Among the complaints that have been leveled at the Affordable Care Act by consumers who have visited an online exchange is the one-size-fits-all nature of the coverage. Every enrollee, for example, is required to sign up for the same benefits package, whether he needs them or not. That means that everyone signs up for maternity care and drug rehabilitation, even if the person is past child-bearing age and is not an addict, respectively.
But Kentucky puts the other states to shame by offering a healthcare service that no one — it can be said without fear of contradiction — needs. The Daily Caller explains:
Obamacare can help dead people, too.
This is apparent in Kentucky, where application forms for the state’s new Obamacare benefit exchange asks if the application is for someone who has recently died.
Question 39 on the kynect: Kentucky’s Healthcare Connection printable application form for a single person health seeking either coverage or help paying costs, states: ‘If you are filling out this application on behalf of a person who recently passed away, enter the deceased person’s date of death.’
There’s actually a reasonable explanation, the article goes on to note. Gwenda Bond, a spokeswoman for the Cabinet for Health and Family Services, explained that the curious-sounding question is there to prevent fraud. “Noting the date of death allows an extra safeguard to prevent fraudulent applications being filed in a deceased individuals name in the future,” she told TDC, adding that the application question is required by federal Medicaid regulations and isn’t unique to Kentucky.
Bond conceded that the appearance of the question on a health care application does seem a tad strange but noted that that too has a (more or less) logical explanation:
Kentucky’s exchange was designed as a single one-stop shop application for determining eligibility for Medicaid or for subsidies to purchase private insurance.
Bond’s answers ease any concerns — or would if it weren’t for the fact the Obamacare, here in its infancy, is already beset by fraud. One of the companies working with state exchanges in training “patient navigators” was sued 18 months ago for falsifying job placement records under a $22.2 million federally funded contract. In addition, reports have surfaced of fake health care exchange websites eager to steal taxpayer information. An expert on web security estimates the number of such sites to be in the hundreds of thousands, which makes the government virtually helpless to identify and shut them down.
Not that the federal government has that impressive a track record at ferreting out fraud or separating the quick from the dead. In the time alone that Barack Obama has been president, the government has sent out $22 million in stimulus payments to dead people.
Howard Portnoy has written for HotAir, NewsBusters, Weasel Zippers, Conservative Firing Line, RedCounty, and New York’s Daily News. He has one published novel, Hot Rain, (G. P. Putnam’s Sons), and has been a guest on Radio Vice Online with Jim Vicevich, The Alana Burke Show, and The George Espenlaub Show.
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