Patrick Sweeney: DHHS selective editing

October 10, 2013 

Selective editing

Regarding the Oct. 10 news story “Key details withheld from N.C. response to Medicaid audit”: Does DHHS Secretary Aldona Wos think the general public is stupid? Information surfaces that she and the governor conspired to use a selectively edited audit of the state’s $13 billion Medicaid system – an audit that, due to the edits, makes the Medicaid system look worse than it actually is and, therefore, a better candidate for privatization.

The department’s Medicaid director at the time, Carol Steckel, did the selective editing. Conveniently, Steckel has since resigned her post and now works for WellCare Health Plans, a for-profit, managed-care company that may bid on running the privatized version of the state’s Medicaid system. Yet Wos sees no conflict of interest with Steckel performing the edits and now working for a company that may directly benefit from the dark picture the edits portrayed.

Moreover, Wos insists no decision has been made whether to privatize our Medicaid system despite the fact that a $250-an-hour consultant – whose expertise is managed care – now works for Wos and her department. Apparently, she does think we’re stupid.

Patrick Sweeney, Raleigh

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