Gov. DeSantis can’t stop Deloitte Medicaid contract
Gov. Ron DeSantis. Image via Colin Hackley.

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Governor doesn't want the Medicaid deal, but can't stop it either.

Gov. Ron DeSantis continues to express displeasure about Deloitte winning a $135 million bid for a Medicaid data contract, but he can’t do anything about it given state law.

“I’m not involved in that. I can’t put my thumb on the scale,” DeSantis told reporters Tuesday in Tallahassee after a roundtable event at Florida State University.

“Obviously, I don’t want Deloitte getting contracts personally, because we’re investigating what happened with the unemployment system.”

The Governor ordered the Inspector General to look into that process in June.

Deloitte designed the state of Florida’s CONNECT website last decade, a project that took years to have its shortcomings exposed amid a crush of jobless claims after the COVID-19 pandemic hit in March.

Despite the Governor’s qualms, he notes there’s little he can do given the reality of a competitive bid process.

“There’s a process that happens. There’s a protest filed that’s going to be adjudicated. There was also a negative recommendation sent from the Department of Economic Opportunity referencing what happened with the unemployment system.”

“But I think what happened was they dropped their price so dramatically that it was not clear to me that at that point they could have been denied it on neutral grounds,” DeSantis said. “Maybe if you inject this issue into it, but I’m just not sure they’re allowed to do that based on the law.”

“Whatever we can do within the law to put that on hold, I would support. I personally can’t do that because it would be violating Florida law,” DeSantis said.

“But until we get the answers on why the state gave them $77 million for a product that engineers who had to fix this told me is not worth that, I would say keep it on pause.”

CONNECT’s failures became national news in recent months, aided by the Governor’s spectacle excoriating his predecessor over a system that performed, DeSantis said previously, like a “jalopy in the Daytona 500.”

Though months have passed since the system effectively collapsed this spring, DeSantis has not mellowed on the bitter topic of its inheritance.

“Why would you have paid the $77 [million]?,” DeSantis rhetorically asked former Gov. Rick Scott in a press gaggle last week in Jacksonville. “It’s one thing if it’s on the cheap. That’s an enormous amount of money I think for a system that clearly was not built for the long haul.”

Those comments came after Scott advised DeSantis to “go solve problems” and “quit blaming others,” regarding continuing commentary about the website’s shortcomings.

While the Governor authorized an Inspector General investigation into the site’s procurement “when the dust settles,” that investigation has not impeded Deloitte, which has said they aren’t responsible for site issues, noting the lack of a maintenance contract between the state and the vendor.

A.G. Gancarski

A.G. Gancarski has been a correspondent for FloridaPolitics.com since 2014. In 2018, he was a finalist for an Association of Alternative Newsweeklies "best political column." He can be reached at AG@FloridaPolitics.com


7 comments

  • tvnutt

    August 11, 2020 at 10:33 pm

    Holy crap! They picked Deloitte? Deloitte????? They screwed up the medicaid system in Rhode Island so bad that they’re STILL talking about it a year later!!! I know, I just moved out of Rhode Island where I’ve lived all my life. They had to hire hundreds of people to answer calls and hand out assistance. I still think they’re trying to fix the problems. People were in long lines because their SNAP and welfare benefits were suddenly dropped. Holy Crap! I can’t believe Florida chose Deloitte! They couldn’t find their anus with a funnel!

    • Sonja Fitch

      August 12, 2020 at 4:36 am

      Duffus Desantis ,Let em sue Florida! Enough evidence exists to prove unable to provide a realiable product! It takes courage to make good and decent decisions for all!

    • IT Nerd

      August 12, 2020 at 9:42 am

      That’s not really how the procurement process works. It’s a sterile process that tries to minimize subjectivity. About the most the lobbyist could do, especially in a project with this many eyes on it, is know what keywords the proposal preparers should include. Unfortunately, this is a procurement where we could all use some subjectivity to exclude the vendor.

  • DisplacedCTYankee

    August 12, 2020 at 5:00 am

    Gov DeMAGA doesn’t give a shit about Medicaid. If he (or his predecessor governor Scott) had accepted expanded Medicaid under Obamacare, I, as an official Retired Person Living in Near Poverty, would be eligible for Medicaid and might be able to afford some health care.

    F*ck capitalism.

    • Choose one

      August 12, 2020 at 7:49 am

      “Near poverty”, but you live in a gated community. Yeah, sure.

    • Bernardo Valdes

      August 21, 2020 at 2:19 pm

      I agree with you. It is Rick Scott’s baby. Now he is not happy being blamed. We need to get all these scumms out of Government. It is ridiculous that people that have worked thier whole lives and paid into the system can not get medicaid.

Comments are closed.


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