Previous GAO reports indicated that Obamacare regulators needed to do a better job to improve the integrity of the system since it is a taxpayer-funded effort after all. The GAO wants to make sure the federal government is using our hard earned tax dollars wisely.
Needless to say, the report was not stellar. This year, the report seemed to indicate that the problem is getting worse. Why? Because insurance policies are continuing after the insured person’s date of death.
It’s clear fraud.
GAO audits just a smattering, or a microcosm if you will, of these records. They found 17,000 cases of “dead people” who still had policies during the 2015 year. (2015 is the most recent year GAO had a complete set of data to make their report).
In 1,000 of the cases, coverage actually began after the person’s death—that’s a neat trick. In 2,000 cases, the applications were submitted after the person’s death; this is mainly because the Obamacare in its infinite wisdom re-enrolled people automatically without even checking to see if they had died.
GAO says it’s a good idea to check whether people have had a change of circumstances that would disqualify them from being eligible to purchase insurance on the exchange.
Death definitely qualifies as a change of circumstance, to say the least!
But the GAO auditors say that for whatever reason, Obamacare nor Medicare or Medicaid have ever implemented this recommendation. Obamacare is used by the majority of states.
Just imagine how much fraud is happening in all of these government health services across the nation.
In fact, Obamacare has nearly 20 open recommendations from three such GAO reports. They’ve never been implemented, but all have to do with integrity—which translates to both fraud and cost—of the system.
And that translates directly to taxpayers. It’s always easy to spend other people’s money.
Since its inception, healthcare.gov has struggled. They barely got the public website up and running on time in 2013 so Obama could crow about his legacy in the January 2014 state of the union address. They tried to show off a shiny storefront, while the back behind the scenes portion was held together with chewing gum and bailing wire.
And it’s been that way ever since. It is a perpetual work in progress, and when that happens, you never get any system integrity. And the GAO report points that out.
Amazingly, just last year, the system was finally upgraded so that Social Security numbers (SSNs) could be modified. Just imagine the chaos that has created in the last four years. The government actually says that they could not meet the GAO action item to resolve SSN inconsistencies because the data system wasn’t capable of letting them do it.
Interestingly, about one percent of all Obamacare applicants who had SSN issues related to citizenship status. Let’s keep in mind there are 8 million applicants, so this amounts to 80,000 people on the exchange illegally—or maybe we should use the politically correct term of “improper applicant”.
Actually, this number is probably higher because the one percent doesn’t include applicants who have other sources of fraud as it relates to the subsidies they receive—things like where you live or underreporting of income.
Wonder how many people haven’t correctly reported their incarceration status? You can’t get Obamacare if you’re in jail.
When the GAO reports things like “one percent”, most people think of that as small. But one percent equaling perhaps 80,000 people who are on the exchange and don’t even have citizenship adds up. So does the amount taxpayers spend on the subsidies that are given to the 17,000 “dead people”? That adds up to a whopping $23 million—just for that!
It’ll be interesting to read the 2016 report because that will be the report that shows how much the government was able to recover from those 17,000 dead people. The federal government calls this the reconciliation process and it occurs the following tax year.