"The president's signature achievement has become the butt of late night jokes...no one knows how many people have managed to enroll, and the administration refuses to release those numbers. The website's launch has been nothing short of disastrous. Media outlets have struggled to find anyone who's actually been successful."
If a one-year delay of the Obamacare mandate tax is good enough for Jon Stewart, Wolf Blitzer and the vast majority of the American people, why won't Democrats in Washington even consider it? To add insult to injury, how much did taxpayers fork over to build the non-functioning Obamacare website? According to government records, the figure appears to be north of $600 million, (somewhat appropriately) way over budget:
The exact cost to build Healthcare.gov, according to U.S. government records, appears to have been $634,320,919, which we paid to a company you probably never heard of: CGI Federal. The company originally won the contract back in 2011, but at that time, the cost was expected to run “up to” $93.7 million – still a chunk of change, but nothing near where it ended up.
Three-and-a-half years and more than half-a-billion dollars later, the Obama administration has an unmitigated failure on its hands. This is why people don't trust big government to do big things, especially with spendthrift incompetents at the wheel. People can't enroll, passwords are being reset, insurance companies aren't receiving data -- and the flaws run so deep that they may not be resolved for "months," based on several expert assessments. In the meantime, as millions try to sign up and, the opening for rampant exploitive fraud grows larger. The Chicago Tribune warns its readers to be wary of scam artists, an admonition citizens would be wise to heed:
Phony ACA Insurance Cards: There is no Affordable Care Act "insurance card." The Better Business Bureau has issued a warning that con artists are trying lure people into providing Social Security numbers or bank account information so they can "send a new insurance card." With that information, the fraudsters can steal your identity. Remember, unlike Medicare, there are NO ACA cards.
Imposters posing as Navigators: The ACA created a designated breed of advisers known as "navigators," who generally work at nonprofits like the United Way or local agencies. Navigators are supposed to help answer questions and to help individuals enroll for coverage. Imposters are now calling and emailing unsuspecting consumers, posing as navigators and trying to steal their identities or sell them phony health insurance. Remember that NO ONE from the government will call you, email you or show up to your house regarding the ACA, so if one of these posers appears, hang up, hit delete or shut the door!
Medicare Card Scam: The Federal Trade Commission reports that Medicare-related complaints have skyrocketed from 117 in January to 2,164 in August. One new trick has the scammer saying that you need a new Medicare card under the new law. This is 100 percent false: there are no new Medicare cards as a result of the ACA. This scheme attempts to obtain your Medicare card because your Social Security number is printed on it, which allows for a new identity to be established.
Fake websites: The government's official website for ACA is http://www.healthcare.gov. However, cyber thieves are creating false sites with faux government seals that phish for personal information. Avoid any site EXCEPT healthcare.gov, because it could lead to identity theft or nasty computer viruses.
The sad reality is that if you think you've easily signed up for Obamacare, there's a very good chance that you're actually ensnared in a fraud. "Nothing short of disastrous," indeed. A new Associated Press poll shows that just seven percent (!) of Americans say the law's roll-out has "gone well." Who are these people? And haven't they heard that the process is "simple and user friendly"?
Guy Benson is Townhall.com's Political Editor. Follow him on Twitter @guypbenson. He is co-authors with Mary Katharine Ham for their new book End of Discussion: How the Left's Outrage Industry Shuts Down Debate, Manipulates Voters, and Makes America Less Free (and Fun).
Author Photo credit: Jensen Sutta Photography