Vatican's Consultant Firm Warned WH of Obamacare Rollout Flop

The private U.S. management consultancy firm hired by the Vatican to advise it on its media operations is the same firm that warned the White House of serious problems with the Obamacare rollout.

As Breitbart News reported Friday, the Vatican has hired McKinsey & Co. to “make the organization of the means of communication of the Holy See more functional, efficient, and modern.” McKinsey is considered to be one of the “Big Three” in management consulting services to Fortune 500 companies, the other two being Bain & Company and The Boston Consulting Group.

According to Opensecrets.org, individuals at McKinsey & Co. contributed $121,106 to Barack Obama for his re-election campaign; $159,388 to DNC Services Corp.; $71,450 to the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee; $57,500 to the Democrats’ Priorities USA Action and $25,000 to the Democrats’ House Majority PAC; $21,000 to the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee; and $25,000 to Planned Parenthood Votes.

Individual McKinsey & Co. donations to GOP candidates and causes included $100,053 to Mitt Romney’s presidential campaign; $68,460 to the Republican National Committee; and $38,700 to Arkansas Republican Rep. Tom Cotton.

The White House requested that McKinsey assess possible Obamacare rollout scenarios. The company ended up finding a range of problems with the healthcare exchanges and warned the Obama administration as far back as March that the federal website for enrollment into Obamacare, Healthcare.gov, could very well fail.

Reuters had reported in November that McKinsey, in its 14-part slide presentation, told the White House that the tight window it had allotted for testing Healthcare.gov would inhibit its ability to resolve problems.

In addition, the firm found that Healthcare.gov lacked comprehensive testing and was dependent for many of its functions on contractors.

Two weeks after seeing McKinsey’s presentation, HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius testified at a House panel hearing that Healthcare.gov was on track. Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), the HHS agency that runs Obamacare, said it had addressed the potential risks highlighted in the presentation and had taken concrete action. 

Despite McKinsey’s report that they had warned the White House of Obamacare rollout glitches last spring, the administration insisted that the President was unaware of any problems until Healthcare.gov went active on October 1st.

According to Reuters, a McKinsey spokeswoman declined to comment on the firm’s work with the administration, saying that its work for clients was confidential.

McKinsey itself has gone through a transition in the past year. In June of 2012, the firm’s former CEO, Rajat Gupta, was found guilty of insider trading in a controversial verdict.

Though the Vatican states it just recently selected McKinsey & Co. as its media operations adviser after a bidding process, Pope Francis already has worked with one of the firm’s German manager consultants, Thomas von Mitschke-Collande, in addressing administrative changes at the Vatican. Previously, Mitschke-Collande had advised the Archdiocese of Berlin and the German Bishops’ conference.


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