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GAO Investigation Reveals Obamacare Subsidies Going To People Who Don’t Exist

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GAO Investigation Reveals Obamacare Subsidies Going To People Who Don’t Exist

 While existing Americans continue to suffer under Obamacare, phony applicants receive subsidies due to flaw in Healthcare.gov

Arlington, VA — An investigation by the nonpartisan Government Accountability Office has revealed that phony applicants whom investigators enrolled for insurance on Healthcare.gov last year and who submitted requests for health care subsidies were automatically re-enrolled for 2015, receiving taxpayer-funded subsidies for their non-existent insurance premiums. A GAO official testified that “Healthcare.gov does not appear to be set up to detect fraud.”

Freedom Partners Senior Policy Adviser Nathan Nascimento Issued The Following Statement:

“It turns out some people do get to keep their health care plans; too bad those people aren’t real. While Americans who do exist are paying more under the Affordable Care Act, phony applicants are receiving health care subsidies courtesy of hard-working taxpayers and an administration that continues to break its promises. This is what happens when an unaccountable Washington is in charge of our health care system and it’s why we need to give states the freedom and flexibility to get health care right.”

Someone Does Get To Keep Their Health Care Plans—But They Don’t Exist In Real Life:

“Bogus Enrollees Kept Getting ‘Obamacare.’” “Phony applicants that investigators signed up last year under President Barack Obama’s health care law got automatically re-enrolled for 2015. Some were rewarded with even bigger taxpayer subsidies for their insurance premiums, a congressional probe has found.” (Ricardo Alonso-Zaldivar, “Bogus Enrollees Kept Getting ‘Obamacare,” Associated Press, 07/15/15)

Associated Press: “Last year, when GAO first disclosed that it had succeeded in signing up fake beneficiaries, the administration said it would work to strengthen HealthCare.gov’s verification checks.” (Ricardo Alonso-Zaldivar, “Bogus Enrollees Kept Getting ‘Obamacare,”Associated Press, 07/15/15)

This Shouldn’t Surprise Us—CMS Still Hasn’t Fixed HealthCare.gov:

“Behind The Scenes, Much Of Healthcare.Gov Is Still Under Construction.” “[T]he system’s ‘back end’ is a tangle of technical workarounds moving billions of taxpayer dollars and consumer-paid premiums between the government and insurers. The parts under construction are essential for key functions such as accurately paying insurers. The longer they lag, experts say, the likelier they’ll trigger accounting problems that could leave the public on the hook for higher premium subsidies or health care costs.” (Kyle Cheney, “Behind The Scenes, Much Of Healthcare.Gov Is Still Under Construction,” POLITICO, 04/25/14)

“CMS Hasn’t Made Improvements [To] HealthCare.gov System.” “The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services at the Department of Health and Human Services has not yet implemented auditors’ recommendations that it conduct privacy impact assessments on HealthCare.gov systems that store personal information, an official told lawmakers this afternoon. Government Accountability Office information security expert Gregory Wilshusen told a House Science subcommittee at a hearing on the OPM breach that he is not aware of any efforts to act on that recommendation from a fall GAO report finding weaknesses in information security at HealthCare.gov.” (Tal Kopan, “Auditors: CMS Hasn’t Made Improvements HealthCare.gov System,” POLITICO, 07/08/15)

 

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