We generally avoid political conversation – unless it involves your personal health! The corruption of the FDA, which approves drugs, that studies say kill 80,000 – 100,000 people annually, while attacking natural supplements, is one exception. GMO bribery is another. The hidden things that will continue to come out about ObamaCare are another. We hope you will not take this as partisan. It is about your future health care – or lack thereof.
By Stella Paul
If you’ve been busy trying to log on to the ObamaCare website, or stumbling around in search of the cupcake shop to which the New York health care website mistakenly directs you, let me catch you up with the latest news.
We’ll start with the embarrassment of a country that once launched a man to the moon, but now can’t even launch a website. Even those who hated the ObamaCare concept, and I freely admit I was never a fan, would have admired a silky-smooth execution that showcased the genius of American know-how. But that’s not what we got.
Now, not only must we suffer through the chaotic disruption of our entire medical system, but the launch also besmirched the stellar reputation of American technology. Oops! Make thatCanadian technology.
Canadian? It turns out the perpetrator of the website fiasco is CGI Federal, a wholly owned subsidiary of the Montreal-based CGI Group. To execute its signature achievement, the Obama administration selected CGI, also known as “Conseillers en Gestion et Informatique,” for a hugely lucrative no-bid contract. Even if the site worked well, it would have been nice to give an American-owned company the job, especially with so many Americans still unemployed!
So far, CGI has garnered $687 million in American taxpayer funds, although its track record hardly inspires confidence. In September 2012, the Ontario government fired CGI and refused to pay them, after CGI for three years missed deadlines on its $46.2 million contract to build a registry of diabetes patients.
Maybe Ontario shouldn’t have hired CGI in the first place. By then CGI had already subjected Canada to a $2.7 billion gun registry scandal. Hired by the Liberal government to set up a national database of gun owners, CGI spectacularly misfired. In 2007, Canada paid CGI $10 million to terminate the contract. CGI never built the website, which prompted an investigation into corruption by Canadian Auditor General Sheila Fraser.
So how did scandal-plagued CGI wind up with the federal contract for the ObamaCare website, and for the health exchange websites of Colorado, Vermont, Hawaii, and Massachusetts?Investor’s Business Daily notes, “George Schindler, CGI Group president for U.S. and Canada, became an Obama 2012 campaign donor after his company won the ObamaCare contract, a pattern we’ve seen in green-energy stimulus money going to companies like Solyndra.”
IBD also observes CGI’s personal connections to Michelle Obama and influential White House advisor Valerie Jarrett. A Princeton classmate of the First Lady, Toni Townes-Whitley, serves as senior vice-president of CGI Federal. Valerie Jarrett’s daughter, Laura, moreover, is married to the son of Bas Balkissoon, a Liberal Ontario legislator deeply involved in Canadian health care.
Future investigations might reveal whether CGI enjoyed “the aristocracy of pull,” to borrow Ayn Rand’s phrase, but no doubt, CGI already benefited from American governmental largesse. In fact, even after the ObamaCare website disaster, CGI continues to win new government contracts. In October, the U.S. government gave $7 million of new business to CGI, for computer and software development at the Department of Health and Human Services, the Department of Commerce and the Environmental Protection Agency.
And, guess which company got to distribute $1.7 billion of relief money to Hurricane Sandy victims? If you guessed CGI, you win a $4.3 million no-bid contract! (Just kidding.)
Seriously, though, so far, the Sandy relief program apparently has garnered about the same success rate as other CGI projects. Out of the $60 billion federal aid package, CGI has distributed only $700 million, according to the Associated Press, leaving most of 24,000 needy families without a penny in aid. A year after the storm, too many of Sandy’s victims remain out of their homes, out of health insurance, and out of luck.
CGI obviously bungled the ObamaCare website front end, a fact that anyone who’s spent precious hours of their mortal life trying to log on to it can confirm. But the back-end problems may be even worse. Apparently, the entire ObamaCare website resides on a single Virginia server, which, Congressman Mike Rogers reports, operates without one scintilla of backup.
Congressman Rogers is now demanding that the government shut down the website until it can repair the gigantic security holes. Even mediocre hackers can penetrate the system and steal sensitive personal information. As CGI feverishly attempts to close the security gaps, moreover, its programmers are tossing thousands of untested lines of computer code into active service. Talk about wide open exposure.
At a Congressional hearing on the ObamaCare website, Congressman Rogers excoriated Secretary Kathleen Sebelius, the chief on this project: “You allowed the system to go forward with no encryption on backup systems […] You accepted a risk on behalf of every user of this computer that put in their personal financial information because you did not even have the most basic end-to-end test on security of this system […] This is a completely unacceptable level of security.”
Even if the website can be cured, however, no miracle can heal the 2,700-page sickness of ObamaCare policy. Every day brings a new disaster: skyrocketing premiums, top hospitals refusing to join the plan, and 93 million Americans at risk of losing their health insurance, according to government documents published more than three years ago, in the June 2010 Federal Register. No wonder the Obama administration is pressuring insurance companies to keep quiet.
Einstein said God does not play dice with the universe, but the U.S. has rolled the dice on the most successful medical system in the world, comprising one-sixth of its national economy. If that thought makes you feel sick, perhaps you should seek medical attention immediately, before ObamaCare fully kicks in.