By JAVIER MANJARRESFlorida Governor Rick Scott is doing the “I-told-you-so” dance after having his concerns about the Obamacare “Navigators” program validated by the findings from an investigation conducted by the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee.
The House committee report found that “scam artists” are already trying to infiltrate the navigator program.
The report also found that Health and Human Resource (HHS) officials “conceded” that there was “no way to identify authenticity of certified navigators.”
Scott expressed his concern that these so-called “Navigators,” who will not have any insurance background, be collecting massive amounts of personal information for the federal government, such as tax information and Social Security numbers.
Democrats like Congresswoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz have called Scott’s Obamacare concerns excuses because she believes ” he has been hell-bent on obstructing the smooth implementation of ObamaCare,” adding that he has also “done everything he can to block it and impede its implementation.”Here are the key points of the committee’s findings after looking into how HHS was going about implementing Obamacare.
“In May 2013, top HHS officials… expressed concern about the ‘ability of Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services staff to authenticate, register, and certify everyone who will be involved in the consumer assistance process.’”
“One CMS whistleblower warned that because it may not be possible to track every computer and hard drive used by Navigators to gather applicants’ personally identifiable information (PII), the sensitive information is vulnerable. The CMS whistleblower also warned that the devices used to scan supporting documents may store and save the images containing sensitive PII.”
“With an influx of Navigators, Assisters, and individuals employed by non-governmental organizations like Enroll America engaging in ObamaCare outreach, it will be very difficult for consumers to differentiate between a scam artist and a legitimate source of information.”
Fraud and Abuse Risks of Navigator and Assister Program
Although open enrollment doesn’t start until October 1, 2013, many news outlets have
already reported about scam artist attempts to exploit the mass confusion related to ObamaCare.
For example, individuals claiming to be associated with the federal government have stolen credit card information and Social Security numbers, and have tricked people into paying for an “ObamaCare card.”
A Washington Post article from September 10, 2013, titled “Using ObamaCare as bait, scam artists target consumers and business owners” describes scam artists targeting consumers through email, phone calls, door-to-door canvassing and fraudulentIn New York and Florida, meanwhile, scammers have been traveling door-to-door, asking whether individuals currently have health insurance. If not, some individuals have reportedly been threatened with prison time if they do not sign up for coverage on the spot.
With an influx of Navigators, Assisters, and individuals employed by non-governmental
organizations like Enroll America engaging in ObamaCare outreach, it will be very difficult for consumers to differentiate between a scam artist and a legitimate source of information.(Report)
Meanwhile, the Congress is in full-repeal mode after Speaker Boehner sided with Conservatives in the House to let a vote take place on defunding Obamacare. As far as the Senate goes, the defund measure being pushed by Republican Senators Mike Lee, Ted Cruz, Marco Rubio, and Rand Paul, will most likely fail, if and when it comes to a vote.
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