Video: ObamaCare contractor still hiring despite having no work

posted at 11:01 am on June 13, 2014 by Ed Morrissey

The contractor is Serco in Missouri, which we’ve noted in the past as the perfect place to work … if you like being locked down for eight hours a day and playing Pictionary. And hey, there’d be nothing wrong with that, if it weren’t for the fact that Serco will get more than a billion dollars in taxpayer money to process non-existent applications. Exactly one month after the first exposé of Serco’s operation, nothing has changed according to KQHA, including the recruitment:

I wrote about the hiring binge last month, which also included overtime to do even more nothing than what was getting accomplished on regular time. The mystery of this particular waste may be solved by looking at Serco’s contract with CMS:

Serco’s contract with CMS requires a particular level of staffing regardless of the work coming into the facility. If Serco falls below that — presumably measured in man-hours on duty — they can lose their $1.2 billion contract. The OT may well be in play because Serco has trouble getting people to get stuck for eight hours at a stretch with nothing to do, a situation that sounds pleasant until it’s experienced first-hand. (I have had this experience at two different jobs for relatively brief periods, and can attest to the torturous boredom it generates.)

This demonstrates the folly of top-down government control of a market-based industry. No insurance carrier would waste money like this for more than a week or two before shedding jobs and rescaling the effort. Anyone who expected that government control would make this process more efficient should have their heads examined … or better yet, voted out of office.

It’s telling that this problem with Serco has been exposed for a month, and yet CMS has done nothing to stanch the waste of taxpayer dollars. Whistleblowers are claiming that we’re flushing a billion dollars down the drain, and yet the same administration that claimed that insurers wasted too much money on activities other than patient care hasn’t lifted a finger to fix this problem. How much patient care would the $1.2 billion deliver if it wasn’tr being wasted by Serco?

Nor is that the only government-run failure in ObamaCare this week. Remember the federal co-ops that were supposed to compete with traditional insurers and force them to spend more on patient care — co-ops that got taxpayer-backed loans to launch? They missed their enrollment goals by a wide margin:

The data, obtained from each co-op by the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, suggests that most of the nonprofits fared poorly as they attempted to sell health insurance policies in the federal Obamacare exchanges.

“Enrollment figures to date raise serious questions about how these co-ops plan on staying solvent and that taxpayers will ever be repaid,” Oversight Chairman Darrell Issa, R-Calif., said in a statement to the Washington Examiner. …

If any co-op fails and defaults on its federal loans, taxpayers will have pay for its insolvency. AWhite House report by the Office of Management and Budget projected up to four out of 10 co-ops could eventually face insolvency.

The House committee also estimated that the public cost for the enrolling co-op customers was often immense, as high the $207,000-per-person expense in Tennessee. There, the Community Health Alliance Mutual Insurance Co. received $73 million in loans but was able to enroll only 354 people.

Minuteman Health in liberal Massachusetts received the second-largest loan, $156 million, but was able to enroll only 1,435 customers at a cost of $109,000 per enrollee.

Basically, we’re looking at the Solyndras of health care, based on the arrogance that led Democrats to believe that they knew how to structure the health-insurance market better than health insurers themselves.


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This is awesome.

Hey libfree, isn’t this cool? More government control, that’s what we need in our lives because private companies are exploiting us.

Bishop on June 13, 2014 at 11:05 AM

If we only had House leadership. I’m sure Mr McCarthy will fix this. Right?

faraway on June 13, 2014 at 11:06 AM

libfree: “These are isolated instances”

faraway on June 13, 2014 at 11:06 AM

Marxism naturally metastasizes.

mankai on June 13, 2014 at 11:07 AM

Another fake scandal.

/Libfree

mankai on June 13, 2014 at 11:08 AM

I suppose it would be too much to ask of Congress to cut off funding?

And with everything going on in the world – our borders, Iraq, Obamacare, IRS, – today my NV representative send a poll out on what his constituents think about Bergdahl deal.

I think Congress spends most of its time playing with its……..iphones or something. And selling us out for campaign cash goes without saying.

MistyLane on June 13, 2014 at 11:08 AM

Government contracts…..gotta love ‘em.

itsspideyman on June 13, 2014 at 11:09 AM

We are from the government and we are here to help waste your money.

Rix on June 13, 2014 at 11:12 AM

It’s good to see that Obama is still focusing on jobs, jobs, jobs.

faraway on June 13, 2014 at 11:14 AM

Phucking liberals are dumber than stones.

BuckeyeSam on June 13, 2014 at 11:14 AM

At the same time, these clowns a billion or two more to deal with the illegal immigrants Obama has invited to the country.

BuckeyeSam on June 13, 2014 at 11:15 AM

Fix Obamacare?

Dude, that was two months ago!!

PattyJ on June 13, 2014 at 11:18 AM

Well, when your target is destroy a nation, this type of stuff will do the job quite well.

~Cloward Piven

avagreen on June 13, 2014 at 11:18 AM

So, spouse had a very telling experience with one of the navigators over the phone the other day.

We were helping out one of the Burmese families in our church deal with insurance. Since the state we live in does not have a state exchange, we called the navigators. What turned out was very telling.

The navigator admitted on the phone, that if someone starts an application, but does not complete that is still counted as an enrollment on the books. We discovered this when we found 3 previous apps for the person that we were trying to assist.

This thing is so screwed up. It is the greatest ponzi scheme ever.

ConservativePartyNow on June 13, 2014 at 11:19 AM

… and I can’t get the state of Florida to pay me my lousy $275/week unemployment.

Good times.

Mark Boabaca on June 13, 2014 at 11:22 AM

f*ing a**holes….

dmacleo on June 13, 2014 at 11:22 AM

Liberals know EVERYTHING!

GarandFan on June 13, 2014 at 11:23 AM

obama always furthers hot air.

Schadenfreude on June 13, 2014 at 11:28 AM

Actually, The One has responded very effectively and in tune with all His administration’s previous responses. He has just ordered another billion dollars worth of crickets…

vnvet on June 13, 2014 at 11:31 AM

It’s telling that this problem with Serco has been exposed for a month, and yet CMS has done nothing to stanch the waste of taxpayer dollars

…and the House controls the purse strings in some manner and form…and?

KOOLAID2 on June 13, 2014 at 11:32 AM

The OT may well be in play because Serco has trouble getting people to get stuck for eight hours at a stretch with nothing to do, a situation that sounds pleasant until it’s experienced first-hand. (I have had this experience at two different jobs for relatively brief periods, and can attest to the torturous boredom it generates.)

Huh. I’m surprised no one has started their own internet based business they can do while sitting there being paid for doing nothing. And getting overtime for it!

cptacek on June 13, 2014 at 11:44 AM

But I agree with you. Heck, I get bored waiting for code to run while testing it…which is why I can post at hotair during the day.

cptacek on June 13, 2014 at 11:47 AM

Basically, we’re looking at the Solyndras of health care, based on the arrogance that led Democrats to believe that they knew how to structure the health-insurance market better than health insurers themselves.

I don’t think it’s arrogance so much as it’s calculated system for blatant theft. An awful lot of that money will be laundered right back to the Democrats through campaign donations and payments/employment schemes for friends and family of Democrat pols.

AUINSC on June 13, 2014 at 11:52 AM

And how much is that ZeroCare™ website costing us now? How many foreign guest workers are working on it?

dogsoldier on June 13, 2014 at 12:01 PM

Basically, we’re looking at the Solyndras of health care, based on the arrogance that led Democrats to believe that they knew how to structure the health-insurance market better than health insurers themselves.

Between the uberEpicClusterFarkNado aka Obamacare and the VA Scandals, we’re getting a great advance look at the real world ramifications of the progressive-fascist agenda in which the federal government and massive spending of tax dollars are the solutions to all problems.

I can’t decide which is scarier – the effects of their agenda, or the far too sizable number of American’s who aren’t learning the lessons from being under the boot of a corrupt and feckless federal government.

And that applies not only to the progressive-fascists, but the GOPe, who continue to embrace the fallacy that the ‘fix’ is to travel down the same road as the progressive-fascists, just doing so at half the speed.

Athos on June 13, 2014 at 12:02 PM

The contractor is Serco in Missouri

…and elsewhere.

Akzed on June 13, 2014 at 12:14 PM

SERCO: ‘The biggest company you’ve never heard of’

Akzed on June 13, 2014 at 12:16 PM

My only question is:

WHERE DO I APPLY!?!?!?!?

oldleprechaun on June 13, 2014 at 12:36 PM

Hey….these people have good jobs. Good, high paying jobs.

Because..shut up.

BobMbx on June 13, 2014 at 12:40 PM

Gotta help keep the ginned up unemployment % down.

Wade on June 13, 2014 at 1:20 PM

How do I get a job there..?
Do I have to move to Missouri?

/sarc

ujorge on June 13, 2014 at 1:39 PM

Basically, we’re looking at the Solyndras of health care, based on the arrogance that led Democrats to believe that they knew how to structure the health-insurance market better than health insurers themselves.

yeh, but free birth control… so there’s that. /

Hill60 on June 13, 2014 at 2:12 PM

I had a job like that in college – I answered phones 3rd shift…we were lucky to get a single call in an 8hour shift.

But I was carrying 18 hours of classes, and working 40 hours…it was perfect, getting paid to study.

Daisy_WI on June 13, 2014 at 2:41 PM

They are gearing up for the chaos the employer mandate is going to let loose. When companies start cutting employees loose they’ll be understaffed. My opinion.

FineasFinn on June 13, 2014 at 4:38 PM

I’m beginning to think that this socialism thing doesn’t work.

307wolverine on June 13, 2014 at 5:19 PM