AP Exclusive: Calif. exchange granted secrecy

(AP) AP Exclusive: Calif. exchange granted secrecy
By MICHAEL R. BLOOD
Associated Press
LOS ANGELES
The California agency overseeing national health care reforms was granted sweeping authority to conceal spending on contractors that will perform most of its functions.

The degree of secrecy the Legislature gave Covered California appears unique among states attempting to establish their own health insurance exchanges under President Barack Obama's health law.

Lawmakers gave the state exchange authority to keep all contracts private for a year and the amounts paid secret indefinitely. Democratic Assembly Speaker John Perez's office says the law struck a practical balance with confidentiality that is similar to other laws.

In response to an Associated Press records request, the agency released information on a dozen competitively bid contracts. That's a partial list. It's not clear how many contracts the agency has executed, for how much or with whom.

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