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Smith Report 5.29.2014

ObamaCare Call Center the Height of Government Waste
By now many of you have undoubtedly read news reports of the ObamaCare call center in Wentzville, Missouri where government-contracted employees had so little work to complete that they actually played games like Pictionary and Trivial Pursuit while on the clock. Some workers grew tired of the games and simply opted to nap on the job. All of these workers were hired thanks to a five-year, $1.2 billion contract with the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. The workers were hired to process ObamaCare applications. Needless to say, I am outraged by this waste of taxpayer dollars and abuse of the public’s trust.
This week I joined other members of Missouri’s delegation in the House of Representatives to demand answers on the misuse of taxpayer dollars at the Wentzville call center. In a letter to the administrator of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, my colleagues and I asked about reports of employees processing no more than two applications per month. These are workers who are being paid between $14 and $27 per hour. The job also came with health insurance and a 401(k) plan. Currently 660 people work at the Wentzville call center that allegedly has little to no work to be done.
This type of wasteful spending directed by Washington bureaucrats is just another example of why so many Americans have lost faith in our government. It is incredibly disheartening for families who are struggling to make ends meet to see their tax dollars be so blatantly wasted. Officials in Washington need to show more respect for taxpayer dollars and use better judgment when they grant government contracts to third party groups. I will continue to hold the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services’ feet to the fire until we have answers on the Wentzville call center.
ObamaCare has been a train wreck since the very beginning. The President’s healthcare mandate is not working. Healthcare needs to be affordable and accessible. Patients should be empowered and not burdened with rules and financial penalties from Washington. We need smart reform that allows individuals to purchase health insurance across state lines, expands personal health savings accounts and ensures access for people with pre-existing conditions. The last thing we need is a bureaucrat getting between doctors and patients. I remain committed to repealing ObamaCare and I look forward to replacing the mandate with real healthcare reform.