Trump allies were given lucrative health contracts

A handful of people associated with the White House or President Trump’s transition and campaign were hired as outside contractors to the federal government in contracts worth hundreds of thousands of dollars, Politico reported.

Some of these people were among 40 consultants working on a $2.25 million contract directed by Seema Verma, CMS administrator, and they were hired as strategic communications support for a whopping $380 per hour. The contractors collectively billed $744,000 from September 2018 to January, and HHS halted the contract after headlines brought the arrangement to light.

“The arrangement allowed the Trump allies to cycle through the federal government's opaque contracting system, charging hefty fees with little public oversight or accountability,” Politico reported.

However, other contracts were still allowed, including Verma’s former spokesperson from when she worked in Indiana. He was allowed to bill $425,000 for a year’s worth of work, Politico reported. By comparison, senior career officials were paid roughly $140,000 last year, and HHS Secretary Alex Azar pulls a salary of $203,500.

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