Charlotte Observer: Time for McCrory to Fire Wos
Coming on the heels of an in depth News and Observer piece detailing the numerous issues that have plagued DHHS during Governor McCrory's administration, The Charlotte Observer is calling on McCrory to fire DHHS Secretary Aldona Wos. Here's an excerpt from their editorial,
McCrory’s hiring of Aldona Wos as secretary of health and human services was a huge blunder, one that he refuses to rectify by letting her go. Wos has made a series of poor decisions that have resulted in a place even consultants the department hired to address its Medicaid troubles said “lacks leadership and talent,” “an environment which fosters poor results and execution.” The atmosphere under Wos has sent many veteran staffers fleeing, often replaced with political hires or acquaintances who lacked pertinent experience.
DHHS chief financial officer Rod Davis said in November that the Medicaid office “does not have adequate staff with the necessary experience and skills to properly manage the … program.”
The incompetence and poor management of Wos and others was publicly showcased in May. Part of the governor’s budget included a plan to manage Medicaid costs that relied on an illegal taxation maneuver that would funnel $60 million in federal dollars to the state – a gimmick the feds had rejected in Pennsylvania.
Frank Thompson, a Medicaid expert at Rutgers University, told the N&O he was shocked that such a proposal made it into the budget. He called it “government by amateurs.”
As troubling, the consultant DHHS hired under a no-bid contract to reach $3.25 million yearly, Alvarez & Marsal, came up with that budget gimmick. The consultants were also involved in a $200 million mistake in projecting the Medicaid budget deficit.
[McCrory] needs to fire Wos and recruit and keep experienced and talented staff. He also needs to end the practice of no-bid contracts that Wos has made a staple of DHHS and has led to wasted dollars on incompetent hires.
Given the sheer number of problems DHHS has had in the last few years, it's clear that the Charlotte Observer is right. It's time for Aldona Wos to go.