Skip to comments.Sebelius: Possible for convicted felons to become Obamacare navigators [VIDEO]
Posted on 11/06/2013 9:17:21 AM PST by markomalley
WASHINGTON Health and Human Services Sec. Kathleen Sebelius acknowledged Wednesday that it would be possible for a convicted felon to become an Obamacare navigator one of the workers responsible for helping people deal with the ins and outs of the healthcare law.
Isnt it true there is no federal requirement for navigators to undergo a criminal background check, even though they will receive personal information from the individuals they help to sign-up up for the Affordable Care Act? asked Texas Republican Sen. John Cornyn at a Senate Finance Committee hearing at which Sebelius was testifying.
That is true, Sebelius replied. States could have an additional background check and other features, but it is not part of the federal requirement.
So a convicted felon could be a navigator and acquire sensitive personal information? Cornyn asked.
That is possible, Sebelius acknowledged. We have contracts with organizations and they have taken the responsibility to screen the individual navigators and make sure they are sufficiently trained for the job.
Asked by Georgia Republican Sen. Johnny Isakson if they would be open to a federal requirement for background checks, Sebelius said it was up to congress, but that they would certainly look at it.
Do they have navigators in states without their own exchange, like Indiana where I live?
I think it would be a fun, easy job.
That’s the PLAN!!! Create CHAOS with STOLEN IDENTITIES and BANK ACCOUNTS and MEDICAL INFORMATION BLACKMAIL!!
Communists don’t believe ‘the little people’s’ privacy should be protected. We are insignificant to them. They, on the other hand get all the protections they want. We’re not even allowed to know what the King was doing on the night of Benghazi. How DARE we ask such questions! /s
This will end well.... like a long walk off a short peir with lead shoes on.
no sarcasm tag necessary
I have thinking that if the Feds arm the TSA, we will also be arming a lot of convicted felons. I think that the TSA is an affirmative action hiring place.
What, government sponsored theives taking our money, are real theives?
Oh, that is our future anyway.
Why not? The rest of this wh administration is a criminal organization whom I’m sure the mafia must envy.
Sebelius was just looking out for her future job prospects when she gets out of jail.
531 Hart Senate Office Building Washington DC 20510
With the felons currently running this country, it’s only fair.
I heard part of it...had to turn the channel.
So, is "convicted felon" the only criteria for the job?
At today’s Senate hearing, Sen Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio) held up Medicare as a shining example of Democrats “helping people” and he hammered Republicans who expressed misgivings, labeling them as raging racists b/c hospitals would be integrated under M/Care.
ACTION NOW We need to remind Sen Brown that Mediacre is hardly the shining example of healthcare-—it is a fraud-ridden program that has bilked taxpayers of billions of dollars.
Some Medicare shysters just set up PO boxes, falsify hundreds of phony claims........and the federal money rolls in.
We can only shudder at the fraud that will permeate sap-happy Obama’s Marxist healthcare scam. ID theft, stolen SS nos, billions in phony claims, etc etc etc.
Sen SHerrod Brown- (D- OH)
Class I: 713 Hart Senate Office Building
Washington DC 20510
Ohio Toll Free 1-888-896-OHIO (6446)
MAIL 1653 Merriman Ave, Ste. 114,
Akron, OH 44313
Medicare paid $23 million for dead patients in 2011 and $29 million for drug benefits for illegal immigrants from 2009 to 2011, according to a report Thursday from the Health and Human Services inspector general.
The investigators said Medicare has safeguards to try to stop payments to dead patients, but it still ended up sending out the $23 million anyway.
The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) the same agency that is struggling to fix the broken Obamacare website acknowledged the problems and said it will try to take steps to fix them.
We agree that in cases where the information indicates an individual is not lawfully present in the United States, that individual should not be permitted to enroll or to remain enrolled in a Part D plan during the period where he or she is not eligible to receive federal benefits, Marilyn Tavenner, administrator of CMS, said in response to the report about illegal immigrants getting benefits.
The payouts arent large they amount to just a fraction of a percent of what Medicare pays each year in benefits. Still, the investigators said the agency should take steps to crack down.
In one of its reports the inspector general said 4,139 illegal immigrants were able to make 279,056 drug benefit claims.
The investigators said that while CMS has policies to prevent illegal immigrants from getting most Medicare benefits, it didnt have such a policy for the prescription drug program, which was added under President George W. Bush and expanded by President Obamas health law.
As for dead patients collecting benefits, the investigators said the problems were often related to missing or incorrect dates of death.
Dead doctors also were paid $25 million over a three-year period.
Sen. Tom Coburn, Oklahoma Republican (a doctor), said the report was worrying because CMS had been warned of the problems five years earlier.Every individual wrongfully awarded benefits, be it the deceased or undocumented, diverts scarce resources away from those who need it most, he said.
Lord have mercy on us!
Of all the problems facing the United States right now, none are more important than health care. President Obama says rising costs are driving huge federal budget deficits that imperil our future, and that there is enough waste and fraud in the system to pay for health care reform if it was eliminated.
At the center of both issues is Medicare, the government insurance program that provides health care to 46 million elderly and disabled Americans. But it also provides a rich and steady income stream for criminals who are constantly finding new ways to steal a sizable chunk of the half trillion dollars that are paid out each year in Medicare benefits.
In fact, Medicare fraud - estimated now to total about $60 billion a year - has become one of, if not the most profitable, crimes in America.
This story may raise your blood pressure, along with some troubling questions about our government's ability to manage a medical bureaucracy.
If you want to find Medicare fraud, the first place you should look is South Florida, where 60 Minutes and correspondent Steve Kroft were told it has pushed aside cocaine as the major criminal enterprise.
It's a quiet crime - there are no sirens or gunfire. The only victims are the American taxpayers, and they don't even know they are being ripped off.
FBI Special Agent Brian Waterman, who 60 Minutes rode with for several days, told us the only visible evidence of the crimes are the thousands of tiny clinics and pharmacies that dot the low-rent strip malls.
You don't even know they're there because there's never anyone inside. No doctors, no nurses and no patients. "This office number should be manned and answered 24 hours a day," Waterman explained, standing outside one of those small, unstaffed businesses. The tiny medical supply company billed Medicare almost $2 million in July and a half million dollars while 60 Minutes was there in August, but we never found anybody inside, and our phone calls were never returned.
Sometimes, they don't even have offices: we went looking for a pharmacy at 7511 NW. 73rd Street that billed Medicare $300,000 in charges. It turned out to be in the middle of a public warehouse storage area. "They've already told us that there's no offices here," Waterman told Kroft. "There are no businesses here. In fact they are not even allowed to have a business here."
Waterman is the senior agent in the Miami office in charge of Medicare fraud. And Kirk Ogrosky, a top Justice Department prosecutor, oversees half a dozen Medicare fraud strike forces that have been set up across the country.
The office Kroft visited operates out of a warehouse at a secret location in South Florida and includes investigators from the FBI, Health and Human Services, and the IRS.
"There's a healthcare fraud industry where people do nothing but recruit patients, get patient lists, find doctors, look on the Internet, find different scams. There are entire groups and entire organizations of people that are dedicated to nothing but committing fraud, finding a better way to steal from Medicare," Waterman explained.
"Is the Medicare fraud business bigger than the drug business in Miami now?" Kroft asked."I think it's way bigger," Ogrosky said. Asked what changed, Ogrosky told Kroft, "The criminals changed." "Sophistication," Waterman added.
"They've figured out that rather than stealing $100,000 or $200,000, they can steal $100 million. We have seen cases in the last six, eight months that involve a couple of guys that if they weren't stealing from Medicare might be stealing your car," Ogrosky explained.
"You know, we were the king of the drugs in the '80s. We're king of healthcare fraud in the '90s and the 2000's," Waterman added, speaking about South Florida.---SNIP---more at CBSNEWS.COM/60 minutes web site
I would bet Sebelius could require it as the Secy HHS has a LOT of discretionary power to do whatever the hell they want.
Convicted felons are part of their base.