According to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, workers hired to process Obamacare applications have been filling their time with sleeping, playing board games, reading, or fighting with each other on many days when there was little or no work. That appears to be most days.
The article appeared Thursday and quoted one Kentucky worker saying, "I walk out every day feeling as if I have contributed nothing.” Another Missouri worker said she and other workers played games or slept because there was nothing for them to do. Company and government supervisors knew they were being paid to do little or no work at all.
This will come as no surprise to many lawmakers in Washington opposed to these government jobs that are simply offered to get the unemployment numbers down in an election year. No one expects any real investigation in scandal-prone Washington these days.
One case that will surely infuriate taxpayers involves Serco, the Virginia-based arm of Britain's Serco Group. Last year the company was awarded a five-year, $1.2 billion contract to process paper applications for health insurance from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, which oversees Obamacare's implementation.
It became apparent that employees couldn't have access to the Internet or cell phones. Workers weren't even permitted pens and paper, but supervisors began supplying them just to keep bored workers busy. Finally, Serco began supplying books for workers to read (if they knew how). When CMS officials became aware people were reading on the job, the practice was stopped immediately.
Stories like this can’t be made up. The Kentucky worker said, "When the highlight of employees' days are playing Pictionary in the training room, and you get paid decent money to go to work to talk to your friends, something is wrong," he told The Post-Dispatch in an email. "It was like I was stealing money from people."
Billions have literally been wasted since the start-up of Obamacare last October.
Missouri Democratic Sen. Claire McCaskill, who skillfully dodged her close association with Obama during her re-election campaign in 2012, has called for a federal inspector general's investigation after hearing the "allegations of wrongdoing" from the Wentzville, MO workplace. Plan on that amounting to exactly zero.
Missouri Republican Sen. Roy Blunt revealed Thursday that his office has heard of more cases of employees who were doing little work. "I have heard that there have been allegations from other facilities, and we are looking into that," he told The Post-Dispatch.
Sen. Blunt and Tennessee Republican Sen. Lamar Alexander, R-Tenn., have sent a letter to the head of the CMS. It appears it will take more than a letter to fix this situation, but Washington is swamped with Benghazi, IRS, “Fast and Furious,” and a host of other more immediate scandals that are still unresolved and probably will be until Barack Obama leaves office.
Meanwhile, CMS officials said Serco employees continue to process mail and work with customers. Unnamed officials say they are reviewing and adjusting the center's employee staffing levels, The Post-Dispatch reports.
This situation alone is a prime example of why the government is never looking for a profit or efficiency, yet Washington has an administration that keeps telling the American people government is the answer.
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