Remember about 6 months ago? When I wrote that the FBI had serious concerns about the possibility for fraud concerning those ObamaCare subsidies because the data used to calculate them would be reported using the “honor system”?
Well, it looks like there’s a damn good chance the FBI was right to be concerned. Because now we’re seeing the first data regarding just how well income information reported by those qualifying for subsidies matches up with income data on file at the IRS and other government agencies.
BLUF: “T’ain’t lookin’ s’good, Cleetus. Looks to be lotsa “mistakes” in them thair applikashuns.”
Specifically: over half of those who signed up through the Federal exchange(Healthcare.gov) appear to have an “inconsistency” in their application – an inconsistency that requires further explanation and/or additional documentation. The total number of applications with such an inconsistency is about 3 million.
It’s estimated that up to 1/3 of this group – or about 1 million individuals – could well be receiving an inaccurate subsidy. If they’re getting too little, they’re missing out on what the law allows. (Whether the government has any business providing squat is a different argument, one I’m not addressing here.) If they’re getting too much, though, they could be in for a huge tax issue at some point in the future.
The article doesn’t say how many of these “inconsistencies” appear to be outright fraud. But two other programs that operated on the basis of “honor system” income reporting – the “ObamaPhone” program (formally LifeLine) and the EIC tax credit – are estimated to have had historical fraud rates in the 20% to 40% range.
The discrepancy rate here for ObamaCare is consistent with a fraud rate close to that magnitude. And since it’s known that some ObamaCare navigators were advising people to understate their actual incomes in order to to qualify for subsidies, I’m guessing a large chunk of those “discrepancies” are indeed due to outright fraud.
Unfortunately, we don’t yet know much in the way of details. There’s still no working process for computer checking ObamaCare applications against income data on-file with other government agencies. The matching must be done manually, so it will take a while.
Still – this is just another bit of proof that ObamaCare is a half-baked abomination that should be burned to the ground, then the ashes buried in quicklime. With a stake through what’s left of its bureaucratic heart for good measure.