Your ObamaCare subsidies are probably wrong, but don’t worry. We’ll bill you later.
posted at 1:01 pm on May 17, 2014 by Jazz Shaw
Remember back in the bad old days when the ObamaCare website didn’t work and everyone had a good laugh over it? Ah… good times. But then they got it fixed, millions of people signed up and we all marched happily forward into the future. Or did we?
Rick Moran wrote a piece for American Thinker this week highlighting a recent report showing that, well… math is still hard.
The Washington Post has learned that more than a million Americans who signed up for Obamacare insurance policies are being paid too much or too little in taxpayer funded subsidies.
Bad enough, right? It gets worse.
The process by which the government informs these taxpayers that they are receiving an incorrect subsidy has broken down, or is not even in place yet. In their unholy rush to sign people up and “prove” Obamacare “works,” the administration has created a monstrously confusing situation that won’t be resolved any time soon.
The original report has all the details, and the part of this story that is both frightening and aggravating is that this is apparently yet another problem which they knew about all along, but never bothered to mention. And it has a very direct impact on hundreds of thousands – if not millions – of Americans. In the best case scenario, the subscriber may be receiving too little in subsidies. This makes life a bit harder in the short term, but if they manage to come up with the cash to keep their policy, then after the discrepancy is noted and resolved, they’ll get the money back. But for the rest of the users who have been incorrectly assigned, they may think they’re getting a really good deal on their insurance. Then, when tax time comes around next year, they’ll be slammed with a bill for the “overpayment” they’ve been receiving without even knowing it.
The government has identified these discrepancies but is stuck at the moment. Under federal rules, consumers are notified if there is a problem with their application and asked to upload or mail in pay stubs or other proof of their income. Only a fraction have done so, according to the documents. And, even when they have, the federal computer system at the heart of the insurance marketplace cannot match this proof with the application because that capability has yet to be built, according to the three individuals.
So piles of unprocessed “proof” documents are sitting in a federal contractor’s Kentucky office, and the government continues to pay insurance subsidies that may be too generous or too meager. Administration officials do not yet know what proportion are overpayments or underpayments. Under current rules, people receiving unwarranted subsidies will be required to return the excess next year.
And remember, some of the key portions of the back end of the site are not simply malfunctioning due to unforeseen technical problems. That could be almost forgivable if you lean toward being an ObamaCare apologist. But that’s not the case here. These are critical functions of the application which were never even built and the government knew it. I’ll leave the parting shot on this story to Rick, who sums it up nicely.
They’re not only liars, they’re sneaky liars. Just when were they going to get around to telling us about this problem?
It’s incredible that the back end of the website still isn’t working because much of it hasn’t been built yet. It’s unconscionable that they would spend a billion dollars to push these policies and subsidies on Americans knowing full well that there was no way to verify income and get the correct amount of subsidy. And it’s ridiculous that sometime in the future, hundreds of thousands of Americans are going to be shocked that they owe the IRS hundreds and maybe thousands of dollars.
That about sums it up.