Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Two Companions: Falsehoods and Fraud
Falsehoods and fraud are close companions.
Obamacare critics are having a field day pouncing upon President Obama’s statement, repeated 24 times in public,  that if you want to keep your health plan you can.  He didn’t help his cause, when he added, “Period. No matter what.” 
Terminological Inexactitude
His apology and qualifying language start with the word “if” (If” I  had only known so many people’s health plans would be cancelled, the cancellations might not have happened.  “If” I had only told you, even if your “substandard plans,” are cancelled, you will get better ones, have not helped minimize the political damage to his credibility and truthfulness.  

E-mails and other documents show that he did know, or at least, his closest advisors in the inner White House circle, did.    Winston Churchill coined a phrase to explain this kind of hedging dodging, and covering up, “terminological inexactitude,” a euphemism for circumlocution or beating around the truth.
The Obama administration’s other explanations have not helped either.  It does not help to say that “only” 5% of the population in the individual market (that amounts to 16 million Americans) will lose their plans, when those in the know know millions  of employer based plans will have their plans cancelled too. 

As  Charles Krauthammer trenchantly observed, " They (the Obama administration) crafted the law precisely in a complicated way in order to maximize the number of people who would lose insurance."  To say otherwise is a "terminological exactitude, "  a stretch, a deception, and an example of Bureaucratic Big Brother Doublespeak.
Nor does the hard fact help that to date the ratio of cancellations to enrollments is 5 million to 50,000 a 10:1 ratio. 

Nor, of course, does the stark reality help that healthcare.gov is not yet workable, enterable, or reliable, and may not be soon.
Finally, there is yet another problem accompanying the “termiinlogial inexactitude,”  the potential for widespread fraud.  For good reason.   One of 20 Americans have already had their identities stolen.
Three Fraud Concerns
The concern over Obamacare security issues has three faces.
·          Concern One, that hackers and identify thieves will steal personal confidential information from healthcare.gov, and use that information to defraud citizens who try to enroll in health plans through the exchanges.   To compare plans and to see if you are eligible, you have to give personal data first.      This, say critics, is an open invitation for fraud.   How secure is this information?   Has its data security been tested?  Have there already been instances of data theft?  Why should you trust government website security based on its performance so far?

·         Concern Two, that the 50,000 or so “navigators” will be the source of this identify theft and subsequent abuse.  Who are these navigators?  What is their training?  What is their knowledge base?  How much can they help if they too cannot get on healthcare.gov to inform consumers of their options? Have their criminal backgrounds been checked?

·         Concern Three that President Obama may have lied and may be guilty of a serious federal felony when he said people would not lose their plans when he knew otherwise.  I do not take this concern seriously.  But critics like Bill O’Reilly of Fox News, talk show host Laura Ingraham, spokespersons for Project Veritas,  and Andrew C. McCarthy of National Review do.

McCarthy,  a Republican and an attorney, says President Obama is guilty of  “massive fraud" and if he were an executive of a corporation, he would be persecuted on the basis of  repeated falsehoods,   huge number of dollars spent, the millions of victims involved,  and the sheer number of times, he repeated his falsehood.  

As an attorney, McCormick prosecuted those engaged in the 1993 trade center bombing and those who staged and carried out the terrorist attacks on US embassies in Kenya and Tanzania.  He left  the Justice Department in 2003.  He is now a senior contributor to National Review.

Because all of the aforementioned have political axes to grind and because Attorney General will  never persecute President Obama, I do not take this last concern seriously, but the first two concerns are legitimate, have  political legs,  and  may  harm prospects for the success of Obamacare.

Tweet:   Concerns are growing over security issues and potential for fraud for those who try to enroll for health  plans  through healthcare.gov.

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