Saturday, October 11, 2014

Obama’s Two Billion Dollar Blunder

Obama’s Two Billion Dollar Blunder:

obmcr6Recent analysis conducted by Bloomberg Government concluded the federal government has spent $2.1B (yes, billion with a b) on the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA or Obamacare) enrollment system. Peter Gosselin, a senior health-care analyst at Bloomberg and lead author of study stated “the way in which Obamacare has been rolled out has been very messy. One of the reasons it has been implemented in the way it has been, financially, is precisely to deny opponents of the law a clear target.” One assumes Mr. Gosselin is speaking of opponents who desire to defund the law.

Spending for the enrollment system has been scattered across dozens of contracts without a lead contractor for the project according to an article that appeared in Yahoo Finance. Over 60 companies have been contracted with oversight coming from governmental employees at the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS). The same Yahoo article noted the non-partisan Government Accountability Office determined, in a September report, that it was “difficult and time consuming” to obtain financial information for CMS office that manages many ACA programs, and that it “could not determine the reliability of most of the amounts” provided by CMS. The original healthcare.gov contractor was fired earlier this year and replaced with a new outside contractor.

A spokesperson for CMS refuted the findings of Bloomberg Government and noted a task force has been developed to monitor future spending. Bloomberg defends their findings noting CMS does not include costs which should be included such as the processing of paper applications and other healthcare.gov associated costs in other agencies.

This report is incredibly bothersome to say the least. First and foremost, it is an obvious waste of taxpayer monies. How is it remotely possible to spend $2.1B on a website? It is ridiculous and hard to fathom especially since we know from numerous reports the website is still not functioning properly on a consistent basis.

However, this report should not only be of concern to fiscally conservative Republicans such as myself, it should be of concern to the most liberal Democrat. This report is damaging to the liberal idea of the expansion of the state as it proves the state, or at least this administration, cannot effectively manage a project as straightforward as building a secure web portal. Any liberal who continues to argue expansion of the state is the answer to all social ills should simply be handed this report. I do not know how much it would have cost the private sector to build a secure web portal but I know somebody in Silicon Valley could have done it much cheaper than $2.1B.

If one followed the healthcare debate closely prior to the passage of ACA, one will recall liberals screaming about 30 to 40 million Americans being uninsured. The uninsured will be able to obtain healthcare after the passage of ACA, according to liberal logic. However, after one enrollment period, only 7.3 million have signed up for private health care via ACA per CMS accounting. Where are the remaining 32 million that desperately needed and wanted insurance and why did they not sign up immediately?

America had the best healthcare in the world prior to the passage of ACA. We, according to liberal logic, had to dismantle the best healthcare system in the world to accommodate the alleged 30-40 million people that were uninsured, 32 million of which remain uninsured. Actually the number of remaining uninsured Americans is probably higher than 32 million due to the fact that many of the 7.3 million that did obtain insurance via ACA actually lost their insurance due to ACA.

Thus, we completely revamped the best healthcare system in the world for the purpose of insuring the uninsured, the overwhelming majority of which remain uninsured. And it cost taxpayers $2.1B just for the website portal that still does not work efficiently. One can only concur that to date ACA has been a debacle. A 2.1 billion dollar blunder.

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