Massachusetts Obamacare Fixer Moves To Company She Helped Get A No-Bid Contract

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Massachusetts’ top Obamacare coordinator is taking a job at a company she helped to award a no-bid contract to fix the state’s failed health exchange website.

“There’s not a conflict here, and I’m really excited and looking forward to this new job,” former Obamacare czar Sarah Iselin told The Boston Herald. “I will not be working on Massachusetts-related work.”

Iselin was the top Obamacare official in the state after taking a leave of absence from Blue Cross Blue Shield in February to run the effort to save Massachusetts’ failed first try at an Obamacare exchange website. She’ll become an executive-in-residence at Optum, a subsidiary of United Health, which received the no-bid contract to fix the website in time for the next open enrollment period Nov. 15. (RELATED: Mass. Obamacare Exchange Granted Federal Extension As Director Gently Weeps)

Not only was Iselin in charge of the Obamacare effort, she recommended that Massachusetts give the no-bid contract to Optum, as well as to hCentive, an IT company of which Optum owns a 24 percent stake on May 8. But the exchange denied that Iselin was involved in making the decision to bring in Optum.

“Sarah has had no direct or indirect involvement in the project fro the past six months,” said exchange spokesman Kim Haberlin. “We wish her well in this next chapter. Optum will be extremely well-served by her intelligence, vision and drive.”

Optum has deep connections to Obamacare officials — Health and Human Services secretary Sylvia Burwell appointed former Optum/QSSI official Andy Slavitt as her second-in-command over the summer. (RELATED: GOP Wary Of Insurer, Admin Ties In Obamacare Implementation)

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