Morning Action: More Fraud and Less Sign Ups for Obamacare Than the Administration Predicted

OBAMACARE FRAUD.  Many Americans have become victims of fraud since the rollout of the Affordable Care Act began due to high levels of confusion, an “environment in which fraudsters and criminals thrive”:

According to computer security experts and government officials, Dick is right. Since the launch of Obamacare, residents nationwide are finding themselves targets of ACA scams. It’s making the already-troubled debut of a controversial law even more confusing.

“It’s an opportunity for scammers, and scammers very rarely leave an opportunity unfulfilled,” said Mark Rasch, a former computer crime and fraud prosecutor with the U.S. Department of Justice.

Ohio’s Department of Insurance issued a warning with the state Attorney General’s Office just days after ACA enrollment officially opened last month that the scam gates had opened. Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine and Insurance Director and Lieutenant Gov. Mary Taylor warned that scammers were pretending to be associated with the government to make the ploys believable.

LOW ENROLLMENT.  While 5 million Americans have had their insurance plans canceled, a mere 100 thousand people have been able to enroll for coverage under Obamacare, which means the Administration is 80 percent below their target:

In the market for individually-purchased health insurance, more than 4.8 million Americans have received notices that their preexisting plans are soon to be illegal, and will be cancelled. Many more cancellation notices are imminent. But yesterday, the Wall Street Journal obtained information regarding the number of people who have signed up for new private health coverage under Obamacare: “40,000 to 50,000” for the federal exchange, and 49,000 for 12 of the 14 state-based exchanges.

INSUFFICIENT COMPETITION.  The Heritage Foundation explains there is a lack of competition in Obamacare’s exchanges resulting in increased costs and less consumer choice:

Analyzing insurer participation in both federal and state-run exchanges shows that the President’s health care law has almost completely failed to increase insurance market competition.

The lack of competition among insurers in the exchanges also decreases pressure to keep costs down. This is in addition to significant premium increases for a majority of consumers in a majority of states from Obamacare’s added benefit requirements, new insurance rating rules, and new taxes and fees.

MEDICAID.  Experts suggest the Obamacare Medicaid expansion will likely result in poor quality care and worse health outcomes for many individuals:

That’s the point of How Medicaid Fails The Poor, a new book by Forbes columnist and Manhattan Institute fellow Avik Roy. Coverage isn’t care, notes Roy — and in the case of Medicaid, coverage may be worse than not being covered.

That’s because extensive research indicates that Medicaid recipients actually do worse than people without any insurance at all. 

Why Medicaid recipients do worse isn’t entirely clear, but it’s likely because the best doctors seldom accept Medicaid, leaving patients with subpar physicians.

It’s not surprising that a government that can’t build a working health insurance website can’t run a massive health insurance program so that its beneficiaries actually benefit. What’s surprising is that there’s been so little push back over the awful results that Medicaid has yielded. It’s as if the government “health care” boosters don’t really care about the well being of the poor.

AMNESTY.  It appears unlikely that Congress will pass a comprehensive immigration reform including amnesty this year:

The third-ranking House Republican told immigration advocates that lawmakers won’t vote this year on the issue, confirming what many had long assumed.

California Rep. Kevin McCarthy, the majority whip, said in a meeting with immigration proponents that there weren’t enough days left for the House to act and he was committed to addressing overhaul of the nation’s immigration system next year. The congressman’s office confirmed what he said.

GREEN ENERGY.  The political push for green energy has taken a toll on the environment:

But the ethanol era has proven far more damaging to the environment than politicians promised and much worse than the government admits today.

As farmers rushed to find new places to plant corn, they wiped out millions of acres of conservation land, destroyed habitat and polluted water supplies, an Associated Press investigation found.

Five million acres of land set aside for conservation – more than Yellowstone, Everglades and Yosemite National Parks combined – have vanished on Obama’s watch.

The consequences are so severe that environmentalists and many scientists have now rejected corn-based ethanol as bad environmental policy. But the Obama administration stands by it, highlighting its benefits to the farming industry rather than any negative impact.

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