The Obamacare Subsidy Crisis

Posted: Jul 03, 2014 3:41 PM

The health insurance exchanges are now nominally functional, allowing Americans to log on and access their health insurance options. (Although open enrollment is now closed.) What's unclear, however, is if any of the data for the sites is actually accurate.

Adriana McIntyre reports for Vox:

Between October and December 2013, states using experienced over 2.9 million inconsistencies between applications and information in the federal "data hub" that applications are supposed to be verified against, a new federal report found. State insurance exchanges are also still grappling with substantial technical challenges.

It's not clear how many enrollees are affected, because each applicant can have multiple inconsistencies. These inconsistencies also aren't evidence of fraud — one marketplace reported glitches where applications identified infants and young children as being incarcerated when, obviously, they are not.

The vast majority of inconsistencies were associated with citizenship status, income, and whether the applicant had access to affordable insurance through their employer (which would make him ineligible for subsidies).

It's unclear what the federal government can or will do about these "inconsistencies" and how to rectify them. But what is clear is that Obamacare has proved to be an undertaking beyond the leading lights of President Obama's army of bureaucrats.