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Time for NC’s Astonishingly Well-Compensated Health Care Clowns to Go

Colorful_Clown_2 [1]It started with the revelation [2] of the $87,000 salary paid to a 24 year old McCrory political staffer with zero health care experience to be a Department of Health and Human Services “chief policy officer.”  Today we are treated to Lynn Bonner’s bombshell [3] in the News and Observer that Joe Hauck, a VP of marketing and communications for DHHS Secretary Aldona Wos’s husband’s company, is being paid $228,000 for eight months of work. With no health background whatsoever, what Hauck’s task? Apparently to “execute new program concepts” and “analyze organizational requirements,” according to another 24 year old former McCrory political staffer who, as communications director at DHHS, is also paid nearly $90,000 with no health care experience. Finally today NC Policy Watch’s Sarah Ovaska reports [4] that another “management consultant” DHHS contracted with was paid $100,000 for six months of work.

So, what have we gotten for all this amazingly highly-compensated private sector talent at a government agency where the bulk of the budget goes to providing health and long-term nursing care to millions of our most vulnerable citizens?  We have health care providers who aren’t being paid [5]. A plan to take NC’s awarding winning Medicaid program Community Care and turn it over surprise, surprise, to private insurance company contractors [6].

It could almost be amusing. All these enormously highly paid “management professionals” running around managing only to make worse the organization they are being paid so much of our tax money to reform. Governor McCrory is presiding over an agency where cronyism runs amok, but that’s not the worst part of it. There are literally children going hungry because of these wealthy health care clowns.  There are literally small family doctors who are worried about going out of business because of these wealthy health care clowns. There are highly respected thirty-year state public health professionals being summarily fired [7] as they worry about the cuts going on to dental care as the health care clowns look on.

The health care clowns are rolling in money.  Their kids aren’t going hungry. Their elderly parents don’t have to worry about going to a doctor. Their families get good dental care. It’s only all “those people” who have to suffer those indignities. The health care clowns have no accountability. Not one clown has been fired, demoted or otherwise reassigned because of the continuing debacles at DHHS. The health care clowns go home at night to their comfortable homes and their comfortable state paychecks and no doubt raise their voices indignantly that their faces and salaries are in the news. Then they come back the next day and execute a few more “program concepts” as people continue to suffer. It’s past time – way past time – for the health care clowns to go.