Monday, July 15, 2013

Glitches galore

In the past week and a half we have seen the President unilaterally delay by one year the employer mandate whereby businesses of over 50 people would be required to provide federally-approved health care plans to their employees. In this same time span, the President suspended the penalties for smoking that are contained within the law as there are directly contradicting provisions regarding the amount of the penalties and then also decided that verifying income to see who qualified for federal subsidies was, like, too hard so out the door went those income verification checks inviting fraud and abuse of the healthcare system.

The folks at the LA Times helpfully explain that these “glitches” were inevitable and a delay in the roll-out of these provisions was the prudent thing to do… 3-1/2 years after ObamaCare was signed into law. We’d like to remind the L.A. Times that part of the justification for ramming this thing through the Senate and House was that people’s lives were at stake and we simply could not wait any longer to pass and then implement ObamaCare. Given the current rationale for delay, the old rationales for passing it adopt an air of convenience.

We’d also like to point out a contention regarding the law and it is the fact that we are rapidly approaching that point in time when the “number of glitches” line intersects with “this law is totally unworkable line” if we are indeed at that point already.

Now, here in California, the vested and the experts have been keeping a close eye on the state’s aggressive efforts to set up the healthcare exchanges through which California residents can purchase individual healthcare plans. Of course, their aggressive efforts in getting the state exchange set up and running by October 1st experienced a glitch of it’s own in that the health care bubbas do not have any vetting mechanism in place to perform hiring checks on the thousands of employees need to assist the public.

From The Deseret News:

As California prepares to launch its health care exchange, consumer groups are worried the uninsured could fall victim to fraud, identity theft or other crimes at the hands of some of the very people who are supposed to help them enroll.

The exchange, known as Covered California, recently adopted rules for a network of more than 21,000 enrollment counselors who will provide consumers with in-person assistance as part of the federal Affordable Care Act. In some cases, they will have access to personal and financial information, from ID cards to medical histories.

But the state insurance commissioner and anti-fraud groups say the exchange is falling short in ensuring that the people hired as counselors are adequately screened and monitored.

Insurance Commissioner Dave Jones also said the exchange does not have a plan for investigating any complaints that might arise once the counselors start work. That means consumers who might fall prey to bogus health care products, identity theft and other abuses will have a hard time seeking justice if unscrupulous counselors get ahold of their Social Security number, bank accounts, health records or other private information, he said.

"We can have a real disaster on our hands," Jones, a Democrat, said in an interview.

That Jones is a Democrat is less of an issue in this as it is he is a state employee, a class of people that will vigorously defend their turf and that of the state’s. The California high-speed choo-choo folks are perhaps the masters of happy talk in the face all contradicting evidence. Mr. Jones is apparently having none of it and is warning against a tsunami of fraud and identity theft, a trainwreck, if you will. But for you cynics out there, this is the type of ass-covering we wholeheartedly approve of.

Again, at what point have you seen enough and come to the conclusion that what needs to be done is to pull the plug on this miserable law and start over? We've been there for a while because all that we foretold is coming to pass.

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