UPDATE: Rep. Dan Nordberg, the author of last year’s audit bill, had this to say in a statement:
“With only a limited performance audit, the state auditor found Connect for Health Colorado committed numerous federal law violations, and nearly 40 percent of sampled contracts had problems totaling more than $32 million dollars.
“Sadly, I am not surprised. I have had ongoing concerns about how Connect for Health Colorado was managing tax payers’ funds, which is why I pushed so hard last year to expand the auditor’s oversight of this organization. I hope Democrats will see the light and support my efforts this year to give the state auditor’s office the authority it needs to expose this kind of government waste and help us better protect tax payer funds.”
While the ability to conduct a full audit on Connect for Health Colorado was shot down by Colorado state Senate Democrats last year (despite the bill passing the House by a 60-1 margin), a limited audit was still conducted. The results of that will have Coloradans everywhere up in arms. As The Denver Post reports:
A state audit released Monday found that Colorado’s health insurance exchange lacks adequate financial controls and failed to ensure it spent public funds in accordance with federal laws…
Findings of the audit include:
- Connect for Health didn’t properly track fund sources or payments or take steps to contain personnel costs…
- The exchange does not have adequate financial controls over purchases from vendors…
Auditors identified over $32 million in problems with 35 of the 92 payments and reimbursements they sampled, and contracts they reviewed…
The OSA also found high-dollar payments to some vendors without executed contracts or without board approval, and found that Connect for Health did not consistently take steps to contain its administrative costs. [the Peak’s emphasis]
The fact that many prominent liberal vendors in Colorado have grown fat off of contracts with C4HCO should make every Coloradan wonder if their close relationships with state Senate Democrats (who often have these same people run their campaigns) influenced Democrats in voting against an audit.
Seriously, if you couldn’t see this coming, well, no wonder you voted for President Obama. C4HCO had so many red flags waving around it, one would think it was a Soviet rally: C4HCO was vastly over budget despite claiming not to be; C4HCO spent $45,000 on promotional sunscreen and lip-balm alone; C4HCO’s claims of already being federally audited were vastly overblown. Despite all this, Colorado state Senate Democrats went full ostrich and insisted there was nothing to see here. Instead, state Senate Democrats killed the audit and sat on their hands as the former CEO of C4HCO, Patty Fontneau, got a ridiculous bonus and raise, and C4HCO claimed poverty and demanded a bigger budget.
Things get even more absurd when one dives directly into the report. Page 30 alone makes it sound like the consultants and vendors who were mooching off C4HCO, turned to each other at one point and said:
“Dude, you just got Hooter’s wing sauce on your $3,000 white fur fox coat.”
“That’s okay, I expensed it and three others just like it to C4HCO. Feel free to use it as a napkin. Plus, I’m beginning to think it’s too hot to wear in July.”
This is the exact reason why the government can’t have nice things.