California's health exchange board given unusual degree of secrecy over contracts

The Associated Press reports that a California state law created a state agency to oversee implementation of the health law and gave it authority to keep what it spent on contractors a secret.

The Associated Press/The Washington Post: AP Exclusive: Lawmakers Granted Calif. Health Exchange Unusual Secrecy In Contracting Records
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 (5/9).

Also, developments regarding Colorado's health exchange -

Kaiser Health News: Capsules: Colo. Launches Ad Campaign For New Online Marketplace
With less than five months until Colorado's new online health insurance marketplace opens for business this fall, officials are concerned that few state residents have heard of it. This week, it became the first state to launch a public awareness campaign with television, print, radio and billboard ads that will cost $2 million and run two months. The TV ad shows a woman at her kitchen table scrolling through health plan information on the Connect for Health Colorado website. The voice over says the website lets people shop and buy a health plan online (Galewitz, 5/8).

Health Policy Solutions (a Colo. news service): Governor Adds Deputy To Health Exchange Board
Colorado's governor has added his deputy chief of staff to the state's health exchange board and says he wants the project to come in on time and on budget. Kevin Patterson, Gov. John Hickenlooper's deputy chief of staff and chief administrative officer, joined the board following news that Colorado needed a mediator to help settle differences between the state's Medicaid managers and those building the state's new health exchange (Kerwin McCrimmon, 5/8).

http://www.kaiserhealthnews.orgThis article was reprinted from with permission from the Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation. Kaiser Health News, an editorially independent news service, is a program of the Kaiser Family Foundation, a nonpartisan health care policy research organization unaffiliated with Kaiser Permanente.


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