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California exchange head blasts UnitedHealth

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Peter Lee, the executive director of Covered California, lashed out at UnitedHealth Group Inc. (NYSE:UNH) earlier this week in an interview with California Healthline.

Lee, the head of a state-based Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) public exchange, said UnitedHealth and other carriers are using the exchange system as a scapegoat for their own poor management skills.

The companies’ attacks are “driving me bonkers,” Lee said.

See also: California exchange chief proposes agent comp floor

“Instead of saying we screwed up, they said Obamacare is the problem and we may not play any more,” Lee said. “It was giving an excuse to Wall Street and throwing the Affordable Care Act under the bus.”

Lee said big insurers see the exchange system as a convenient excuse for reporting poor results now and are using it. The insurers’ criticism of the exchange system are “total spin and unanchored in reality.”

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