The president’s much-assailed health care law is once again roiled in controversy. According to a government document obtained exclusively by the Associated Press, a reported two million Affordable Care Act “enrollees” have signed up for the program even though their personal information is incorrect. As a result, some consumers might find themselves owing money to the government if they received overly generous subsidies. Others still might find themselves without coverage entirely. The AP reports:
A government document provided to The Associated Press says more than 2 million people who got health insurance under President Obama's law have data discrepancies that could jeopardize coverage for some.
Two million people works out to about one out of four who signed up, creating a huge paperwork headache for the feds, and exposing some consumers to repayment demands if they got too generous a subsidy -- or even loss of coverage.
The administration says it is triple-checking consumer information to ensure that only those who are legally entitled to health care subsidies are getting them, and that they are receiving the correct amount.
House and Senate lawmakers are also looking into the data issues, which involve not only income, but citizenship, immigration status and other factors.
Needless to say, this will create all sorts of administrative problems for the Department of Health and Human Services. Having to go back and “triple check” millions of Americans who have enrolled in Obamacare will take time -- and cost money. The AP’s discovery also undercuts the White House’s go-to talking point that “8 million” Americans have successfully “enrolled” through the federal and state exchanges; obviously that’s not true if potentially one-fourth of enrollees could lose their coverage simply because their consumer information is incorrect.
What a mess.