Last night, for entertainment, I turned to C-Span to see what might be happening with books or reviews, and I found a Congressional Hearing in Session. I normally watch or not depending on the content, and one understands that content might be dry as toast, and have little national impact. This time, however, I was mesmerized. The premise was the Congressional Committee Hearing (which aired at approximately ending 11:00 pm, on the functionality of the program better known as the Affordable Health Care Act, and the individual responsible for all facets of this program, one Gary Cohen. In watching this man attempt to answer questions , one was reminded of a kid about to get his had slapped by a ruler by some teacher who felt he was not completely telling the entire story. As time went on it became apparent that the hypothetical teacher would have been in error. The man was holding back simply because, he had no answers.
No answers to things such as how many are enrolled? How many have lost coverage, How many have paid, How many are on the Federal Plan? How many are on the State Plan – no answer to simple questions as to the management of this program. Watching this gave me absolutely no confidence in the ability of the government to hire people to-do a job and do it correctly. Understanding that we elect government officials, that might have learned a thing or two, is one thing, but that the hiring process obviously needs to be overhauled is evident. It may not be this poor Gary Cohen’s fault that he knows not how the program he oversees runs- to be fair, he may be surrounded by simpletons. However, that would entice a sane person to quit.
Some points form Mediate.com, which was the first available glimpse at the train wreck, which is not yet available on C-Span:
Speaking before a congressional committee on Thursday, an official with the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services confirmed that the federal government continues to be unable to determine just how many Affordable Care Act enrollees have actually paid for their coverage.
Gary Cohen, deputy administrator and director for the CMS’s Center for Consumer Information and Insurance Oversight, told Rep. Gregg Harper (R-MS) that the mechanism required to determine whether or not an enrollee has paid for coverage has not yet been built.
“So, we don’t know at this point how many people have actually paid for coverage?” Harper asked.
“That’s right,” Cohen confirmed.
Watch the clip below via C-SPAN:
Note: click here for mind boggling video, cannot imbed
What was most disconcerting was the fact the payment system for this program, which is to be fully functional has not yet been set up (daily caller)
From watching the proceedings, this is the gist:
The government program will pay insurers who have losses insuring those under HealthCare.gov, these are private business, they will most probability be paid by taxpayers, and this won’t occur until 2015, the government is not collecting premiums, so that brings up a ton of questions, the fact that they cannot estimate how many people in small business plans that renew this year will maintain their coverage appears disingenuous, as Cohen admitted that they knew private carriers would not meet the standards.
The man sweats, hems, haws, and looks a tad perplexed that he is being asked questions by those rascally Conservative republicans. My favorite was Cory Gardner a Congressional Rep from the State of Colorado, who had his health insurance coverage dropped – Imagine that testimony - there was a great deal of backpedding. He has been asked (Gary Cohen) to support the legalese behind the changes that have been made to the program without the consent of Congress.
Therein lays the crux of the matter, the implementation, and the changes to the program, are all under Congressional purview, and yet, they have had no hand it in – therefore, one suspects that those erstwhile conservatives, will be challenging the entire program at some point soon.
If one was in the least concerned as increasing amount of medical appointments are being cancelled about the Bay State (as in one cannot get in to see a doctor without at least 4 cancelled appointments, and this is without Obama-Romney Care policies, it is clear that the writing on the all for those who feared a loss in access to providers.
One thing is certain, confidence levels in this program and this administration should not be in the 30’s (see Gallup), they should be in single digits, should any of the general public be privileged to watch this man answer questions for 20 minutes. That man being Gary Cohen – and yet, that brings up a whole can of worms – exactly how many Gary Cohen’s have been appointed or hired by the government and how inept, inefficient and incompetent are the various heads of all departments. 2014 cannot get here fast enough for the benefit of the general public.