Democratic Party of Orange County Chairman Henry Vandermeir has called on the Board of Supervisors to remove Janet Nguyen as Chair and Board Representative of the beleaguered CalOptima.
From the DPOC press release:
CalOptima is the administrator of health insurance programs for 418,000 low-income children, residents, seniors and people with disabilities. It is currently under investigation by federal, state and local authorities.
As a result of an audit, federal officials have ordered Orange County’s health plan for low-income and disabled residents to stop enrolling patients into its senior program citing a “serious threat to the health and safety of participants.”
State officials are launching their own audit, a process that will bog down CalOptima for months, if not years. The Orange County Grand Jury recently issued a scathing report linking changes in the health plan to the interest of hospital lobbyists and other mismanaged actions led by CalOptima Chair Janet Nguyen.
“The Republican-controlled Orange County Board of Supervisors should not make their decisions based on politics, but rather the health and safety of Orange County’s residents. One in seven Orange County residents participate in CalOptima programs,” said Vandermeir. “Supervisors can no longer afford to sit on their hands and take no action because of Supervisor Nguyen’s political ambitions.”
“Janet Nguyen’s leadership has led to federal and state audits that now put the lives of our most vulnerable seniors and children at risk,” added Vandermeir. “Enough is enough! The Board of Supervisors need to remove Supervisor Nguyen off the CalOptima Board immediately!“
The Board of Supervisors will consider a wide range of options today at its meeting, including adding additional members to the board and removing the voting powers of county agency directors who sit on the board. Voice of OC has an updated story on the matter here.
Janet Nguyen’s Campaign issued the following response to the DPOC release:
“It is sad that the Democratic Party would attempt to politicize an issue that is so important to so many local people in need of quality health care. What’s worse is that the local Democratic operatives who issued this release are either ignorant of the facts or purposefully distorted the facts surrounding CalOptima. They falsely stated that Supervisor Nguyen is the Chair of CalOptima, got the number of CalOptima patients wrong, inaccurately stated that the audit will take years to complete, and conveniently left out the fact that the audit was a routine, standard audit not caused by any one person’s actions. Supervisor Nguyen stand by her actions to reform CalOptima because they were necessary to ensure transparency, accountability and quality services the county’s most vulnerable population.”
Campaign Consultant – Janet Nguyen for Senate
To which, the DPOC responded:
“It seems like we really hit a nerve with the Nguyen campaign. It is obvious that they are more interested in arguing semantics rather than addressing the Supervisor’s role in the mismanagement of CalOptima under her leadership. Downplaying the significance of the audit and accusing us of politicizing the issue, when in fact her own colleagues -Supervisors Moorlach, Nelson and Spitzer have each echoed our concerns – shows that Ms. Nguyen is completely out of touch with the needs of working families at the second largest health insurer in Orange County.
The DPOC Chair still calls on OC Board of Supervisors to replace Janet Nguyen at tomorrow’s meeting as CalOptima representative in wake of the federal investigation.”
Nick Anas, Executive Director