The Conversation

ObamaCare is another 'honor system' fraud festival in the making

Remember when I mentioned the "free" cell phone program in yesterday's piece about Pigford and Big Government corruption?  The cell phone welfare giveaway turned into a mosh pit of abuse, as the government ran the whole thing largely on the honor system, and scam artists happily scooted off carrying half a dozen "free" phones.

Well, ObamaCare looks ready to give us more of the same, now that the Orwellian 61-page application for its deficit-blasting subsidies (liberals finally managed to get the middle class hooked on welfare!  Yay!) has been boiled down to a streamlined 3 pages.  Naturally, everyone in America freaked out over the laughable 61-page paperwork nightmare our new health care commissars originally cooked up, so they had to make it simpler.

Scott Gottlieb of Forbes explains how "the government's new form is going to be an invitation to fraud and abuse:"

Those 61 pages of the old application were mostly filled with questions to make sure that people were eligible to get the subsidies. The government needs to verify their income, and make sure that they aren’t eligible for health insurance at work.

Under Obamacare, the government also needs to verify that people aren’t eligible for other public health insurance programs like Medicaid or Veteran’s benefits before they receive subsidies to buy coverage on the exchanges.

Is anyone in your household eligible to get health coverage from Medicare? Tricare? The Peace Corps? Are there any “other state or federal health benefit program” that they may be able to tap for health coverage? Is anyone in your household pregnant, and therefore eligible for other kinds of government assistance?

These were the kinds of questions that the old, long form asked. There were also a host of questions designed to ferret out income that might have been “misreported” on your tax return.

But "the new form largely takes your word for it all."  

Gottlieb figures the end result will be some combination of "fraud and waste" as subsidies flow to ineligible recipients, and the government foisting verification onto state authorities and private health plan administrators.  That way, everyone except the ObamaCare commissars gets blamed when the whole thing comes off the rails.

Personally, I'll wager the mixture contains a heavier dosage of fraud.  Socialists like people getting hooked on benefits; they tolerate ridiculous amounts of welfare fraud because the wise, lawful stewardship of taxpayer money is at the very bottom of their list of priorities.  That's one consequence of allowing madcap perpetual deficit spending - the socialists don't have to worry about welfare fraud taking away resources from other programs and making them look bad.  

What's important is having a lot of people on the dole.  ObamaCare will put a huge chunk of the formerly independent middle class right where the Left wants them.  Fraud and abuse will only increase dependency, so the socialists will be no more eager to crack down on it than they are to reform the rest of Food Stamp Nation.  Utopia at last!



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