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News From The ACA Front.

Affordable-Care-Act-Pills-ROH The Affordable Care Act (ACA also known as “ObamaCare”) continues to make the news for all the wrong reasons.

While there have been all sorts of articles on the Federal website not working, the numbers of people who have actually signed up and paid for the care not being announced, and the repeated rollbacks of dates set by the law, we aren’t going to cover those topics at all.

At least four of the states who decided to establish their own web portals into the ACA plans have seen the heads of the health care agencies resign. Those states include Hawaii, Minnesota, Maryland and Oregon.

Oregon and Maryland have been particularly troublesome with charges of corruption and misspent funds being leveled in every direction.

Now the State of Maryland is facing a federal audit into the less than stellar state exchange website.

A federal inspector general is launching a review into what went wrong with Maryland’s health insurance exchange, the first examination focused specifically on how millions of dollars in federal money was spent by the state, according to the lawmaker who requested the probe.

Rep. Andy Harris, a Baltimore County Republican and vocal opponent of President Barack Obama’s health care law, said officials with the inspector general for the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services had contacted him and indicated they will look into the creation of the state’s glitch-prone exchange.

The probe, which Harris said would likely begin in a matter of weeks, is the first of its kind to be revealed publicly. It comes days after the U.S. Government Accountability Office said it would review the formation of state-based insurance exchanges — though experts say an inspector general’s examination is usually more exhaustive and specific.

State legislators also are scrutinizing problems with Maryland’s online exchange, which crashed on its first day last fall and has had continued problems, including feuding contractors and major software issues. The state review is not expected to be completed until mid-2015 — well after this year’s gubernatorial primary and general election.

….

Outside watchdog groups said reviews by a federal inspector general are thorough and specific. Inspectors general, who are tied to federal agencies, often employ criminal investigators as well as auditors. Their stated mission is to expose fraud and waste.

We have a problem understanding how these sites that are part of a plan that has been sold to “save taxpayers money” are actually saving money while waste, fraud and corruption occurs within the program itself.

Secondly, from out friend Walter Olsen at the fine site Overlawyered.com, comes the story that a people working for a health care exchange call center have filed a class action lawsuit claiming the contractor failed to pay overtime wages to employees.

San Francisco, CA: A call center unpaid wages class action lawsuit has been filed by employees at an Obamacare call center in Idaho, alleging the contractor, Maximus Inc, miscategorised empoyees as exempt for overtime, and is in violation of the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA).

Specifically, the putative wage and hour class action lawsuit alleges that most employees worked between 50 and 60 hours a week beginning in the summer of 2013, without receiving compensation for the overtime, and that they were made to clock off before they had actually finished their shifts. Additionally, the lawsuit alleges the employees were unable to take mandatory breaks including lunch.

The class action contains two putative sub classes, one consisting of first level supervisors, and the second of call center employee trainers at the Boise, Idaho branch.

The unpaid overtime class action lawsuit is Yvette Norton, et al. v. Maximus Inc., Case No. 14-cv-00030, in the U.S. District Court for the District of Ohio.

Olsen entitles his post “Schaden, meet freude,” and we agree.

If we tried to make this stuff up, no one would believe it. It just goes to show that when dealing with the government at any level, truth is stranger than fiction.



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