The company charged with determining and processing subsidies for health insurance provided by federally-run healthcare exchanges is under investigation in the UK for ‘serious fraud.’
The software company charged with calculating the subsidies for these same exchanges can’t accurately calculate the subsidies.
What’s more, the federal government and the states and the District will not verify consumers’ income and health insurance status at least until 2015 because they can’t due to ‘legislative and operational’ difficulties.
What a mess!
On July 3rd of this year, the NY Times reported that Obama hired Serco, a British company, to ‘sift applications for health insurance and tax credits under the new health care law’ for 34 federally-operated state exchanges. The contract is worth $1.25 billion. Serco has contracts with the DOD and other intelligence agencies now and in the past.
Serco, the Times said, will help the Obama administration and the states determine who is eligible for insurance subsidies and Medicaid. Tasks include “intake, routing, review and troubleshooting of applications,” according to the contract.
By July 11th, the British Serious Fraud Office announced a probe of the company. Reuters reported that the company, which handled services for immigrant prisoners tagged (monitored electronically) for transportation, charged fees for prisoners who were dead, in prison, or never part of the tagging scheme at all. Serco inflated the numbers by 1/6.
Just think, they could do the same for the exchanges and pretend more people signed up than actually did! Maybe Mr. Obama already thought of that.
On July 16th, the Obama administration was defending their decision to choose Serco amid the investigation of the British parent company.
“Serco is a highly skilled company that has a proven track record in providing cost-effective services to numerous other (U.S.) federal agencies,” said Brian Cook, a spokesman for the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid, the HHS agency overseeing implementation of the exchanges.
“The selection met all of the requirements for a full and open competition, and the timing enables us to be ready for marketplace open enrollment starting on Oct. 1,” he told Reuters.
A lobbyist for the company, Alan Hill, said there was a ‘firewall’ between the American and British companies. If you choose to believe that, I can’t stop you.
The administration did not consider dropping the company.
In addition, as if that weren’t enough, the software to calculate the subsidies for applicants, which was developed by a Canadian company, CGI Group Inc, is not ready and cannot accurately compute subsidies, hard as they’ve tried.
Mr. Obama has handled that situation. He will move ahead anyway.
There is another problem and that is the inability of the federal government and the states running these exchanges (marketplaces) to verify eligibility for exchanges and subsidies. The Washington Post reported back in July that the way the administration would handle it is to let people apply using the pinky swear system until 2015 (they didn’t use those words of course). Fraud will NOT be monitored by the US government in other words.
It’s a free-for-all!
This is no way to run a massive government healthcare program.
Your healthcare and the healthcare of your loved ones is in the hands of these people and a massive bureaucracy that can’t get out of its own way.