Seven members of Arizona’s congressional delegation have demanded answers from the Department of Defense about its decision to select UnitedHealth Group over a Phoenix-based company for a lucrative $20.5 billion health-care contract to serve 2.9 million military personnel and their family members. Phoenix-based TriWest Healthcare Alliance has held the contract for 16 years.
Last week, TriWest challenged the contract through a protest filed with the Government Accountability Office. TriWest contends that UnitedHealth presented a higher bid than TriWest and that the insurance company has a history of performance and regulatory issues that should have been carefully vetted. In a letter sent this week to Defense Secretary Leon Panetta, Arizona members of the U.S. House of Representatives wanted to know how the federal agency evaluated the competing proposals and considered the costs associated with swapping contractors.