Before the dust settled on the news that the Obama Administration was delaying the intrusive employer mandate until 2015, a new 606-page regulation was issued on Friday by the Department of Health and Human Services stating it would now rely on self-reported income and employment verification in the state-run exchanges under ObamaCare. In other words, a welcome mat for fraud.
This is another startling development which is becoming part of a larger theme as ObamaCare is rolled out to the public. It is clear that the Affordable Care Act is unworkable. For those like myself who opposed it from the start, we saw the writing on the wall early on as President Obama’s signature health care legislation was rammed through the halls of Congress. If only then-Speaker Pelosi had insisted that her party read the legislation before passing it, maybe some of this would have come to light earlier on. While the eventual passage of the legislation was certain under Democrat control of Congress, maybe some Democrats now sounding the alarm about the devastating impact of the legislation would have done so sooner if they had read it while it was still a bill, not only after it became law.
As of now, ObamaCare is $1 trillion over budget; I say “as of now” because it’s almost certain that with the elimination of the anti-fraud measures the cost will further skyrocket, and there are examples to back up this theory.
In January, the Illinois Department of Healthcare and Family Services began an effort to remove ineligible people from the state’s Medicaid rolls. The initial audit concluded that of the first 20,500 recipients screened, it was recommended 13,709 be removed from eligibility. The Chicago Tribune reports that “since 2000, Illinois Medicaid rolls have doubled, from fewer than 1.4 million people to nearly 2.8 million, or more than 1 in 5 Illinoisans.” In part because of the rising Medicaid rolls, the state’s backlog of unpaid bills is expected to grow to $21 billion by fiscal year 2018.
States are fascinating laboratories of democracy that can provide brilliant blueprints for other states and the federal government to follow. However, states can also serve as flashing red lights when plans go wrong. Illinois is a great example of how a lack of anti-fraud measures can drain a state’s coffers. As President Obama’s home state, he would be wise to take notice.
President Reagan famously said “trust but verify.” In light of the notion that the U.S. health care system makes up one-eighth of the economy, it’s my hope that this administration will grasp hold of this sensible advice.