Big ag’s $50 million Obamacare contract

November 20, 2013

western growWestern Growers Association, a group staunchly opposed to the Affordable Care Act, won a $50 million contract to manage Obamacare in California. [Calbuzz]

Pinnacle Claims Management Inc., a subsidiary of Western Growers Service Corps, won the lucrative three-year contract earlier this year. Xerox was the only other company bidding for the job.

Last week, the president of Pinnacle, David Zanze, was listed as senior vice president of Western Growers. Then, after reporters from Calbuzz made inquiries, Zanze’s identification on the Western Growers web site was changed to senior vice president of Western Growers Assurance Trust.

Though managing the program, the ag group continues to voice opposition the Affordable Care Act.

In 2012, Western Growers President Tom Nassif said they would “continue to work toward the repeal of Obamacare” and that they were requesting an exemption for the agricultural industry “until meaningful immigration reform has been enacted by legislation or an ag provision has been included in the regulations promulgated by Obamacare.”


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Watching all you people argue over the left or right is like watching hungry peasants fighting for scraps outside the masters kitchen door, while the haves eat full plates.

The US spends 17.7 %(2011) of our gross domestic product on health care as the second most expensive country spends 11.9 %, thats crazy.

This is not a dem vs gop vs left vs right this is American citizens being stolen from and the thieves want everyone to argue the details and politics, while the truckloads of cash disappear from everyones future.

Word: I agree that the current sorry state of healthcare in the US is much more than a “right vs left” situation; unfortunately, the solution has to be crafted through the dysfunctional political system. Yes, the US spends more on health care than any other nation in the world, and we have far more citizens with no access than any other country as well.

The theft you speak of occurs on many levels, I agree; distilling healthcare insurance down to a “single payer” system would reduce, though not eliminate, a lot of the corruption, fraud and theft. Do we really need an industry that not only makes it profit by NOT delivering the care people need, but also rewards those at the top positions with bonuses of multi-million dollar amounts? In some single payer nations, insurance companies are prohibited by law from selling basic healthcare insurance; those companies make their profits by selling additional coverages, upgrades so those with more money can get more deluxe accommodations. I for one would like to see something similar happen here in the US, but with the money the insurance companies throw at the politicians, I see no chance of that ever happening.

There is a LOT more to this story. Stay tuned.

So what if there is, it is not like we’re ever going to see heads roll, or even the malfeasance stop. We can whine and whine and whine until we’re blue in the face, as we’re blue in the state, and we’ll continue to be corrupt from the very top down to our local good ol’ boys.

We were told that things would be more transparent, people held more accountable, and government to be more responsible. This was drilled into us over and over after 4+ years of constant “Bush is the devil” media. Now, with a near complete and total media on their side, the folks in power STILL look worse than they ever made out Bush and his ilk (and I didn’t like Bush then). The double-standards are so bad, that even when the cronyism is local, it’s just grumbled about and we all move on to the next exciting story.

There is a catalyst coming; there has to be. I just hope it is a good one.

I am stunned.

I was also stunned when Nancy Pelosi’s husband got the contract for building the bullet train–and nothing much was said about that piece of cronyism.

Nancy Pelosi’s husband got the contract for building the bullet train..

FALSE – BIG LIE ! did you mean: partisan hackery bullet train to obama death camp?

In fairness Nancy has a brother-n-law who got a deal with a solar project in the desert woop de woop.

As stunned as when Ms. Feinstein’s husband got the contract to sell Post Office Real Estate, who would have guessed.

The postal facilities are being sold by the firm CBRE group

whose Chairman of the Board is Richard Blum, the husband of

Senator Dianne Feinstein.

What a lucky break for them! Some people have all the luck, don’t they?

hey you got agriculture conglomerate all over my obamacare

western growers?

holy crap complain about unions while industry groups go all bohica with our

health insurance, what?

Sorry, my mistake. It was Dianne Feinstein’s husband who got the contract.

You are correct about Mr. Feinstein aka Mr. Richard Blum. Perini-Zachary-Parsons, a construction group partially owned by Richard Blum’s investment firm, Blum Capital, won the bid for the first phase of the speed train from Madera to Fresno at $38 million a mile. Nice! And, they are located in Texas!!!

But don’t worry, Ms. Feinstein has assured us that she never talks finances with her billionaire husband, Mr. Blum, who keeps getting all these government contracts for his partners. Period. Believe it, Period.

But then we have Elon Musk, co-founder of PayPal, big donor to Mr. Obama re-election campaign getting $846 million start up loans for his electric car, Tesla, and venture SpaceX, not to mention he is also one of the biggest investors of his cousin’s SolarCity Corp. which has lost over $322 million since 2008 but continues to receive millions in federal tax credits and is now under investigation.

See, you can keep getting credits, PERIOD. You can keep getting loans, PERIOD, You can keep the contracts coming, if you like them, PERIOD…

Holy cr@p; no wonder writing fiction is harder than non-fiction- fictional works have to make sense and there is absolutely no “sense” in this outcome. An entity that campaigns and funds against any sort of meaningful healthcare/health insurance legislation and actually helped defeat a couple of state politicians because they are supportive of such legislation is actually awarded the contract to run the new healthcare insurance program; the irony needle is off the charts here. Like I said, you couldn’t make this up, no one would believe you; but here we are, a group that wants to defeat the ACA is in charge of its implementation here in California. Wow. And to all of those who still think the ACA is some sort of “government takeover” of our healthcare industry or healthcare insurance industry, it is this reliance on “private enterprise” that is causing the bulk of the problems with the implementation of the ACA and the roll out of the web site. I say scrap the whole thing and expand Medicare to cover anyone and everyone who would want to sign up for it. Once 60 or 70 percent of the population are enrolled, the providers will have no choice but to participate in Medicare if they want to stay in business.

Medicare is not free. Medicare recipients pay into the system while they work (40 or 50 years), then get 80% coverage. They have to buy supplementary insurance if they want the other 20% covered. Then, many pay monthly premiums while on Medicare.

The Medicare for all crowd seems to think it is free healthcare: it’s not. Medicaid (Medi-Cal) is the free healthcare for the poor and paid by taxpayers.

That’s a straw man argument. Nobody thinks Medicare is free. The real question is whether government sponsored healthcare insurance is more cost effective than our current model.

Did I say anywhere that I thought Medicare is “free”? Those who are in it do pay for it, I am fully aware of that situation. Medicare, if it were expanded to serve everyone who wanted to sign up for it would have the effect of by-passing many private insurance companies, which is why it is always fought against. The connectedness of hospitals, doctor’s groups, big pharma and healthcare insurers would like to see Medicare abandoned so they could make even more money; providing the actual care only seems to trickle down to the “street level” of those in the industry- the nurses, the honest doctors who aren’t in it just for the money, those in the trenches that actually come face-to-face with those looking for medical treatment are the ones that would do anything it would take to help people, provided they got paid for their work.

What we “need” is to find a way to make sure that the hospital CEOs, big pharma, the insurance companies CEO all continue to make millions every year while being able to deny coverage and treatment to those who really need it. /snark.

Medicare is a system already in place, a system that has a relatively low over head cost in the administration of its job, and to expand it would not require a whole new system be invented out of thin air.

Medicare is a system already in place, a system that has a relatively low over head cost in the administration of its job

Lol, good one, bob! You type well for someone who must be still asleep and dreaming.

Lol, bad one, roy! Do you have some actual facts to share or are you just out snarking at people.

Agree or not with bob but he was on subject.

r0y: Do you any assertions to the contrary? If so, list them and then try to back them up with some evidence. Is Medicare as good as it could be? Not by a long shot, but the corruption and outright stealing seems to be by those who are only interested in making a quick buck for themselves. I don’t care one wit which political party a person is affiliated with when they are stealing from the government; it is wrong, period. Most of the fraud that happens in Medicare could be controlled if we could allow enough vigilant oversight to be in place and given the authority to go after those committing the fraud and abuse of the system, but some in leadership positions will then cry about “expanding government” or some other nonsense.

Truth is, Medicare is the best system we currently have in place, and expanding it to cover everyone in America would be the best solution. Most who protest this suggestion are either invested in the current setup or have such a partisan position that they cannot stomach having the government do anything at all.

Sure it makes sense. Everybody has a price and Obama has bought many supporters. So what’s new?

Obama is just like Nixon! except I don’t think we can expect a forced resignation anytime soon.

Don’t know what to make of this. Thanks for the lead on Calbuzz web site, though,

does this make sense?