It is set up with the endorse­ment and coop­er­a­tion of the Cal­i­for­nia gov­ern­ment. They were allowed to dic­tate the terms of cov­er­age that car­ri­ers could offer. They were allowed to bul­ly the car­ri­ers into keep­ing their costs down, which result­ed in a “nar­row­ing” of net­works, which has caused all sorts of con­fu­sion in the mar­ket. And now…they are fac­ing calls for a state inves­ti­ga­tion of its con­tract­ing prac­tices, after dis­clo­sure of the release of $184 mil­lion in con­tracts that did NOT involve com­pet­i­tive bidding.

Cov­ered Cal­i­for­nia was giv­en the abil­i­ty to nego­ti­ate no bid con­tracts to meet nec­es­sary dead­lines in 2010…but now it is 2014 and they are con­tin­u­ing to use this abil­i­ty to meet “dead­lines” – but what are they? Recent­ly, Cov­ered Cal­i­for­nia award­ed $184 mil­lion in no bid con­tracts, which coin­ci­den­tal­ly includ­ed deals worth mil­lions to a firm with work­ers hav­ing strong ties to the Cov­ered Cal­i­for­nia Exec­u­tive Direc­tor Peter Lee. The new no bid con­tracts rep­re­sent 20% of the amount of mon­ey Cov­ered Cal­i­for­nia has award­ed to out­side agen­cies. Accord­ing to Peter Lee, he need­ed to move fast and “need­ed expe­ri­enced indi­vid­u­als who could go toe to toe with health plans and bring to our con­sumers the best pos­si­ble insur­ance val­ue” So he couldn’t bid it? He has had four years…