ObamaCare ripe for fraud while gov't yawns

Thursday, February 25, 2016
 | 
Chris Woodward (OneNewsNow.com)

Healthcare.gov down 620x300A new report alleges the Obama administration has taken a "passive" approach to identifying potential fraud in the Affordable Care Act.  

And the question remains, what will be done to stop it?

The report from the Government Accountability Office stops short of alleging widespread cheating in ObamaCare, but investigators say the administration has struggled to resolve eligibility questions involving millions of applications and hundreds of thousands of people who were approved for subsidies.

"The report doesn’t pinpoint actual fraudulent activities," a story by The Fiscal Times explains, "but it makes it clear that applicants have plenty of opportunities to game the system without fear of getting caught because many agencies routinely fail to verify personal information requested by the insurance markets through the hub."

One example given was approximately 431,000 applications from the 2014 enrollment period had "unresolved inconsistencies" that had never been addressed by 2015. Those applications alone total approximately $1.7 billion in federal subsidies. 

Release of the report came as the House Energy and Commerce Committee held a hearing on the Department of Health and Human Services budget.

Pete Sepp, president of the National Taxpayers Union, says ObamaCare is the new Earned Income credit when it comes to waste, fraud and abuse.

Sepp

"Politicians like to complain about problems in the program," he says, "yet rather than do something active to stop the waste, fraud and abuse, they simply either look the other way or they lift only a finger. And that's a real problem for taxpayers."

According to Sepp, GAO investors and reports from inspectors general can bring about positive change in financial management.

But whether that's going to happen with ObamaCare is another question entirely.

Meanwhile, Sepp says the Affordable Care Act should not be given a pass, given the fact that it's new to the American landscape.

"Obviously there were details of the ACA to figure out from an administrative standpoint," he says, "but it's important to remember that the Act was originally passed into law and agencies had three, sometimes four years, even longer, to prepare for administering key aspects of the law."

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