OTR Interviews

ObamaCare contractor pays employees to do nothing?

Employees at ObamaCare processing center in Missouri with a contract worth $1.2B reportedly getting paid to just sit at their computers. Steve Forbes sounds off


This is a rush transcript from "On the Record," May 14, 2014. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

GRETA VAN SUSTEREN, FOX NEWS HOST: Are you ready for this one? Your tax money is going straight into the paycheck of ObamaCare workers. Workers who are reportedly paid to do nothing, 0, nothing, actually nothing. A whistle-blower telling the Saint-Louis TV station that workers in the Missouri ObamaCare processing center do nothing but sit at their computers. They often don't process a single application. And get this, the facility is operated by British company that was awarded a 1.2 billion-dollar contract why the Obama administration.

So, is this any way to run a business? Forbes Media Chairman and Editor-in-Chief Steve Forbes joins us. Wow. Would this ever happen in private industry?

STEVE FORBES, CHAIRMAN AND EDITOR-IN-CHIEF OF FORBES MEDIA: No. Unless you wanna go in bankruptcy court or find a new job because cause you get fired for that kind of incompetent. It just goes to show the government is no alternative to the private sector. Even if you want to do things in the public good, can you farm it out to the private sector and have them accountable for it. But this company is now under investigation in Britain for alleged hankie panky on contracts. So, this is nothing new for them. And you -- there is just one reason why, Greta. The whole Obamacare structure is imploding. Everything you read about it must they given an exception. It's not working well.

VAN SUSTEREN: You know, people sitting at home must just want to pull their hair out. I mean, people do want healthcare, whatever the system is. But when they see 1.2 billion, go to a company.

FORBES: With a B.

VAN SUSTEREN: Billion. Which is actually a British company. And it's under investigation for another fraud. I mean, it's -- you know, how does this -- I mean, doesn't anybody have sort of a sense of pride or decency?

FORBES: It's not their money. And so, if it isn't your money, you are working 9 to 5. You are punching the clock, waiting to get a nice pension, you don't have the same kind of surveillance, you don't have the same kind of culture in companies. I can't imagine something like that happening in Apple where people feel pride in the company. Where the culture where people feel they got to run these things down.

VAN SUSTEREN: But I guess even this company -- I mean does company doesn't care because they've got a big fat contract, right? They're private.

FORBES: The whole business is on government contracts. Which is often a very different mentality than you have when you are serving the public. You just have to satisfy bureaucrats and the checks keep coming in. And that's why you are gonna continue to get these kind of scandals, And the whole thing on ObamaCare was originally design, we're told to help the uninsured. Well, you take food in this county. If people probably getting food you have to be specific program like food stamps or food kitchens to deal with it you don't take over the whole agricultural system and try to tell farmers how to run their business.

VAN SUSTEREN: Well look at all the money that's been wasted on some of these websites. That the Oregon is perfect example on a how many million - - tens of millions. I mean, we are so used to hearing millions, it doesn't seem this much anymore. But we just -- so much money has wasted. There's no sense of responsibility or pride or stewardship on this.

FORBES: No. Cause again, you're not part of the ownership. You don't get rewarded for success, you don't get punished if things really have go wrong. And that's why a lot of these insurance policies they are selling in the exchange. They are talking about oh 80 percent of the people have paid. What happens when people discover that they -- five thousand deductible really means, they're going to end up paying more than they were beforehand. Not gonna be good for those who advocated ObamaCare.

VAN SUSTEREN: And my favorite of the week the $100 million the IRS spent on furniture. Meanwhile, they ask you for more money because they don't have enough money to run the IRS.

FORBES: And they're gonna give us I guess a new round of Broadway shows.

VAN SUSTEREN: I know. I guess you have to laugh because it's so outrageous.

FORBES: It is outrageous.

VAN SUSTEREN: Anyway, it's nice to see you as always.

FORBES: Nice to see you.