Is Obama’s appointment of “health policy Czar” to progressive Nancy-Ann DeParle’s another case of an industry insider who would never have survived congressional scutiny and confirmation?  Of course it is.  Even our disfuntional and corrupt Congress would have to deny her a conformation.  Does she have a very comprehensive understanding of the ins and outs of America’s health care system.  Of course she does.  I would say she knows it too well.  She’s managed to make millions of dollars from the industry in the way of stock options and salaries from companies she has sat on the Boards of.  She’s part of Washington’s revolving door which allows federal employees to leave the government and hook up with the companies they were overseeing, and then come back to work for the federal government and oversee the companies they were working for, ad infinum.  There is so much wrong with DeParle and her conflicts of interest (quite a few), I would expect great future success of her former employers’ relationship with the federal government.

First, here are several appropriate statements and quote provided by the Investigative Reporting Workshop at American University School of Communication:

And the public wasn’t told that much of that corporate career was built at companies that have frequently had to defend themselves against federal investigations. After leaving government, DeParle accepted director positions at half a dozen companies suspected of violating the very laws and regulations she had enforced for Medicare. Those companies got into further trouble on her watch as a director.

“This woman owes her fortune to the corporations that she is making decisions about,” said Dr. David Himmelstein, an associate professor of medicine at Harvard University and a co-founder of Physicians for a National Health Program. “She cashed in really big on her previous role in government and made millions and millions of dollars. Then she divests and all of a sudden she’s Snow White. It’s ridiculous.”

At three companies — Guidant, DaVita and Specialty Laboratories — DeParle was not only a director but also served on board committees responsible for monitoring the companies’ compliance with laws and regulations.

Federal Government Experience

1993-97,  Associate Director for Health and Personnel at the White House Office of Management and Budget

1997-2000, Administrator of the Health Care Financing Administration (HCFA), recently renamed the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS). As headed up Medicare, Medicaid, and SCHIP.  Additional information

2002-2008, Medicare Payment Advisory Commission (MEDPAC).
The Medicare Payment Advisory Commission (MedPAC) is an independent Congressional agency established by the Balanced Budget Act of 1997 (P.L. 105-33) to advise the U.S. Congress on issues affecting the Medicare program. They discuss policy issues and formulate its recommendations to the Congress.

Professional Career

JP Morgan Chase – no explanation needed
CCMP Capital Advisors – expertise in healthcare infrastructure
Accredo Health, Inc, acquired by Medco Health Solutions – provides specialized pharmacy (mail service) and related services
Triad Hospitals – ownes 115 hospitals in the U.S. Purchased by JP Morgan CCMP Capital Advisors and Goldman Sachs in 2007
Cerner – major mfg of electronic medical records software
Legacy Hospital Partners – owned by JP Morgan’s CCMP Capital Partners, privately held company established to provide essential capital and expertise to not-for-profit hospitals and hospital systems and forms joint ventures to acquire, own, operate and manage acute care facilities
Caremore Health Plan – provide focused and innovative healthcare approaches to the complex problems of aging and protect precious financial resources of seniors and the Medicare Program through innovative methods of managing chronic disease, frailty, and end of life
DaVita Corp – provider of dialysis services
Boston Scientific, Inc – develops innovative products, technologies and services across a wide range of medical specialties

To be continued

Well, it didn’t take long for the well connected, tainted, controversial, and wealthy Steve Rattner to step down as Car Czar I.  I don’t think it was an Obama issue, considering the haphazard policies and questionable appointments he’s made. I think it was the pressure from the NY State pension scandal, plus I’m sure he’s missing out on megabucks working for the government.

Rattner was accused of providing more than $1mil in unreported fees to Hank Morris, top adviser to the former NY state comptroller Alan Hevesi, to secure investments in both the state’s pension funds.  This was in collusion with the fund’s manager David Loglisci.  Aldus Equity founder Saul Meyer was also charged.  Barrett Wissman, who runs a hedge fund HFV, pleaded guilty to conspiring with the aforementioned Hank Morris.  Also named in the indictment was private equity firm Levine Leichtman.  After it played out, The Carlyle Group was fined $20mil and, of course, got away with denying any wrongdoing.  Of course, the Rattner(Quadrangle Group)-NY State pension fund association has been swept under the rug.

Even though he stepped down as a managing partner at Quadrangle Group in February 2009, the implications still lingered.  Here’s the financial disclosure he submitted when appointed by Obama.  Here are his campaign contributions for 2004-2008.

Quadrangle Group LLC is a private investment firm that invests in the global media and communications industries.  While at Quadrangle Group Rattner’s company managed Michael Bloomberg’s personal wealth and philanthropy assets.  Before founding Quadrangle, the Principals were Managing Directors at Lazard Frères & Co. LLC where Mr. Rattner was Deputy Chairman in the Media and Communications Group.  Mr. Rattner founded Lazard’s Media and Communications Group in 1989.

Seeing that he’s worth somewhere between $108-$608mil, he probably would have an easier time enjoying life without scrutiny.  Next up, Car Czar II featuring Ron Bloom, former special adviser to the president of the UAW.

The current use of the term czar in American politics comes from the Obama administration’s use of quasi-cabinet posts to help push through his handler’s socialistic agenda.  Unfortunately, these are executive-oriented positions that operate without Congressional confirmation and oversight.  You and I do not have any say in this power grab and an obvious execution of a socialist agenda.  The background of this term in America is very interesting.

In the 1830’s, during Andrew Jackson presidency, there was a concern over banking power held by the Second United States National Bank and how those powers affected state’s rights and the fact that the U.S. currency was not backed by some commodity, like silver, gold, etc..   Jackson sought to eliminate this banking system and waged war against the bank and the bank president Nicholas Biddle.  This became know as  the Bank War of 1832-36.

During this engagement by Jackson, he found an ally in Washington Globe’s editor,  Frank Blair.  Blair labeled Nicholas Biddle ” Czar Nicholas”, as a reference to the repressive communist regime of Russia, headed by Nicholas I.  The term thereafter became popular as a label given to anyone with a tyrannical mind-set.

The term was used in American government occasionally afterward in U.S. Presidential administrations of Franklin Roosevelt and Richard Nixon.  Now the U.S. Government has more czars than communist Russia ever had.  I am amazed that some people in Obama’s administration think the word czar carries some positive connotation.  I think these brazen and embolden folks know the connotation and are just openly shoving socialism down America’s throat.

However, the United States is currently heading down the road of full-blown socialism and the current Executive administration has found a way to accelerate their agenda by creating these new positions, held accountable only to Obama, while usurping any oversight by the U.S. Congress and the American citizens.

The term Czar in American politics was a machination of the U.S. media and, at the time of Andrew Jackson presidency, the term was used appropriately to compare the power of the U.S. National Bank to Czar Nicholas I of Russia.  It was a term that had an evil connotation.  Now the Obama administration seems to be shying away from the term Czar, but it seems quite appropriate to continue the use of word to represent the mind-set of this oppressive regime.  Therefore, the electorate of the United States is now ruled by a “House of Czars”.