Monday, November 18, 2013
NRO contributors, Andrew McCarthy and Andrew Stiles (no relation), document some of the deception and criminal fraud being perpetrated during the selling and implementation of Obamacare.
"According to Obama, these individual-market consumers whose policies are being canceled make up only 5 percent of all health-insurance consumers.
Even this 5 percent figure is a deception. As Avik Roy points out, the individual market actually accounts for 8 percent of health-insurance consumers. Obama can’t help himself: He even minimizes his minimizations. So, if Obama were telling the truth in rationalizing that his broken promises affect only consumers in the individual-insurance market, we’d still be talking about up to 25 million Americans. While the president shrugs these victims off, 25 million exceeds the number of Americans who do not have health insurance because of poverty or preexisting conditions (as opposed to those who could, but choose not to, purchase insurance). Of course, far from cavalierly shrugging off that smaller number of people, Obama and Democrats used them to justify nationalizing a sixth of the U.S. economy.
But that’s not the half of it. Obama’s claim that unwelcome cancellations are confined to the individual-insurance market is another brazen lie. In the weekend column, I link to the excellent work of Powerline’s John Hinderaker, who has demonstrated that, for over three years, the Obama administration’s internal estimates have shown that most Americans who are covered by “employer plans” will also lose their coverage under Obamacare. Mind you, 156 million Americans get health coverage through their jobs.
John cites the Federal Register, dated June 17, 2010, beginning at page 34,552 (Vol. 75, No. 116). It includes a chart that outlines the Obama administration’s projections. The chart indicates that somewhere between 39 and 69 percent of employer plans would lose their “grandfather” protection by 2013. In fact, for small-business employers, the high-end estimate is a staggering 80 percent (and even on the low end, it’s just a shade under half — 49 percent).
That is to say: During all these years, while Obama was repeatedly assuring Americans, “If you like your health-insurance plan, you can keep your health-insurance plan,” he actually expected as many as seven out of every ten Americans covered by employer plans to lose their coverage. For small business, he expected at least one out of every two Americans, or as many as four out of every five, to lose their coverage."
"...a recent CBS News investigation found that HealthCare.gov contains a pricing feature that tends to “dramatically underestimate” the cost of insurance. The website’s “shop and browse” feature divides users into two broad age categories: “49 or under” and “50 or older.” Price estimates for the first age group are based on what a 27-year-old could expect to pay, whereas as the latter group’s price estimates are based on what a 50-year-old would pay, a practice that inevitably produces wildly misleading results for individuals significantly older than the base age. In some cases, actual premiums are nearly double the projected amount. In the words of one industry expert, the feature is “incredibly misleading for people that are trying to get a sense of what they’re paying.”
The FTC requires companies to provide essentially every possible form of information about a given product up front, prior to the point of purchase. Private companies engaged in HealthCare.gov’s kind of behavior would face severe consequences, (Orson) Swindle (former FTC commissioner) tells National Review Online. “Businessmen would lose their businesses, salesmen would lose their licenses — that’s the kind of thing we are talking about here,” he says. “The bottom line is that no private entity would be allowed to get away with what the Obama administration is trying to get away with.”
...Representative Mike Rogers (R., Mich.) gave Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius a dressing down at a congressional hearing two weeks ago, noting that HealthCare.gov was operating with a “completely unacceptable level of security” and that the administration had known this yet had directed people to the site anyway without warning.
According to an internal memo at the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), the administration had “only partly completed” a full assessment of the website’s security features ahead of the October 1 launch of the exchanges. The potential lack of security was determined to be “a risk that must be accepted” in order to meet that deadline.
“You accepted a risk on behalf of every user of this [website] that put their personal financial information at risk,” Rogers told Sebelius, “because you did not even have the most basic end-to-end test on security of this system. Amazon would never do this; ProFlowers would never do this; Kayak would never do this.”
One reason they wouldn’t is that, if any of these companies had done this, they would almost certainly have faced serious legal action under Section 5 of the FTC Act, which prohibits endangering consumers by “failing to maintain security for sensitive consumer information.” The FTC has pursued such action on 32 occasions since May 2011. “When companies tell consumers they will safeguard their personal information,” the commission notes on its website, “the FTC can and does take law enforcement action to make sure that companies live up to these promises.” Swindle suggests that a violation like that of HealthCare.gov could even warrant a referral to the DOJ for criminal charges."
Question - Will the notoriously left leaning Consumer Reports, enthusiastic supporters of the ACA, inform their alleged constituency - consumers - of these egregiously deceptive and illegal tactics?