$2.8 Billion in Obamacare Payments Unverified

Audit reveals massive mismanagement by govt. in payments to insurance companies placing billions of taxpayer dollars 'at risk.'

Ari Yashar ,

Barack Obama
Barack Obama

In further confirmation of the fears of Obamacare critics, a new audit report has revealed that the federal government cannot verify $2.8 billion in subsidies distributed through Obamacare placing taxpayer funding "at risk."

The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Office of Inspector General (OIG) released the audit report on Tuesday, reports the Washington Free Beacon.

It found the that the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) federal agency had no internal system to make sure subsidies went to the right Obamacare enrollees - or that they were even made out to the correct amount.

"CMS’s internal controls did not effectively ensure the accuracy of nearly $2.8 billion in aggregate financial assistance payments made to insurance companies under the Affordable Care Act during the first four months that these payments were made,” OIG wrote in the report. "CMS’s system of internal controls could not ensure that CMS made correct financial assistance payments."

In its report, the OIG reviewed subsidies that were paid by the government to insurance companies between January and April 2014.

It discovered that CMS had no process to "prevent or detect any possible substantial errors" in the payments, and likewise had no system to "ensure that financial assistance payments were made on behalf of confirmed enrollees and in the correct amounts."

The audit also revealed that US President Barack Obama's government does "not plan to perform a timely reconciliation" of the massive $2.8 billion that has gone unaccounted for.

And the problem didn't end in early 2014 according to OIG, which said the government still doesn't have a complete system to approve Obamacare subsidies. A "permanent process" of distribution is to be ready by the end of 2015, and will approve enrollment and payment "on an enrollee-by-enrollee basis."

"Without effective internal controls for ensuring that advance CSR payments are reconciled in a timely manner, a significant amount of Federal funds are at risk,” warned OIG.

In response to the audit, CMS said it "takes the stewardship of tax dollars seriously and implemented a series of payment and process controls to assist in making manual financial assistance payments accurately to issuers."

The audit comes ahead of a Supreme Court ruling that could invalidate all federal subsidies since most states did not establish their own health insurance exchange.