In a weird confluence of the nation's two most pressing issues -- Obamacare and our insane immigration laws -- this week we found out that the tens of thousands of "navigators" hired by the government to enroll people in Obamacare will include convicted felons.
Despite some "navigators" having already been exposed as having arrest warrants against them, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has no plans to screen out the criminals. (But rest assured: If your identity is stolen as a result of trying to sign up for Obamacare, no one will be more upset about it than President Obama.)
Maybe it's a blessing that the Obamacare website has crashed more often than the Soviet Union's commercial air fleet did.
In addition to convicted felons, navigators are drawn from labor unions, community organizers, former ACORN staffers and front-groups for the Democratic National Committee.
Call right up and give all your private financial and medical information to those guys! What could go wrong? (Before Obamacare was even online, Minnesota's health exchange emailed the Social Security numbers and other identifying information for about 2,400 Americans to a man applying to be a "navigator.")
If you call today, you can sign up for Obamacare plus learn about a Nigerian prince in exile who's willing to share his vast inheritance with you in exchange for your bank account numbers.
Which reminds me, federal health insurance programs have long been a prime target for scammers and con artists.
To much fanfare, in 2006 Medicare announced that only 7 percent of its payments were a result of fraud. Two years later, The New York Times reported that it was actually 31.5 percent -- and that Medicare had aggressively hidden the fraud from outside auditors.
Do you think a privately run insurance company would take three years to notice that one-third of its payouts had been obtained by fraud? But with federal programs, there's a powerful incentive not to look for fraud. That would merely vindicate critics of big government!
In 2012, Medicare's crack investigators noticed that more than a billion dollars in home health care payments for 2008 had gone to one single county in Florida -- more than all such payments made to the rest of the entire country.
Do you think it would take five years for a private insurer to figure out it had been scammed out of $1 billion by a few health care professionals in one county? Anyone else would notice being stolen from, but not the government. It's not their money.
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