Feds Can’t Verify $2.8 Billion in Obamacare Subsidies | Washington Free Beacon
The federal government cannot verify nearly $3 billion in subsidies distributed through Obamacare, putting significant taxpayer funding “at risk,” according to a new audit report.
The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Office of Inspector General (OIG) released an audit Tuesday finding that the agency did not have an internal system to ensure that subsidies went to the right enrollees, or in the correct amounts.
“[The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services] CMS’s internal controls did not effectively ensure the accuracy of nearly $2.8 billion in aggregate financial assistance payments made to insurance companies under the Affordable Care Act during the first four months that these payments were made,” the OIG said.
So what does CMS do when they learn about the control issue (as if they didn’t already have a clue)?
In response to the audit, CMS said they issued a regulation to change their accounting methods.“CMS takes the stewardship of tax dollars seriously and implemented a series of payment and process controls to assist in making manual financial assistance payments accurately to issuers,” they said.
THEY ISSUED AN EFFING REGULATION. Oh yeah, that will fix everything.
A Rube Goldberg law implemented by a Rube Goldberg system. The phrase Keep It Simple Stupid (KISS), never came within light-years of anyone involved with writing or passing Obamacare.
Subsidy Verification in the ACA: Complexity Creating Taxpayer Risk | Testimony | American Action Forum.
Great article by the American Action Forum exploring the complexity of the Obamacare subsidy. The following subjects are examined:
- Complications of the Subsidy Eligibility Provisions in the Affordable Care Act
- The Affordable Care Act Increases Burdens on the Tax Code and on Taxpayers
- Income Verification and Risks to the Federal Budget
The conclusion, which I agree with 100% is:
The process for verifying eligibility and receiving subsidies is far too complex to rely on such tenuous information. The enrollment period is over, and those that applied to receive subsides are currently receiving them in some form, and these individuals will be asked to provide an answer for inaccuracies in a system bound for error and fraudulent payments. Not only does this impact the taxpayer, but it could unnecessarily increase federal spending through inaccurate subsidy payments – both unintentional and fraudulent.
The additional burden of reporting health insurance status and payments through the tax filing process could create large liabilities for taxpayers, and increases the complexity of the federal tax system. The Treasury Inspector General even testified that the IRS will have difficulty implementing fraud prevention measures imposed on the agency until the system is more robust.[xxvii]
With the 2015 open enrollment season just around the corner, the administration should be ensuring that proper verification systems are in place and do away with the self-attestation honor system that leaves taxpayers liable and the encourages additional spending at the federal level. The current subsidy eligibility system places too heavy of a responsibility on the individual, the employer and the federal budget.
Wish I’d discovered this analysis sooner. It’s safe to say that the administration did little to ensure that the proper verification systems are in place.