BILLIONS WASTED: Obamacare Contractor Pays Employees To Do… Absolutely Nothing

Guest Post by Doug Ross

Under a Republican administration, this would be a huge scandal. Above-the-fold coverage in The New York Times for weeks on end. The lead story on the network news. You know the drill.

Given this administration, however, suffice it to say that you’ll only see this immense waste of taxpayer dough on a few select outlets willing to speak truth to power.

Please note that this investigation was the product of an intrepid, local news team at St. Louis KMOV.

And anyone with a modicum of sense knows that this is but the tip of the iceberg.

An employee of Serco, a company with a $1.2 billion government contract to handle paper healthcare applications has some rather interesting, and believable claims.

“There are some weeks that a data entry person would not process an application. The main thing is the data entry side does not have hardly any work to do. They’re told to sit at their computers and hit the refresh button no more than every 10 minutes. They’re monitored, to hopefully look for an application. Their goals are to process 2 applications a month, and some people are not even able to do that. There are centers in Missouri, Kentucky, and Oklahoma. 1,800 people trying to get 1 of 30 application that pop up. Serco, gets paid for the number of people they employ. So they want us there even if we are not doing anything.”

Others complain as well. The video shows online comments from an alleged former employee “This place is a JOKE! There is nothing to do – NO WORK.”

Serco refused to answer questions about the news investigation.

The center for Medicare and Medicaid issued this preposterous statement: “Serco is committed to making sure federal funds are spent appropriately.”

Daniel Halper notes:

The reporter adds, “Our employee says every person who works here is happy to have a job, and wants to work hard. But frustration is mounting. Serco’s contract is worth upwards of $1.2 billion.”

The anonymous employee says the contract gets paid by the federal government per employee hired. Which is why it’s in their interest to have a bunch of employees sitting around all day doing nothing.

That’s right: the Obama administration is paying Serco per employee hired, not by work performed, applications processed, or any other reasonable measure.

Of course, it’s not their money they’re wasting, is it?.

But I’m sure single-payer would be awesome, dontchaknow.

Hat tip: BadBlue News

4 thoughts on “BILLIONS WASTED: Obamacare Contractor Pays Employees To Do… Absolutely Nothing”

  1. It would be far cheaper for us taxpayers if government employees and contractors were paid not to work. It’s when they’re doing stuff that trouble starts.

  2. Serco is part of Serco PLC out of Great Britain. Serco publishes a magazine, Ethos Journal, to stimulate thought and provoke reaction to the big issues shaping the world of public services. Ethos is aimed at public sector leaders, politicians, academics and policy specialists debating the future of public services today.

    “Among the Greenberg Traurig lobbyists working on the Serco account was Mark Hayes, a former Senate health-policy aide. During his time on Capitol Hill, Hayes “was instrumental in the key coverage, financing and delivery system reform provisions of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act,” according to his Greenberg Traurig bio, and “acted as lead Republican staff negotiator for the ‘Group of Six’ health-care reform negotiations.” Less than a year after the ACA was signed, Hayes left Capitol Hill to become a lobbyist, representing several health-sector clients.

    “Earlier this year, Hayes became a central subject of a federal insider-trading investigation. The Washington Post reported that Hayes had sent information on April 1 about a significant Medicare policy change to an analyst at Height Securities. The analyst then “sent out an alert to Height’s hundreds of investor clients — ahead of the administration’s public announcement — and trading in Humana, Aetna, and other health-care stocks immediately soared.” Hayes could not be reached for comment, and it’s unclear whether the investigation is continuing. Papers filed in May, after the incident, stated that Hayes was expected to cease lobbying for Serco.

    “Regardless of the recent federal scrutiny of Hayes, Serco’s big spending seems to have paid off. In early July, the Obama administration awarded Serco a contract worth up to $1.249 billion to manage paper applications for the new insurance exchanges. The company will determine eligibility for tax credits, Medicaid, and exemptions from tax penalties. Privacy concerns have already arisen, because in 2011, a data breach at the U.S. Thrift Savings Plan for federal employees – managed by Serco — jeopardized the Social Security numbers and confidential information of more than 120,000 participants.

    “Just weeks after the Obama administration announced Serco’s contract award, news broke that Britain’s Serious Fraud Office had opened an investigation into the corporation, which had government contracts to electronically monitor criminals released from prison. An audit discovered that Serco and another company may have been overbilling the government by as much as $80.8 million. As many as one in six criminals whose monitoring was being paid for by the British government were reportedly either dead, back behind bars, no longer under supervision, or no longer living in the U.K.

    “Furthermore, although U.S. companies that are part of a foreign company are obligated to report any billing wrongdoings abroad, Serco did not give CMS such notice, Reuters reported in July. Nevertheless, the Obama administration defended its decision to award the $1.249 billion contract to Serco, claiming it was a “highly skilled company” with “a proven track record in providing cost-effective services to numerous other federal agencies.”

  3. Watch these guys every night at 10 PM. They uncover some good stuff but they don`t realize what they have with this one. Hopefully the prestitutes of major media will be held accountable one day . I`m not holding my breath though.

  4. “Serco is committed to making sure federal funds are spent appropriately” a spokesperson from the Center for Medicare and Medicaid stated.

    In a statement put out by Serco, the managing director said it was their plan, in getting this $1.2 billion contract, to do absolutly fucking nothing for that money, and we have performed that task with the utmost effort, efficincy, and concern for taxayer dollars.


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