Today, Congressman Diane Black (R-TN-06) issued the following statement upon release of the Health and Human Services' Office of the Inspector General's report titled, Marketplaces Faced Early Challenges Resolving Inconsistencies with Applicant Data:
"This report confirms what many of us already knew -- that despite repeated reassurances from this Administration, the systems were not in place to determine income eligibility for Obamacare subsidies when this law was implemented," said Congressman Diane Black. "This outrageous mismanagement of taxpayer dollars will likely lead to billions of dollars in waste and abuse, all because this Administration moved forward with implementation despite repeated warnings that the systems were not ready. Also concerning is that OIG has asked that CMS provide a final management decision within six months of this report, meaning a full year will have passed before the government has even put forward a plan to ensure proper income verification. This is outrageous and irresponsible, and why I am moving forward with my legislation, the No Subsidies Without Verification Act of 2014, to protect taxpayers from having to shoulder more Obamacare waste and fraud."
Congressman Black introduced the No Subsidies Without Verification Act of 2014 following reports that more than one million Americans receiving health care subsidies under the Affordable Care Act may be receiving an amount in error because there is no system in place to properly verify the income eligibility of applicants. This commonsense legislation would simply require an income verification system to be put in place before any additional taxpayer subsidies are given out.
Other findings from the OIG report include:
· The government has failed to verify 2.6 million of the 2.9 million inconsistencies even if the applicant submitted appropriate documentation.
· The federal marketplace has the ability to resolve 330,000 inconsistencies that deal with SSN, incarceration status, etc., but has only resolved 10,000 (less that 1% of the total).
· 4 of the 15 reviewed state marketplaces are unable to resolve their inconsistencies due to information technology failures.
· Data hub outages created verification problems for state exchanges. Information on the data hub was also reported as outdated or inaccurate. The example OIG provided is that the federal data had erroneously listed infants and young children as incarcerated.