According to an audit run by the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration, Obamacare exchanges around the country handed out $21.8 million in tax credits to people who did not meet the eligibility requirements.
The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services is the agency responsible for running Affordable Care Act exchanges, and it is up to them to make sure that people are actually eligible for the tax credits they seek. They do this through a series of questions relating to their identity and their income. The agency is then supposed to verify this information, you know, to make sure they aren’t handing free money to any dope who comes along with their hand out. Unfortunately, according to the audit, the agency declined to do this in many situations.
From the Washington Free Beacon:
The audit found that the exchanges did not successfully verify the identity of 35,276 individuals, and these individuals received $112 million in advance premium tax credits. The report notes that the majority of these applications – 99 percent – had no verification process performed on them, and 251 failed identity verification.
“When we provided the results of our review to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, management stated that the ACA does not require the exchanges to verify an applicant’s identity,” auditors said. “Management indicated that identity information is not a requirement or a factor in the determination for an individual’s eligibility for health insurance coverage through the exchanges.”
Awesome. Just like voting, eh?
But actually, it’s even worse than the liberal voter ID argument, because not even Democrats would let someone vote if they walked up to the booth and said, “Yo, I’m not a citizen, but I’d like to go ahead and cast a ballot anyway, okay?”
But that’s basically what the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services did. The audit found that 11,388 people pocketed $21.8 million in tax credits despite plainly failing to qualify for them. What’s more, that insane situation is actually provided for in the law. Thanks to the “good faith” clause, the agency has the power to award a customer the tax credits as long as they make some sort of half-hearted effort to document their hardship.
“As such,” the auditors wrote, “these individuals continued to receive the advance premium tax credit and were not terminated during calendar year 2014. We do not believe it is appropriate for the exchanges to allow individuals for whom they know one or more of the eligibility requirements were determined to have not been met to continue to maintain insurance coverage and receive the advance premium tax credit for a full calendar year.”
You wouldn’t think an oversight agency would have to come in and state that conclusion for the record, but apparently this is the kind of stuff that eludes your average bureaucrat. It’s not their money, after all…