As the October 1 implementation of parts of Obamacare nears, House Republicans continue to pass legislation aimed at highlighting the health care law's flaws and weaknesses. On Thursday, the House passed a bill to reform an Obamacare verification process that would better stop fraudulent claims to health insurance subsidies. Politico reports:
The state of Alabama received bonus payments from Medicaid for 2009 and 2010 that were a stunning 13 times higher than the state was eligible for. So says the inspector general (IG) for Health and Human Services in a report released on Wednesday.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) released a report on Thursday regarding illegal trafficking in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), more commonly known as food stamps. The report showed that the rate of trafficking rose from 1 percent of total benefits in the last study period of 2006-2008 to 1.3 percent in the current study period of 2009-2011, an increase of 30 percent. The report noted the trafficking rate remains well below a rate of almost 4 percent that existed for much of the 1990s. The rate plunged to 1 percent by the 2002-2005 study period and remained there until the current report:
Despite an admission by the Department of Transportation (DOT) that the Federal-aid Highway Programs under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) are "susceptible to significant improper payments," the DOT Inspector General (IG) has terminated an audit initiated in April "due to other higher priority work demands."
Congressional hearings over the last two weeks have been filled with stories of misconduct due to incompetence and inexperience among certain IRS employees. Both Republicans and Democrats have leveled the accusations, and Internal Revenue officials testifying before Congress have admitted as much. At the same time, all parties have stressed that the vast majority of IRS employees are hard working, competent, and honest civil servants.
Here's a photo of an election judge checking in voters in Barack Obama's Chicago ward--wearing an Obama baseball cap:
"This photo, taken by a voter this morning at the Ward 4, Precinct 37 polling place (1212 South Plymouth Court, Chicago), shows an election judge checking in voters while wearing an Obama hat," a source writes. "Chicago's 4th ward is home to President Barack Obama."
Urban Outfitters, a retail store that appeals to a young (teens and 20s) demographic, is encouraging voters to "Vote Early, Vote Often." A reader, Allyson Rowen Taylor, sends along this picture from the storefront of the Urban Outfitters at the corner of Laurel Canyon and Ventura Blvd. in Studio City, California:
The Florida chapter of the AFL-CIO appears to be encouraging folks to break the law. In a message on the homepage of their website, the union writes, "There is a mantra that we --at the Florida AFL-CIO-- like to live by, 'Vote Early, Vote Often'."
A clown and mindreader stood in front of Senate office buildings, passing out their resumes to employees of the Government Services Administration (GSA), who were on Capitol Hill to testify, and asking the embattled government bureaucrats for jobs.