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Prescription for disaster - Obamacare coming too fast to stop the corruption

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)
November 5th, 2012
Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

President Obama, in his breakneck rush to impose Obamacare on the nation, has set up a system whereby conflicts of interest could prevail. This is the latest danger which the Senate Finance Committee has identified with the way Obamacare is being implemented. 

WASHINGTON, DC (Catholic Online) - The 2014 deadline for establishing an insurance exchange that will cover some 30 states, has both the private sector and government working feverishly to complete the process in time. In their rush, virtually no time is allowed to scrutinize private participants for any conflicts of interest.

The Obama administration has farmed out the job of constructing a data services hub for the government. That hub will be an integral part of the federal insurance exchange. Recently, one of the contractors working on the project, Quality Software Services, Inc. (QSSI) was acquired by UnitedHealth Group, which is a large healthcare conglomerate. 

The Senate Finance Committee is concerned that UnitedHealth group could be enjoying the advantage of an uneven playing field, given their size in the marketplace, but that advantage cannot be examined for any conflicts of interest because there simply isn't enough time. 

To meet the 2014 deadline, now just 14 months in the future, the parties involved have no time to stop and answer questions. 

This lack of transparency has Senator Orrin Hatch (R-UT) worried that the entire scheme could run into ever-larger problems as the rapid, opaque process invites corruption. 

To address the concern, Senator Hatch has reasonably asked Health and Human Services Secretary, Kathleen Sebelius for a full account of the contractors who have been selected to build the exchange as well as what federal officials signed off on the contractors. 

Hatch, along with his Senate colleagues, are looking to ensure that ethical considerations are abided by as Obamacare is imposed on America. It's the best they can do. 

"I am seeking more information about the contracts associated with the entities selected to build the federally facilitated exchange (FFE) and the federal data services hub that will support the FFE," Hatch wrote.

The Senator is interested in whether or not the HHS bothered to review the acquisition of QSSI by UnitedHealth Group, and if any regard was paid to the possibility that a conflict of interest could be created. 

Hatch gave Sebelius a deadline of October 26 to respond to his letter. 

She has ignored it. 

However, had she met the deadline, there is little the Senate could have done. The breakneck pace the Obama administration has set leaves no time to properly vett and evaluate contracts and to replace contractors if problems arise. 

In other words, there's no  time to correct mistakes. 

With billions of dollars likely to flow through these exchanges, many of them coming from taxes, the federal government has a responsibility to ensure the public isn't going to be fleeced while using a system they are essentially compelled under threat of law to use. 

Unfortunately, the system is already rigged so that members of the Senate Finance Committee, whose job it is to oversee such things, cannot even ask questions and obtain responses. And even if they did get answers, there is little they can do. 

Ultimately, Obamacare is being slammed down the throat of every taxpayer, and there's no answer to what it really contains. Unless a repeal is voted, which is unlikely, America is going to have to like Dr. Obama's prescription, regardless of how much snake-oil it contains. 


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