Dayton Cabinet Member Accused of Not Being 'Truthful' in Congressional Testimony

Updated: 07/17/2012 7:10 AM KSTP.com By: Jay Kolls

There's a major development in the Congressional investigation into Minnesota's $4 billion dollar Medicaid program.

The Congressional Committee investigating the Minnesota Department of Human Services and the four HMOs that run the Medicaid program is taking aim at DHS Commissioner Lucinda Jesson.

Jesson testified, under oath, before that Committee in April. She characterized a $30 million giveback to the State from U-Care, one of the HMOs that administer the Medicaid program, as a "donation."

But, Congressman Darrel Issa, (R) CA,, sent a letter to Jesson questioning her honesty. Issa says he met with U-Care CEO Nancy Feldman last month and she told him that she, nor any high-level employee at U-Care, ever called the $30 million dollar giveback a "donation." Issa went on to say in the letter to Jesson that he is giving her a chance to "clarify, or change" her testimony. He gave Jesson a July 12 deadline but has not yet received a response from the Commissioner.

Commissioner Jesson declined our request for an interview but, in a statement, says she stands by the "donation" characterization and she will answer Issa's questions tomorrow. U-Care also declined comment but, said, in part, through a written statement, that the company has always called the giveback a "contribution" and it is up to the State and the Feds to determine if it is a "donation." If it is a donation, half the money should be returned to the taxpayers. Governor Mark Dayton, we were told, was not available for an interview either.