Don’t laugh. Or you just might get “investigated“.
Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius said in a blog post early Wednesday that she is asking the department’s inspector general to investigate the contracting process, management, performance and payment issues that may have contributed to the flawed launch of HealthCare.gov.
I bet this investigation will only cost 2 billion dollars and produce nothing usable. But I can handle the job for 50 cents and a cup of coffee.
CMS, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, a sub-agency of United States Department of Health and Human Services, presided over by one Kathleen Sebelius, chose to handle the implementation and coordination of the work for all the contractors. Even though CMS had no experience tackling something as big as this, it chose to supervise it.
The buck stops with Sebelius because her agency supervised the project and was supposed to test it, implement it and bring all the pieces together.
Sure the big part of the job shouldn’t have been given to a Canadian company with a bad track record whose only asset was a top executive who just happened to be a pal of Michelle Obama’s from their time working on radical black groups. But Sebelius had the final responsibility.
Now she’s playing O.J. Simpson and demanding to know who the real site killers are.
“I believe strongly in the need for accountability, and in the importance of being good stewards of taxpayer dollars,” Sebelius said in her announcement.
Amazingly enough, it only took Sebelius a few months to come to this new faith. But let’s put aside Sebelius’ disastrous $600 million Healthcare.con boondoggle.
How good of a steward of taxpayer money is she?
Every year, some $70 billion of taxpayers’ money is wasted in Medicare and Medicaid improper payments. For Medicare alone, the Government Accountability Office (GAO) and others estimate that nearly 10 percent of the roughly $500 billion in current annual Medicare payments are improper. In fact, the situation is so bad that the GAO has long designated Medicare a high-risk federal program because of its vulnerability to waste, fraud, and abuse. That all takes place under the nose of CMS, which so far has done very little to curb the trend.
Oh no! We need an investigation to find out who’s responsible for this.