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Lujan Grisham Allegedly Meddles in Medicaid Procurement

Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham’s decision to redo New Mexico’s Medicaid contracts has sparked criticism and raised concerns about potential campaign finance influences from Centene Corporation and Western Sky Community Care.

Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham ordered a do-over for the state of New Mexico’s multi-billion-dollar Medicaid contracts despite the Human Services Department being ready to announce the selected insurers.

Daniel Chacon with the Santa Fe New Mexico comprehensively covered the debacle. The decision has garnered criticisms from lawmakers on both sides, stating that the timing was suspect, and the insurers spent a lot of money to develop their proposals. The governor’s team claimed they shared concerns about providers’ abilities to deliver continuity of care services during the transition of providers, leading to the decision to cancel the procurement.

House Minority Leader Ryan Lane called for transparency in the decision, and there is speculation that the governor may have tainted the process, but allegedly no evidence exists. The state’s contracts with its existing providers expire at the end of the year.

Western Sky Community Care donated $10,400 to Lujan Grisham’s campaign during the primary election reporting period in April 2022, according to campaign finance reports filed with the New Mexico Secretary of State’s Office. However, a refund was issued the same day without any explanation.

The Santa Fe New Mexican neglects to mention the campaign contributions from the parent company. Western Sky Community Care is a Managed Care Organization and a subsidiary of Centene Corporation. According to the New Mexico Secretary of State’s Office, Shannon Bagley, Executive Vice President and Chief Administrative Officer of Centene Corporation, made a personal $10,400 contribution on April 1, 2022.

Centene Corporation made two additional contributions of $10,400 each on April 4, 2022. Robert Sanders made a $2,500 contribution and his employer was listed as Centene Corporation in the report. Similarly, Colin Toney made a $2,500 contribution with his employer listed as Centene Corporation. Chris Koster, Secretary and General Counsel of Centene Corporation and former Missouri Attorney General, made a $2,500 contribution.

Lastly, Chris Hummer, then-Chief Executive Officer and Plan President of Western Sky Community Care, made a $2,500 contribution.

From the Santa Fe New Mexican:

At least three other insurers bidding on the Medicaid contracts — Blue Cross and Blue Shield, Molina and UnitedHealthcare — also contributed to the governor’s reelection campaign, documents show. Molina was at the top with $20,800 in donations.

A search by Southwest Public Policy Institute staff of the campaign finance reporting system identified additional contributions.

Centene Corporation, Western Sky Community Care, and affiliates sent at least $41,200 in campaign contributions to Michelle Lujan Grisham’s reelection fund. Turns out that Centene came out on top.

These developments come soon after the departure of Dr. David Scrase and John Garcia from the Lujan Grisham Administration.

Dr. David Scrase, the Secretary of the Human Services Department in New Mexico and Acting Secretary of the Department of Health, retired from state government after being a key figure in the state’s COVID-19 response.

Meanwhile, General Services Department Secretary John Garcia left state government citing personal reasons. Garcia had previously served in various leadership positions in state government, including tourism and economic development secretary, and spearheaded the expanded Buy New Mexico initiative.

3 replies on “Lujan Grisham Allegedly Meddles in Medicaid Procurement”

Suck it up buttercups YOU hired the bicdrf with your votes. Same as she showed during the lock downs — Rules for thee NOT for me…. Lying pol standard play for pay choices from the corrupt lying dominatrix. Fill my pockets and I’ll grant your wishes. Any guess why NM is last in education? Keep them dumb and on the welfare dole and they’ll keep voting for free crap.

Well said, Susan. This state is run by a few corrupt Democratic politicians that get kickbacks from their favorite legal partners, while the majority of the state’s population pays the price. Any wonder why our medical professionals are leaving the state in droves? New Mexico will never come to its full potential until the crooked Democrats are voted out and responsible businessmen and women are voted in. George Soros has bought this state lock, stock, and barrel.

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