Zippidy Doo Da

I'm not stupid, I'm from Texas!

Tuesday, April 06, 2010

Chupacabra Report

News that gets my goat..


In a column last week, Lisa Falkenberg cited articles in the Dallas Morning News last month about Gregg Phillips, former Deputy Director of Health and Human Services getting no-bid contracts to help fix the mess caused by the privatization scheme the GOP spawned in the 2003 legislative session.

Phillips helped write the bill, HB 2292, which awarded a billion-dollar contract to Bermuda-based Accenture Corporation to administer the states’ Medicare, Food Stamp, Temporary Aid to Needy Families, Long Term Care, and Childrens Health Insurance Programs.

He then quit his state job and went to work for Accenture’s sister company Maximus to get in on the gravy train he had created.

The contract was a disaster. Thousands of children lost their health coverage, and the state employees who had administered these programs lost their jobs. Thousands of Texans were denied benefits for which they were eligible, callers experienced twenty minute on-hold times, and in one incident, over one hundred long term care applications, containing social security numbers and medical records, were accidentally faxed to a warehouse in Seattle.

Accenture was dunned $50 million for work not done in 2006. The next legislature terminated the program and Texas was left with a broken safety net in time for the great recession. Last year the USDA singled out Texas for having the worst food stamp program in the country, including U S territories.

So now we learn that the state has brought back Phillips, with his latest company “Autogov,” to work on applicant screening for the food stamp program, even though their computer system only works on about 20% of the cases.

I found a post by Kuffner that tells that Phillips did the same thing ten years before in Mississippi! As Director of Human Services, he awarded a company an $875,000 contract to manage the welfare system there, and then quit his state job to go to work for the same company.

I know a lot of hard-working Texans get hot on the subject of welfare, but it’s a shame that people vote for demagogues that pander to them only to turn around and dole out corporate welfare to their cronies.

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