NYT: Obamacare Could Be Paying Subsidies to Hundreds-of-Thousands Who Don't Qualify to Receive Them

Posted: Jun 16, 2014 7:30 AM
NYT: Obamacare Could Be Paying Subsidies to Hundreds-of-Thousands Who Don't Qualify to Receive Them


According to a new piece in the New York Times, hundreds of thousands of people who may not be qualified to receive Obamacare subsidies, are probably receiving them anyway.

The Obama administration is contacting hundreds of thousands of people with subsidized health insurance to resolve questions about their eligibility, as consumer advocates express concern that many will be required to repay some or all of the subsidies.

Of the eight million people who signed up for private health plans through insurance exchanges under the new health care law, two million reported personal information that differed from data in government records, according to federal officials and Serco, the company hired to resolve such inconsistencies.

The government is asking consumers for additional documents to verify their income, citizenship, immigration status and Social Security numbers, as well as any health coverage that they may have from employers. People who do not provide the information risk losing their subsidized coverage and may have to repay subsidies next April.

First off, why doesn't Obamacare require extensive documentation up front to qualify for subsidies (aka taxpayers funding an applicant's insurance)? Second, what do they exactly think is going to happen here? Does the administration really believe all those people are going to back-pay all of the subsidies they've already received? Dream on. Oh, but what's this? If subsidies aren't paid back the administration is going to strip people of their health insurance plans?

“If you don’t send the needed documents,” it says, “you risk losing your marketplace coverage or help you may be receiving to pay for such coverage.”

If the IRS decides to fine people who received subsidies when they were ineligible, it'll only make the law even more unpopular than it already is. Further, Democrats have been telling Republicans they cannot repeal Obamacare because stripping people of their newly obtained marketplace plan would be extreme, yet that's probably going to happen anyway thanks to government incompetency.

Remember when President Obama said Obamacare exchanges would operate as smoothly as Amazon or Travelocity? Good times.