Paterson Awards No-Bid Federal Insurance Contract to Company Where Wife Works

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From the cover of today's Post.

When the state was granted $297 million in federal monies to subsidize insurance for uninsured people with preexisting conditions, Governor David Paterson gave the contract to the only nonprofit insurer to operate statewide in New York: Group Health Inc. (or GHI). But this has raised hackles at the Post (and, according to the tabloid, elsewhere in Albany) because the governor's wife works for Emblem Health, the parent company for GHI. "Selecting a company for which the governor's wife works without bidding or public notice raises serious disturbing questions," a "top Democrat" told the paper. "This is something that is troubling and something we plan to look at." A spokesman for the governor's office says that First Lady Michelle Paterson never spoke with anyone about the contract and never pushed for GHI to win it. Meanwhile, the three-and-a-half-year federal program could reportedly yield up to $30 million in "administrative costs" for the company, which never even had to competitively bid for it. Some in Albany would call this business as usual. The Post calls it "BAD BIDNESS."

Gov wife's biz gets $297M no-bid deal [NYP]