I remember being shocked when it was discovered that the New Jersey mob was selling fake wheelchairs to fake patients. I was even more shocked and dismayed to think physicians could engage in fraud. (Then I learned that the government's definition of "physician fraud" was choosing the wrong billing code from the thousand pages of options.) But the real shocker is this: Obama and his administration have committed grand theft at the national level, taking taxpayers money, doling it out to their friends for state medical exchanges, and then, these friends like con men everywhere instead of fulfilling their promises, are disappearing. Well, they are disappearing through an audit trail and financial double talk, but you get the idea.
And when the lawyers, accountants and politicians are done reckoning, the chance of U.S. taxpayers seeing one actual concrete benefit from their missing Obamacare tax dollars is ... nil. Just another Brooklyn bridge sold. Nothing to see here, folks. Move on, move on.
Twenty-three states took on the Obamacare exchanges. Twenty-seven states wisely abstained. Unfortunately, my great state of Iowa, under our much-revered supreme leader, Republican Gov. Terry Branstad, chose to open an exchange in spite of being told (by me and, I'm sure, others) of the hazards to businesses, to our economy, the states budget and our moral compass. So let's attempt to follow the money:
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The federal Department of Health and Human Services, via a subordinate bureaucracy with too many initials to be sensible, put money on the table for states to set up the exchanges. In spite of being "the most transparent administration in history," there is nothing transparent about the doling out of the $2 billion in taxpayers' money. The Obamacare bureaucrats won't tell you their criteria for selecting recipients of this largesse, nor the process they used behind closed doors. Somewhere between $112 million to $145 million (variously reported) were given to our new "insurance company" in Iowa that had no track record and also no license to sell insurance.
Obamacare claims to override state laws in most instances but specifically does not override licensing requirements. This is what the ACA law says on Page 33, No. 5: "The standards established under this section shall supersede any State law or regulation (other than State licensing laws or State laws relating to plan solvency)." So one needn't even invoke the constitutional impropriety. By using unlicensed people to sell insurance, this entity was breaking the law from Day 1. It now appears that some truly licensed insurance agents used for enrolling children, and possibly others, never got paid.
So, law and probably "conflict of interest" issues be damned, the CoOportunity insurance company was founded by Branstad's former Insurance Commissioner David Lyons who was appointed by Branstad in 1989 and served under him for six years. (Let's be clear: This is not a casual connection). Mr. Lyons' cohorts include Stephen Ringlee, the CEO, a "green" entrepreneur with a history of three big business failures and no clear successes; and Dr. David Carlyle, a well-connected physician from McFarland Clinic in Ames who admitted to the Washington Examiner that he hoped to get business through the exchange.
The exchange CoOp opened its doors in 2014 in direct competition to private insurance companies but with the 900-pound government gorilla pushing its product. Immediately rates went up – ironically on healthy, young people – those most likely to have been uninsured and whose buy-in was critical to Obamacare success. My 25-year-old perfectly healthy son had been paying $47 a month but immediately under Obamacare began paying $167 a month with less coverage.
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During the next nine months, approximately 129,000 people in Iowa and Nebraska were enrolled, and the company employed 27 people. Now, nine months later, the CoOp state exchange insurance has been taken over by the current insurance commissioner and declared insolvent. Of the $145 million, less than $17 million remains. I, for one, want to know where it went, but I am dubious the truth will be forthcoming. What I do know is that, short of an Indonesian typhoon magnitude catastrophe, 129,000 people will not chew up $145 million in less than nine mos. And keep in mind at least some people were paying premiums during those nine months so federal tax credits and insureds' premiums, were flowing into CoOportunity every month on 129,000 people. My insurance expert estimates that to be another $5 million a month that the co-op blew through.
In sum Obamacare, stripped bare, is nothing more than Grand Theft Medical. It is theft of the public purse in the guise of doing the public good. It is an abuse of power by all levels of government to funnel money to cronies of both big parties. Governor Branstad, a Republican, is up to his eyeballs in this con game along with the Obama administration and our various elected representatives.
It saddens me to point out that the money being sent to political cronies is not real money at all but fiat currency printed by the Federal Reserve, and every printed dollar causes previously printed dollars held by hardworking taxpayers to be worth less and less. Underpinning this scam, of course, is the growing body of law and regulation that is supported by our elected representatives – representatives like John Boehner who personally profited on the stock market by guiding the Obamacare legislation in certain advantageous ways.
So Grand Theft Medical is one more good government program (remember Solyndra?) that steals our money by fraud, by money printing and by insider stock manipulation.
Like the woman who complained that someone was saying nasty things to her on the phone for 20 minutes, how much more will we accept before hanging up?