The list of contractors that helped implement the White House’s landmark health care reform law includes a who’s-who of top-tier political donors, according to a review by the Sunlight Foundation transparency group.
That implementation process has come under heavy scrutiny recently because of software glitches and long wait times that have plagued HealthCare.gov, the government website designed to connect uninsured people with affordable coverage, since the site’s Oct. 1 launch.
The Sunlight Foundation compiled a list of 47 contractors that worked on aspects of the health care reform implementation, using information from two government contracting sites. The list includes mainstays of federal contracting, such as Northrop Grumman and Booz Allen Hamilton.
A subset of 17 contractors on the list spent $128 million on lobbying in 2011 and 2012, the foundation said, and 29 had employees or political action committees that contributed $32 million to candidates during that election cycle, including nearly $4 million to President Obama.
White House officials have attributed the early HealthCare.gov problems to one part of the website that helps users create accounts and stores information about them. The system wasn’t built to withstand the large volume of people who visited the site in its first days, they said.
The White House has declined to say which vendor was responsible for that system.
Contract descriptions on the websites the Sunlight Foundation mined are often incomplete — especially on USASpending.gov, the site for historical contracting information — so it’s not clear precisely what work most contractors did on behalf of the law’s implementation.
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The team behind the bestselling "Clinton Cash"—author Peter Schweizer and Breitbart's Stephen Bannon—is turning the book into a movie that will have its U.S. premiere just before the Democratic National Convention this summer. The film will get its global debut "next month in Cannes, France, during the Cannes Film Festival. (The movie is not a part of the festival, but will be shown at a screening arranged for distributors)." Bloomberg has a trailer up, pointing out that it's "less Ken Burns than Jerry Bruckheimer, featuring blood-drenched money, radical madrassas, and ominous footage of the Clintons."
Conrad Burns, the colorful livestock auctioneer and radio executive from Montana who served three terms as a senator, died on Thursday at age 81. Burns "was ousted from office in 2006 under the specter of scandal after developing close ties to "super-lobbyist" Jack Abramoff," although no charges were ever filed.
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