Feds Can’t Verify Over 1 Million Income Statements Seeking ObamaCare Subsidies
Amid all the legitimate privacy concerns with ObamaCare’s regulatory apparatus – in particular the proposed data hub that allows agencies like the IRS, Social Security Administration and HHS to share reams of information about individual citizens with each other, states and insurance companies – it’s been taken for granted that the liberals in charge of this grand social experiment at least had the technical competency to build the necessary infrastructure.
But the facts say otherwise.
“Of the roughly 8 million Americans now signed up for coverage this year under the health care law, about 5.5 million are in the federal insurance exchange,” reports the Washington Post. “And according to internal documents, more than half of them – about 3 million – have an application containing at least one kind of inconsistency.”
The Post says the most frequent inconsistency is a discrepancy in the income reported on an ObamaCare application and the income reported to the IRS. This type of inconsistency is present on between 1.1 million and 1.5 million applications. To their credit, citizens have sent in “about 650,000 pieces of ‘proof’” to justify their asserted income.
Because of the level of detail required when filling out the 20-plus page ObamaCare application, it’s no surprise many people mistakenly enter something wrong; especially when considering that most people get help on their taxes from either a certified professional or software that easily finds all the right deductions. Neither option was readily available to the vast majority of ObamaCare applicants.
What is astonishing, however, is the federal government’s complete inability to process and verify corrections digitally. “Because the computer capability does not yet exist, the work will start by hand, according to two people familiar with the plans,” says the Post. (Emphasis added)
ObamaCare subsidies are the essential ingredient for claiming that ObamaCare insurance is “affordable” since they at least partially offset the increased cost of coverage. Failing to launch a website capable of verifying income claims that determine whether a person qualifies for subsidies is inexcusable.
If there is any silver lining to this latest blunder it’s that Serco – the federal contractor accused last week of billing HHS $1 billion while hiring employees literally to do nothing – is now on the hook for correcting the inconsistencies. Small comfort though, since apparently Serco gets paid based on the number of employees it hires rather than the efficiency of its work product. Requiring the company to sort paper applications by hand seems almost too awful to be true.