Saturday, August 2, 2014
ACA/Obamacare: The Ultimate Obamacare Waiver!
“Andrew Slavitt, a former executive at the technology company tasked with “saving” HealthCare.gov and now second in command at the agency overseeing Obamacare, yesterday ran into sharp questions from a House panel about a potential conflict of interest in his new role.
Rep. Morgan Griffith, R-Va., pressed Slavitt on his previous job at OptumInsight/QSSI and that company’s continuing involvement with HealthCare.gov.
“How are you able to manage your former employer, and doesn’t this create a conflict of interest?” Griffith asked Slavitt during the new Obamacare official’s testimony before the Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations.
Slavitt, the new principal deputy administrator at Centers for Medicaid and Medicare Services, didn’t go into specifics, but said he had limited contact with his former employer. He assured Griffith and other subcommittee members that he was taking the proper steps to maintain ethical standards and noted that he had signed an ethics pledge.
“As a public servant, I have a very clear set of rules to follow,” Slavitt said.”
“CMS, Slavitt’s new employer, is the federal agency within the Department of Health and Human Services that oversees implementation of the Affordable Care Act, or Obamacare, including the website HealthCare.gov.
Slavitt joined the Obama administration in June, leaving a job as group vice president at OptumInsight/QSSI to take the No. 2 job at CMS under Administrator Marilyn Tavenner. In 2012, he made the maximum contributions allowed by law to the Obama Victory Fund and Obama for America (now Organizing for Action).”
“Slavitt told lawmakers yesterday that he rid himself of any financial stakes in OptumInsight/QSSI, including stocks and investments.
OptumInsight/QSSI is the sister company of UnitedHealthcare, a health insurance company that offers plans on both the federal and state-run online insurance exchanges. Both companies are subsidiaries of UnitedHealth Group.
QSSI, which had won a contract with CMS to construct Obamacare’s federal data hub, was acquired by OptumInsight in September 2012, weeks before President Obama’s re-election.
The Obamacare agency then brought in the renamed OptumInsight/QSS to “save” HealthCare.gov after its disastrous rollout in October 2013. The company serves as a “senior adviser” on the project.
Typically, those who leave the private sector for posts in the federal government must wait at least one year before engaging in any work involving the previous employer.
Slavitt, however, received an ethics waiver allowing him to resume work immediately on matters involving his former employer. The waiver, granted July 11 by the Department of Health and Human Services, was made public two weeks ago.
At issue for lawmakers is UnitedHealthcare’s ability to gain competitive advantage over other insurance companies because of data available to its sister company, OptumInsight/QSSI, as a result of its work on HealthCare.gov and the federal data hub.” - Lawmaker Challenges Top Obamacare Official’s Ties to HealthCare.gov Contractor, heritage.org, 08/01/2014
Link to the entire article appears below: