Tuesday, March 15, 2016

March, 2016, Part 2, The Unfolding Disaster That Is Obama Care: MIsmanagement and Ineptness Across the Board

Every month for years now we have had to discuss how bad Obama Care is turning out to be under the continuing theme, “the unfolding disaster that is Obama Care.” This month is no different. As the legislation continues to march through America, driving up health care and health insurance prices as it serves as dead weight on economic growth, it cements its rightful place as the worst piece of legislation Washington has ever produced.

It never had a chance to be successful since it really never addressed the underlying root causes of our ever increasing health costs in the country:

  • Americans eat too much of the wrong kind of food, resulting in obscenely high obesity rates for the country.
  • Our food chain is infested with overdoses of high fructose corn syrup, salt, and other unhealthy additives.
  • Americans smoke too much.
  • Americans do not exercise enough.
  • The country is in serious need of health care tort reform.
  • Barriers to insurance company competition across state lines need to come down.
  • Obama Care never “followed the money” to find out who is actually profiting from the ever escalating healthcare costs in this country and how to get those factors under control.
  • Obama Care never got the immense amount of fraud and abuse in current government healthcare programs, Medicare and Medicaid, under control in order to save money to efficiently fund other government health care initiatives.
  • Obama Care never put serious research money towards curing the major diseases that drive high healthcare costs such as high frequency cancers and dementia type diseases.
You cannot resolve any problem unless you understand and address the underlying root causes. No difference here: Obama Care legislation never addressed these listed root causes and thus, has no chance of ever being successful.

But it is not just missing the root causes of our healthcare costs that makes Obama Care so horrible. It resulted in millions of Americans losing access to their favored doctors, hospitals, and insurance policies. It has caused insurance premiums, deductibles and co-pays to escalate substantially. It will likely add trillions of dollars to the national debt. It has exposed millions of Americans to higher than necessary identity theft chances. It has created government bureaucracies that are wastefully spending taxpayer wealth and being exploited by criminal elements. It has stifled economic growth and job creation.

These are just a sample of the types of idiocy that we have been reviewing for the past several years in this blog relative to Obama Care., To read those past posts, just enter the phrase, “the unfolding disaster,” in the search box above.

Yesterday and today we will be reviewing the latest unfolding disasters from the worst piece of legislation ever written by Washington:

1) Yesterday, we talked a little about the latest GAO report which proved again how poorly the Obama Care data systems were put together and performing. The Las Vegas Review Journal also did a report on that GAO report and dove into some more of the details:

  • The Obama administration and the Federal bureaucracy that administers Obama Care’s regulations have resulted in “stunning levels of Obamacare fraud — which the government is doing little to nothing to combat — reinforces just how unaffordable the so-called Affordable Care Act has become.”
  • Billions of Obama Care subsidies have been paid out to people with “unresolved inconsistencies” regarding their eligibility for coverage.
  • By April, 2015, 431,000 Obama Care applications had received a whopping $1.7 billion in taxpayer funded subsidies despite having paperwork issues.
  • Another 22,000 applications that may have been filed by people currently serving prison sentences may have illegally gotten another $68 million.
  • The Federal government failed to get its databases up to date to make sure this fraud did not occur despite Obama Care being live for years.
  • 35,000 applications got subsidies even though there were inconsistencies with their Social Security numbers.
  • According to the article, “the agency [responsible for Obama Care compliance] has limited ability to detect and respond to attempts at fraud..." So basically, what’s going on here is that Obamacare fraud is rampant — because nobody has the responsibility of rooting out fraud. Perfect.
Such a broken law, a broken process, and broken government processes which continue to waste taxpayer wealth day after day.

2) Peter Sullivan, writing for The Hill on February 23, 2016, reported on how the government agency responsible for implementing the Obama Care law ignored many warning signs that its data systems processes were in trouble. Details of the report include:

  • The Centers For Medicare and Medicaid (CMS) repeatedly ignored warning signs about the impending disasters, according to a new report from its inspector general (IG).
  • The IG report found that CMS received 18 “documented warnings,” implying that there may have been other warnings.
  • The warnings occurred between July, 2011 and July, 2013 but they were neither ignored or not properly communicated.
  • One lower ranked worker told the IG that: “[CMS senior officials] would sit in meetings across from me and not know there is an enormous fire burning behind them.” 
  • Not only did CMS ignore bad news they were also guilty of not passing bad news on to others.
  • Just days before the launch of the Obama Care software, CMS executives realized that they had only half the capacity that was needed. “Just days before” they realized they were off by 100%.
  • According to the IG: “CMS leadership and staff took little action to respond to warnings, remaining overly optimistic about the launch, and developing few contingency plans.” 
  • Additionally, and most embarrassingly: “A member of the ad hoc technology team noted that in the absence of comprehensive monitoring tools, ‘There was no place to look to find out whether the site was up today or not except CNN, which was literally how we found out about problems a good part of the time in the beginning.’” They found out about the problems on CNN, how pathetic.
  • Even by 2014, the IG found that the systems “could not confirm the accuracy of payments.”
Pathetic is still synonymous with any and every aspect of Obama Care. 

3) Melanie Hunter, writing for CNS News on March 10, 2016, showed how the head of CMS testified that his organization was flying blind when it came to understanding what was going on relative to Obama Care’s co-op entities. Andy Slavitt, acting head of CMS, said that there was “very limited actual performance information” to help the Federal government understand how poorly the co-ops were performing.

How badly did they actually perform? Twelve of the 23 have already folded, costing taxpayers at least $1.2 billion and terminating insurance coverage for 740,000 Americans in 14 states. In addition, at least one state co-op, the one in New York, is being investigated for criminal violations and fraud. And of the remaining co-ops, most are also still in dire financial straits.

Even worse, according to reporting from Melissa Quinn of the Heritage Foundation, the Obama administration ignored warnings from a private consulting that at least some of the co-ops were not going to be financially viable long before they failed. Deloitte Consulting analyzed the business plans and applications of the dozen defunct co-ops and knew early on they were in trouble:

  • The company, hired to evaluate the co-ops’ business plans and loan applications, specifically pointed to issues with the financial forecasts submitted by the nonprofit insurance companies. 
  • The consulting firm’s warnings were ignored by the Department of Health and Human Services, according to the subcommittee’s report.
  • These failed co-ops were a costly experiment gone wrong, and real people got hurt, including the more than 700,000 Americans who lost their health plans,” Sen. Rob Portman, chairman of the subcommittee, said today at a hearing on the co-ops.

Ms. Quinn also reported that although the Obama administration had the warning from the consulting company, they decided to ignore the warnings for a couple of years or until the co-ops were too far gone to save. Only one out of 23 co-ops is actually profitable so far.

So, it was not the Obama administration’s fault that all of this bad news happened because they did not have the information they needed to fix what went wrong before it went really wrong? How lame of an excuse is this? The administration controlled the entire process and blamed themselves for not having the data they needed so it is not their fault. Insane logic.

What a mess, what arrogance, what ignorance.

4) As we often do with these Obama Care failure posts, we end them with real stories of real Americans suffering real problems as a result of Obama Care. Today;s sufferings come from the website:

TARA, FLORIDA: I work for a fortune 100 company. We used to have blue cross blue shield, good insurance, $500 deductible. Under Obamacare we lost or insurance company, my deductible went up to $1500, with another 20% out of pocket to the next $1500! I have been told that I need to have a diagnostic mammogram and ultrasound. The cost of the tests and the 2 fees for a radiologist to read each one will come to about $1700 which must be paid up front. I don't have it and have no way to get it, so now, I live in fear each day that I have breast cancer and no way to find out! Thanks Obama . . . NOT!

ROGER, TENNESSEE: My Epilepsy medication (generic) has gone from the $10 per mo. copay to $180. My acid reflux medication (generic) has gone from $60 per mo. copay to over $800 per mo. My premium did drop $300,but it's decieving, because the net effect will cost me over $8,000. This all kicked in April 1.

MARIANNE, OHIO: Have had affordable insurance my entire life, both individual, and employer based. Now I am uninsured due to the huge premiums and deductible I found on the exchange when I lost my coverage as of 12/31/13. Never has insurance been based on my income and never have I been so devastated to find the premiums for my son and I more than a house payment. Thankfully, I HAD a great affordable plan last year when I was diagnosed with breast cancer and had surgery, chemo and radiation. I am SO VERY fearful of this returning even though the oncologist said I am cured. No insurance and I absolutely cannot afford this. As a young widow who lost my husband to cancer, I am the sole provider and parent to my son. This law is unjust and I am just sick with worry without insurance for the first time in our lives

That will do it for today’s and this month’s unfolding disasters of Obama Care. Higher costs, lost coverage, mismanagement of the co-op process, and mismanagement of the data systems processes. Seems they could not have done a more inept job if they were trying. More disasters next month.

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