson.

An insurance industry insider tells Anderson that in “an attempt to hide this unseemly contract from public view until after the election, encouraged the company to hide the transaction from the Securities and Exchange Commission.’’

The HHS’s alleged deal has drawn the attention of the Senate Finance Committee, the Weekly Standard says.

And while the committee’s ranking Republican, Sen. Orrin Hatch, has asked Sebelius for information, she reportedly has not complied with his written requests and deadlines.

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