WASHINGTON, DC – Senator Dan Coats (R-Ind.), the Chairman of the Joint Economic Committee, delivered his weekly “Waste of the Week” speech and highlighted a new report by the Government Accountability Office (GAO) that details how the Obama Administration continues to take a “passive” approach to dealing with potential fraud in the Obamacare program.
GAO found that in 2014, over four million Obamacare applicants received a total of $1.7 billion in taxpayer subsidies despite unresolved documentation errors.
“What this means is that the HealthCare.gov site is allowing people to sign up for and receive Obamacare benefits without proper verification,” said Coats. “Hundreds of thousands of people have been able to get their Obamacare applications approved without having their eligibility verified.”
According to GAO, one of the biggest problems with HealthCare.gov is that the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), which is responsible for the oversight and mismanagement of Obamacare, did not resolve Social Security number inconsistencies for thousands of applications. Instead, CMS approved subsidized coverage without securing Social Security numbers from the applicants, potentially allowing access to illegal immigrants or other ineligible individuals.
To qualify for an Obamacare subsidy, individuals must be a citizen or legal resident and fall within a certain income range. HealthCare.gov is supposed to verify this criteria during the registration process.
“CMS appears more than willing to look the other way in order to approve benefits for President Obama’s health care law,” said Coats. “If that wasn’t bad enough, GAO found that CMS actually knew that millions of applicants were potentially fraudulent, yet still approved the applications. So, in order meet Obamacare enrollment goals, the administration continues to turn a blind eye to problems with thousands of deficient applications.”
GAO investigators bluntly stated in their report, HealthCare.gov “is at risk of granting eligibility to, and making subsidy payments on behalf of individuals who are ineligible to enroll.”