In the American Spectator, I discuss the apparent intention of the Obama administration to create Democrat slush funds by laundering federal grant money through state-based exchanges.
When Maryland’s Attorney General announced last summer that his office had negotiated a settlement whereby $45 million would be recouped from the IT contractor that botched the state’s Obamacare exchange, it was widely reported as good news for taxpayers. It appeared that their investment in the mismanaged project would not be a dead loss. But the AG’s statement included this curious passage: “The agreement… will lead to the recovery of funds for both Maryland and the federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services [CMS].”
What’s so odd about that? Well, the state didn’t contribute any money to the project.
All of the money used to build the failed exchange, as well as its hastily constructed replacement, came from federal start-up grants. Maryland received more than $179 million in such grants. About $73 million was paid to the original contractor, Noridian Healthcare Solutions, and another $41 million was paid to the firm that cleaned up the mess. Yet, according to the Maryland AG’s office, the state is in negotiations with CMS concerning how the $45 million will be divided.
But why would Maryland receive any part of the settlement if all the money used to build and repair the exchange came from Washington? This very question, as it happens, occurred to Senate Finance Committee Chairman Orrin Hatch when he got wind of the Maryland deal.
To read the rest of the column, click here.