March 15,2016

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Aaron Fobes, Julia Lawless (202)224-4515

Obamacare at Six Years: Still Awarding Subsidies to Fake Applicants

Non-Partisan Watchdogs Chronicle Website’s Failures
Issues with the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act’s (PPACA) website have been well documented from its inception: a botched roll out costing taxpayers billions resulting in an inoperable webpage that left patients – which were required by the law to obtain coverage or face a fine – in limbo.
The Senate Finance Committee will hold a hearing on Thursday, March 17, to examine the health law as it nears its sixth year on the books.
Take a look at what the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Office of Inspector General (OIG) and the Government Accountability Office (GAO), both non-partisan watchdogs had to say:
Administration at Fault for Roll Out:
Last month, a long-awaited report issued by the HHS-OIG detailed a case study into’s rollout by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS).  In the report, the administration’s own oversight officials confirmed what Republicans in Congress have long said: the administration’s insistence to launch outweighed known problems with its security, integrity and workability.
Problems with Persist:
As if the failed launch of the website was not enough, today billions of taxpayer dollars continue to be at risk due to the administration’s gross inability to implement a working verification system for
Ø  In 2014, the GAO began an investigation into the enrollment controls of and found CMS approved 11 out of 12 fake applications that used fabricated documentations. Tax credits awarded for these fake applicants totaled $30,000 per year.
Ø  In July 2015, the Finance Committee held a hearing examining updated findings from the investigation.  The GAO outlined how huge gaps in program integrity for the federal exchange continued to persist at CMS, despite the agency knowing of GAO’s findings the year before.
Ø  And in February 2016, GAO confirmed these problems have still yet to be fixed, saying the administration “has not performed a comprehensive fraud risk assessment—a recommended best practice—of the PPACA enrollment and eligibility process.”
Bottom line:
Six years after Obamacare was signed into law, the administration may say the website is a success, but nonpartisan watchdogs sharply disagree.