Yesterday, NC DHHS Secretary Aldona Wos appeared before a group of legislators to answer their many questions about the goings-on in her department...or not.
Let's start with the tip of the iceberg:
After grilling leaders at the state Department of Health and Human Services for about nine hours on Tuesday about flawed programs and high salaries, lawmakers on both sides of the aisle expressed frustration.
Legislators didn’t get a firm date for when a Medicaid claims payment system that’s frustrating hospitals, doctors and medical equipment companies will work as advertised.
Nor were some happy with DHHS Secretary Dr. Aldona Wos’ explanation that she followed state rules when paying two 24-year-olds $85,000 and $87,500 respectively.
If you're thinking, "Wow! What a mess!", you're right -- but like all icebergs, there's a heckuva lot more beneath the tip:
Regarding wholesale changes to a report to the state auditor that apparently was designed to mislead people and support Guvnor Pat's assault on Medicaid:
“It concerns me tremendously when I see us fiddling with the facts,” said Senate Minority Leader Martin Nesbitt, an Asheville Democrat. “We need accurate information.”
Regarding Aldona's passing the buck:
[State Rep. Beverly] Earle became frustrated when Wos told the DHHS human resources director to respond rather than answer the question herself.
“I feel like we have a right to ask the secretary direct questions and get a direct answer,” said Earle, a Charlotte Democrat. “She made these decisions. I think someone needs to be held accountable.”
There's more in the N&O article -- way, way more -- including an exasperated lawmaker's threat of subpoena, a summary of Aldona's (ahem) "controversial" hiring decisions and the infamous infographic of the McCronies and who's making how much money at the public trough.
When you're grilled for 9 hours and still can't provide satisfactory answers, something is seriously wrong. From here, it looks and smells like DHHS is a cesspool.
And -- we're sticking with this iceberg analogy if it kills us -- Aldona is steering the Titanic smack into the iceberg.