- Texas man arrested for powder-letter hoax
- Islamic State opens ‘marriage bureau’ for single jihadists
- Drone almost blocks California firefighting planes
- Tornado rips off roofs, downs trees near Boston
- GOP: Environmental rules keeping agents from accessing border
- John Kerry: Millions displaced by religious fighting in 2013
- Federal appeals court rules against Virginia’s gay marriage ban
- White House says Russia ‘losing’ war in Ukraine
- Hamas turns to North Korea for weapons deal, Iran for money
- Syrian casualties surge as jihadis consolidate
EDITORIAL: The great Obamacare swindle
The White House has freebies for everyone
Question of the Day
In less than three months, Obamacare’s federal health insurance exchange will open and with it the flood of subsidies begins. The administration is clearly worried about how this grand scheme is going to come together, and it should be. The Department of Health and Human Services on Monday officially eliminated the anti-fraud provisions so that anyone can certify himself as “needy” and get the freebies.
Even without an influx of billions of new spending by Obamacare, health care fraud is costly. The FBI estimates that Medicare is swindled out of anywhere between $75 billion and $250 billion a year, which is almost 10 percent of the program’s spending. A rash of Obamacare con artists — real con artists, and not the pols and their helpers who shill for the program — have already attempted to take advantage of the complications of the law. The new charlatans are using the confusion and penalties built into the law to dupe the elderly into believing that if they do not pay health insurance immediately they will have to pay 2.5 percent of their income in fines and may go to jail.
By eliminating income verification for subsidies through the health insurance exchanges, the administration signaled a new kind of fraud. Applicants will now know that they can lie without risk to claim to earn less than the threshold income. The government could cut to the chase and put up a notice: “Sign up for free federal money here.”
The most generous explanation is that there is no computer technology in place to fulfill its promises in time for the health care plan’s October launch. Verifying income is not simple, and requires much information gathering and sifting through databases. Perhaps the National Security Agency could lend a hand.
A less charitable view is that the White House, having made such extravagant promises, is desperate to move, forward if possible, with Obamacare regardless of cost or consequence. Big-time fraud represents just one more expense in a program that’s going to cost taxpayers trillions.
Allowing anyone to sign up, regardless of eligibility, inflates the Obamacare rolls to impressive levels. Even now little grunions are at work with brushes and inkpots in the White House basement on the banners: “Mission accomplished.” The great fear of Obamacare proponents is that the customers just won’t sign up. The White House has tried to get the National Basketball Association, the National Football League and even librarians to peddle the program. Hundreds of millions of dollars have been distributed to liberal groups to pay community organizers to recruit customers.
It’s more than just a public relations problem. If the young and healthy refuse to sign up, the program will collapse because, by design, the burden of Obamacare falls on those who will least use its services. By kicking open the door and inviting anyone and everyone to walk through, the administration hopes to avoid the imminent crack-up. We may be swiftly approaching the straw that breaks the camel’s back. The collapse of Obamacare won’t be pretty, but it will make a lot of noise. Some of that noise will be skeptics reminding Congress and the White House that “we told you so.”
The Washington Times
© Copyright 2014 The Washington Times, LLC. Click here for reprint permission.
About the Author
- LETTER TO THE EDITOR: Texas law is making women safer
- LETTER TO THE EDITOR: No taxpayer funds for illegals
- LETTER TO THE EDITOR: Redskins partnership is a win-win
- LETTER TO THE EDITOR: Time for some policy 'pars' from golfer-in-chief
- EDITORIAL: Stopping police asset-forfeiture predators
Latest Blog Entries
TWT Video Picks
By Richard Rahn
Treaty would let tyrants peer into Americans' financial information
Get Breaking Alerts
- D.C. seeks to stay judge's order allowing gun owners to carry in public
- Illegal immigrants demand representation in White House meetings
- Hillary Clinton: Forget Obama, George W. Bush made her 'proud to be an American'
- Iraqi Christians rally at White House: 'Obama, Obama, where are you?'
- Romney would win popular vote in rematch against Obama: CNN poll
- White House says Russia 'losing' war in Ukraine
- Babson College, BYU win top spots in Money magazine's college rankings
- Tennessee Gov. Haslam slams White House for secret dump of illegals in his state
- White House defends Kerry failure to broker Middle East cease-fire
- DeSean Jackson working on offensive cohesiveness with Redskins teammates