August 22 2013
by Chris Woodward
Amid news reports that elements of ObamaCare carry the potential for scams, one expert says some people will rip off the government unintentionally.
From NBC's Today to Fox News, media outlets are reporting on scammers playing up what amount to be fake health insurance exchanges that aim to steal medical identities, including an individual’s address and Social Security number. Getting that information provides the wrongdoers a way of buying prescription drugs and filing insurance claims to the government, among other things.
Considering that longstanding programs like Medicare and Medicaid are rife with fraud, Hadley Heath of the Independent Women's Forum says it stands to reason that the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act will be as well.
"And I don't think you have to have the attitude that there are many evil people out there who want to take advantage of opportunities for waste, fraud, and abuse,” she offers.
Heath says that when the government constructs a program that is so large and includes more than a trillion dollars for the operation of exchanges, subsidies, and tax credits, it's not about the individual – it’s about giving this money to health insurance companies, she says.
"And at the end of the year, if someone has received the subsidy or tax credit that doesn't match their household income for the year, it may not even be that their intention was to scam or take advantage of a subsidy or tax credit that they weren't eligible for,” says Heath.
“They will be accountable for whatever mistakes were made because there was no mechanism in place to ensure that those dollars were going to the right people."
Heath believes this is really at the crux of the American argument about social assistance – that when government is expanded to the point where it can't keep track of where tax dollars are going, not only is that money wasted but some Americans are actually placed in harm's way.