ObamaCare Clusterfuck: Serco, Obama's July 4th pick to handle "complex eligibility issues" for the Federal exchanges, now enmeshed in fraud scandal. So why did Obama pick them?
Racing* to meet an October deadline, Obama administration officials said Thursday that they had awarded a contract worth as much as $1.2 billion to a British company to help them sift applications for health insurance and tax credits under the new health care law. The company, Serco, has extensive experience as a government contractor with the Defense Department and intelligence agencies, and it also manages air traffic control towers in 11 states and reviews visa applications for the State Department. But it has little experience with the Department of Health and Human Services or the insurance marketplaces, known as exchanges, where individuals and small businesses are supposed to be able to shop for insurance. Serco will help the Obama administration and states determine who is eligible for insurance subsidies, in the form of tax credits, and who might qualify for Medicaid. Tasks include “intake, routing, review and troubleshooting of applications,” according to the contract. Under the contract, Mr. Hill said, Serco and its subcontractors will immediately begin hiring 1,500 people. ... Under the contract, the company is also supposed to help consumers and the Obama administration resolve “complex eligibility issues.”**
Unfortunately, Serco is now under fire for bilking UK taxpayers (hat tip RS). I know, shocking, a defense contractor? What's the world coming to?
A review has found G4S and rival security company Serco both over-billed the taxpayer for running the tagging [electronic monitoring] schemes, in what the minister said was a "wholly indefensible and unacceptable state of affairs".
It included charging the government for tagging offenders who had died, been returned to prison, left the country or who had never been put on the tagging scheme in the first place, Mr Grayling told the House of Commons.
Ministry of Justice sources said although they typically had 15,000 offenders on a tag at any one time G4S and Serco had been charging them for 18,000 - meaning one in six was spurious [fraudulent]. ...
Mr Grayling said he expected MPs would share his "astonishment" that two of the government's two biggest contractors would behave in such a way [BWA-HA-HA-HA!!!!].
He added: "The audit team is at present confirming its calculations but the current estimate is that the sums involved are significant, and run into the low tens of millions in total, for both companies, since the contracts commenced in 2005.
Spending on electronic tagging has run to £700 million since G4S and Serco were handed the contracts.
This is the fraud story to watch, not the story about some poor schlub making $15K a year who games his way out of Medicaid so he can buy a
Loser Bronze plan with a teeny subsidy to be clawed back later on the Exchanges.
Given Obama's relaxed, not to say flaccid attitude toward accounting control fraud by banksters, and given how Obama perverted HAMP to screw homeowners and "foam the runway" for the banks, one can only wonder if the capacity for fraud was one of the boxes on Obama's due diligence checklist for picking this vendor.
Because look what happened in the tagging fraud: Serco inflated its numbers by 1/6. Well, Obama's for sure worried about the body count for exchange signups. So, wouldn't it be a real win-win situation for both parties to the transaction if Serco collected a few tens of millions for inflating ObamaCare enrollments*** and Obama turned a blind eye? Fifty lashes with a wet noodle for Serco later, of course, but that's just kayfabe.
It would be irresponsible not to speculate...
NOTE * Whenever you see the word "racing" in a news story, ask yourself "Why do they have to race?" You can be sure the story will never explain. In other words, "racing" is an excellent sign that "the narrative" is in operation, and the deflection and misdirection flaps are fully extended. (Except in an actual story about racing, naturally.)
NOTE ** But look at the timeline: July 3, Obama descopes the employer reporting requirement. July 4, Izvestia announces Serco's selection. July 5, Obama descopes the income verification requirement. So Obama's announcement of a vendor being tossed $1.4 billion to handle "complex eligibility issues" is bracketed by Obama's announcements that gut the requirements that produce those exact complexity issues, and replace those requirements with "the honor system." One can only wonder what Serco is really being hired to do.
NOTE *** At this point, one remembers this from the Times article:
Serco is supposed to ["supposed to"?!] make digital copies of the documents and then destroy most of the originals.
What could go wrong?
NOTE Here's Serco's talking point. FT:
A lobbyist for Serco in the US, Alan Hill, emphasized that its US arm operated as a separate company with a strict firewall given the sensitive nature of its American operations, including processing millions of visa applications for the state and homeland security departments.
I love British humor. So dry.
UPDATE Serco lobbying from Politico:
SERCO LOBBIED ON ACA: The British firm that won a contract worth as much as $1.2 billion to process exchange subsidy applications and check Medicaid eligibility lobbied on the Affordable Care Act recently, public records show. Serco hired Greenberg Traurig to work on the "implementation of [the] Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act," according to a lobbying registration filed in February. The firm also had Bluestone Strategies on retainer. The company — a British contracting firm that also works with the Defense and State departments — reported $140,000 in lobbying spending in 2012.