Watchdog finds billions in possible fraudulent Obamacare payments

Watchdog finds billions in possible fraudulent Obamacare payments

The federal government has failed to properly monitor enrollee eligibility for Obamacare, according to a report by the Government Accountability Office (GAO). As a result, the government has made billions of dollars in Obamacare subsidy payments to individuals that may have been committing fraud.

“When the government wastes money, it is wasting OUR money. It is cutting OUR pay. It is damaging OUR lives,” said Grover Norquist, president of Americans for Tax Reform.  “And the Obama administration is treating us with contempt.”

As the report notes, the system used by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) relies on data sent by three government agencies – the IRS, SSA, and DHS – to check eligibility for Obamacare. However, the system used by CMS is unable to verify many inconsistencies in the data.

This inability to properly verify enrollment has meant billions of dollars have been sent out to enrollees without verifying whether the applicants were fraudulent. As the report notes:

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“According to GAO analysis of CMS data, about 431,000 applications from the 2014 enrollment period, with about $1.7 billion in associated subsidies for 2014, still had unresolved inconsistencies as of April 2015—several months after close of the coverage year.”

While CMS has information that could shed light on fraud, it has not developed any procedure to utilize it. As the report notes….

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