Investigation reveals Obamacare is a fraudster’s dream come true

posted at 2:41 pm on July 23, 2014 by Noah Rothman

Tuesday’s federal appeals court decision in Halbig v. Burwell focused the public’s attention on the shaky legal ground upon which the Affordable Care Act’s subsidized coverage provisions are founded. In spite of the best efforts of the administration and it’s defenders to reassure the public that those who enrolled in ACA plans through the federal exchanges will continue to receive financial assistance, the seeds of apprehension have been sown. That anxiety will not be easily alleviated.

In fact, that trepidation may have been exacerbated just hours later when the findings of a government investigation into the ACA and fraud was released. According to the findings of an investigation conducted by the Government Accountability Office which were presented to Congress on Wednesday, some of those taxpayer-funded subsidies are not merely legally problematic but are also subject to extensive fraud.

The GAO found that 11 of 12 applications for federal assistance while applying for insurance provided through the ACA using “fictitious identities” were accepted. “For each of our 11 approved applications, we paid the required premiums to put policies into force, and are continuing to pay the premiums. For the 11 applications that were approved for coverage, we obtained the advance premium tax credit in all cases,” the report read.

In six other applications, GAO investigators also tried to sign up fake applicants with in-person representatives. But in five of those cases, GAO was “unable to obtain in-person assistance” for various reasons, including one representative saying they could not help because HealthCare.gov was down.

“We are examining this report carefully and will work with GAO to identify additional strategies to strengthen our verification processes,” administration spokesman Aaron Albright said. At least on paper, fraudsters risk prosecution and heavy fines.

The GAO said its investigators concocted fake identities using invalid Social Security numbers and falsely claiming citizenship or legal residence. In other cases, they made up income figures that would disqualify them from getting subsidies.

The GAO also found that contractors processing applications were not aware that they had to vet applications for potential fraud, that five out of six falsified applications for coverage submitted by telephone were accepted, and that an online identity checking system could be easily bypassed.

Conn Carroll notes that, in spite of the fact that this blockbuster investigation has received virtually no coverage in the mainstream press, it has nevertheless sparked some grumbling in liberal ranks:

Obama’s complete failure to prevent fraud in his signature domestic accomplishment even had some liberals questioning the administration. “This lack of oversight just isn’t acceptable,” Indiana University School of Medicine professor Aaron Carroll (no relation) blogged, “The GAO should be checking this stuff, and the administration should be responding to it. Let’s see what happens.”

Carroll should not hold his breath. Obama has every incentive to get as many “beneficiaries” signed up for Obamacare no matter how fraudulent they are. Democrats have made the number of “Americans” enrolled in Obamacare the defining metric for the law’s success. There simply is no penalty for signing up fake people.


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Yeah, we sort of saw this coming. But Obama didn’t, he will read about it in the paper and get mad as hell, uh, already knew about this before it was reported.

The website didn’t work. It didn’t qualify anyone for subsidies, it gave EVERYONE subsidies.

The other shoe dropping here is there are probably a million on Obamacare that owe the IRS back the subsidy they never should have gotten.

And that’s not even getting into the federal exchange being INELIGIBLE for subsidy in all circumstances…

ConstantineXI on July 23, 2014 at 2:44 PM

As the saying goes, it’s a feature, not a bug.

Rational Thought on July 23, 2014 at 2:45 PM

Shocking.

And if Obama watched the news anymore I’m sure this would outrage him.

gwelf on July 23, 2014 at 2:46 PM

Obama’s complete failure to prevent fraud in his signature domestic accomplishment even had some liberals questioning the administration. “This lack of oversight just isn’t acceptable,”

It’s not a bug, it’s a feature.

rbj on July 23, 2014 at 2:46 PM

gee a POS system runs like a POS.
color me shocked…

dmacleo on July 23, 2014 at 2:48 PM

Chicago Politics will get you Chicago governance. You get what you vote for, folks, and y’all voted for a Chicago Community agitator with absolutely zero positive, measurable accomplishments in his entire life.

And you even re-elected him.

Laws? We don’t need no stinking laws…we’re ‘progressives’….

bimmcorp on July 23, 2014 at 2:48 PM

It was supposed to fail. By design.

But it wasn’t supposed to explode on the launch pad and start a forest fire that can’t be put out…

ConstantineXI on July 23, 2014 at 2:48 PM

“Ain’t no fraud no federal judge can’t fix…..”

———- Sleazy Eric “The Hustler” Holder

viking01 on July 23, 2014 at 2:52 PM

Time to take another drive past the grave of Claude Rains…

Del Dolemonte on July 23, 2014 at 2:52 PM

In six other applications, GAO investigators also tried to sign up fake applicants with in-person representatives. But in five of those cases, GAO was “unable to obtain in-person assistance” for various reasons, including one representative saying they could not help because HealthCare.gov was down.

That’s innovative! I’ve heard of security through obscurity, but never security through brokenness.

BlueCollarAstronaut on July 23, 2014 at 2:53 PM

Of course.

Deckard BR on July 23, 2014 at 2:54 PM

So why did the IRS wait nearly 16 months to spring this new interpretation on the public? That’s also an easy one. As of August 17, 2011, when its rule was first proposed, only ten states had passed laws establishing their own exchanges. Seventeen had outright rejected the Obamacare exchanges. All told, 40 states had by that point failed to do the administration’s bidding and set up state-based Obamacare exchanges.

Without exchanges in every state, Obamacare would surely fail as a policy matter. And without massive subsidies to offset the costs of Obamacare’s health plans, Obamacare would fail as a political matter. The IRS maneuver was a last-ditch attempt to paper over the law’s serious structural flaws.

The Halbig case changed all that and ripped off the facade to expose a structure ready to collapse under its own weight. And it wasn’t due to a “drafting error,” the uninformed opinions of know-nothing bloviators who’ve spent exactly zero time drafting federal legislation notwithstanding.

In 2010, Nancy Pelosi famously claimed that Congress needed to pass Obamacare in order to find out what’s in it. Well, a federal court just read Obamacare and found out what wasn’t in it: tax credit subsidies for federal exchange health plans.

Schadenfreude on July 23, 2014 at 2:56 PM

I’m surprised that Dog Eater would have signed this legislation knowing as he did that there would be so many opportunities for fraud.

Here’s another question I have: Since Dog Eater knew the attack on our Benghazi consulate would occur, why didn’t he order an evacuation?

Bishop on July 23, 2014 at 2:56 PM

Work harder taxpayers.

The illegals are all on the dole, unchecked, in spite of the obama’care’ statute.

Schadenfreude on July 23, 2014 at 2:58 PM

The borders are open. Come on in. Food, dope and healthcare is free.

The Chamber of Commerce is with you and so are most of the rats in DC.

Schadenfreude on July 23, 2014 at 2:59 PM

Mr. Fraudster in Chief is out fundraising.

Schadenfreude on July 23, 2014 at 3:00 PM

But these Obamacare posts are about whistling past the graveyard, by next Novemeber Democrats will be openly running on the ACA. Mark my words.

libfreeordie on December 20, 2013 at 10:14 AM

Schadenfreude on July 23, 2014 at 3:01 PM

Carroll should not hold his breath. Obama has every incentive to get as many “beneficiaries” signed up for Obamacare no matter how fraudulent they are. Democrats have made the number of “Americans” enrolled in Obamacare the defining metric for the law’s success. There simply is no penalty for signing up fake people.

That sure explains why, after the WH declared victory based on entirely fabricated numbers, it’s stopped even providing any numbers about the ACA.

But as DWS and Fascistordie are so fond of saying, Democrats will proudly run this November on the successes and advantages of Obamacare.

I suspect if asked about this, Josh Earnest’s head will do multiple 360′s as he tries to spin this into a positive…

Athos on July 23, 2014 at 3:01 PM

Pitchfork Landrieu, Pryor and all the thugs who voted for the travesty.

They are all charlatans and MUST pay in Nov.

Cantorize them all!!!

Schadenfreude on July 23, 2014 at 3:02 PM

That’s innovative! I’ve heard of security through obscurity, but never security through brokenness.

BlueCollarAstronaut on July 23, 2014 at 2:53 PM

Another example of a feature, not a bug, in the Healthcare.gov code.

I can hear the explanation now – the safest system is one that is down.

Athos on July 23, 2014 at 3:03 PM

Trolls, dare to defend your charlatanry.

Schadenfreude on July 23, 2014 at 3:03 PM

“We are examining this report carefully and will work with GAO to identify additional strategies to strengthen our verification processes,” administration spokesman Aaron Albright said.

Translation: Yeah, whatever dude. Take a number and we’ll ignore you first chance we get.

RadClown on July 23, 2014 at 3:04 PM

Sounds like all those out of work ACORN types have found employment.

formwiz on July 23, 2014 at 3:04 PM

It was supposed to fail. By design.
But it wasn’t supposed to explode on the launch pad and start a forest fire that can’t be put out…
ConstantineXI on July 23, 2014 at 2:48 PM
It did indeed go up in flames like napalm and that wasn’t the plan and now a lot like napalm is burning everything in sight even the rest of Obamacare. Talk about a retarded Frankenstein’s monster…..

sorrowen on July 23, 2014 at 3:05 PM

One of the brightest hags in DC

Schadenfreude on July 23, 2014 at 3:05 PM

“You lie” was the truest thing ever said about obama.

Schadenfreude on July 23, 2014 at 3:06 PM

Obamacare has gone Eric Cartman on the Dem’s with Dem chili ;)

sorrowen on July 23, 2014 at 3:08 PM

Shhhhh…..we don’t talk about obamacare around here anymore.

everdiso on July 22, 2014 at 1:27 PM

The Schaef on July 23, 2014 at 3:11 PM

Investigation reveals Obamacare is a fraudster’s dream come true

Really? Ya wouldn’t sh** me now, would ya?

And there’s a prize for you if you can name one government give-away program that isn’t a “fraudster’s dream come true”. Just hold your hand over your arse ’til you name one.

M240H on July 23, 2014 at 3:11 PM

I need to be finger printed, licensed, and trained to even QUALIFY for a background check to purchase a gun in MD.

However, to defraud the government, all I need to do is have a PC and check off that “I am not a fraudster” box on my application.

Beautiful. God bless our perfect, infallible, system.

Gatsu on July 23, 2014 at 3:12 PM

So Obamacare has gone full retard then….but given it crashed and burned on launch that’s not shocking.

sorrowen on July 23, 2014 at 3:16 PM

Investigation reveals Obamacare is a fraudster’s dream come true

…so’s it’s namesake!

JugEarsButtHurt on July 23, 2014 at 3:16 PM

Obama’s complete failure to prevent fraud in his signature domestic accomplishment even had some liberals questioning the administration. “This lack of oversight just isn’t acceptable…”

Fraud is not an option…it comes bundled in the ACA.

timberline on July 23, 2014 at 3:18 PM

GAO? Yep, racist.

Ward Cleaver on July 23, 2014 at 3:29 PM

Investigation reveals Obamacare is a fraudster’s dream come true

Really? Ya wouldn’t sh** me now, would ya?

And there’s a prize for you if you can name one government give-away program that isn’t a “fraudster’s dream come true”. Just hold your hand over your arse ’til you name one.

M240H on July 23, 2014 at 3:11 PM

Not just fraud for personal financial gain, the piece-of-crap Obamacare is also a dream come true for Democratic vote-fraud. Now, instead of having to make up names like Doodad-Pro, the ACORN-type goons can just refer to the Obamacare database for names, Social Security numbers, etc.

If you are in the piece-of-crap Obamacare database, within the next year or so you might find you are registered to vote in all 57 states.

slickwillie2001 on July 23, 2014 at 3:30 PM

Well, duh.

Conservatives were shouting this before it was passed .

RINGS sure are gullible.

kingsjester on July 23, 2014 at 3:32 PM

RINOs. Darn phone.

kingsjester on July 23, 2014 at 3:32 PM

What else do you expect from a team that doesn’t check for credit card fraud? http://hotair.com/archives/2008/10/29/team-obama-deliberately-avoided-credit-card-security-checks/

sadatoni on July 23, 2014 at 3:33 PM

ObamaFraud

faraway on July 23, 2014 at 3:34 PM

The whole obamacare law is about NUMBERS. They do not care about the details of the numbers ie, fraudulent, ineligible, income lying and illegal alien applications. All they want is the total numbers to sanctify the lousy law. Remember the 8 million obama touted? As it turned out over half were Medicaid and not obamacare. They simply have no interest in truth or facts. Look at the moron Biden talking about the NUMBER of jobs created under obama this last month. He was citing 800,000 total new jobs but as it turns out over 500,000 of them were part time mainly do to obamacare!

inspectorudy on July 23, 2014 at 3:35 PM

11 out of 12.

That is above 90% fraud rate.

Who is the troll who was constantly quoting however many millions were signed up? Was it verbulace?

Paging whoever that is. I’m pretty sure you excise 92% of 8.1 million and you’re left with less than a million.

BKennedy on July 23, 2014 at 3:37 PM

I just called the WH and got Barry on the phone, believe it or not – he told me tonight’s winning Powerball number!

Woohooo!

Akzed on July 23, 2014 at 3:43 PM

But these Obamacare posts are about whistling past the graveyard, by next Novemeber Democrats will be openly running on the ACA. Mark my words. libfreeordie on December 20, 2013 at 10:14 AM

Tee hee…

Akzed on July 23, 2014 at 3:45 PM

SURPRISE!!!

Adjoran on July 23, 2014 at 3:51 PM

Schadenfreude on July 23, 2014 at 3:01 PM

That never gets old.

Closet Optimist on July 23, 2014 at 3:54 PM

“We are examining this report carefully and will work with GAO to identify additional strategies to strengthen our verification processes,” administration spokesman Aaron Albright said.

It’s not the GAO’s job to identify strategies, it’s your job.

Hat Trick on July 23, 2014 at 3:58 PM

I’m shocked. yawn

justltl on July 23, 2014 at 4:16 PM

and it’s defenders to reassure the

Noah, c’mon, skip the contraction when using the possessive form … here ….

and it’s defenders to reassure the

thanks.

williampeck1958 on July 23, 2014 at 4:24 PM

oops, didn’t take out the apostrophe, here …

and its defenders to reassure the

williampeck1958 on July 23, 2014 at 4:26 PM

The GAO said its investigators concocted fake identities using invalid Social Security numbers and falsely claiming citizenship or legal residence.

This is SOP with many government welfare programs. In fact, there are groups here in the southwest that actively teach illegal aliens how easy it is to obtain a plethora of government benefits for which they are legally not eligible. They tell them to answer yes to the question “Are you a U.S. citizen or legal resident?” They also tell them that this information is almost never verified by any government agency, so there is little chance they will be caught, but in the unlikely event they are ever questioned by any government employee about their answer, they are to tell them that they misunderstood the question because English is not their first language (and/or because they have little education and can’t read Spanish well).

Since the government can’t prove fraud without evidence of the applicant’s specific intent to defraud, the phony “U.S. citizen” applicant gets away with the lie, because the applicant’s professed “confusion” about the meaning of the question (caused by the applicant’s claimed lack of understanding of English, and/or lack of education) negates the specific intent element.

This is just one of the many scams that have been perfected by the Alinskyites, and are routinely taught to illegal aliens and various other types of criminals and fraudsters looking to rip off U.S. taxpayers. The government is well aware of these fraudulent practices, which cost taxpayers many billions of dollars every year, and does nothing to stop them.

AZCoyote on July 23, 2014 at 4:44 PM

If only those wascally Republicans had appropriated more money this wouldn’t be a problem /sic

William Teach on July 23, 2014 at 5:11 PM

Tuesday’s federal appeals court decision in Halbig v. Burwell focused the public’s attention …

Hate to point this out Noah, but no, it didn’t.
After all the Outrage!(TM) that exploded onto facebook and twitter from newly minted constitutional scholars over the Hobby Lobby ruling that affected a grand total of nobody, this one which is going to smack millions in the face with higher premiums has been greeted by resounding crickets… “Who’s Hal? And how big is he?”

CapnObvious on July 23, 2014 at 5:46 PM

Wow, what else is new. More government waste, corruption and lies. Sadly, 42 (%) out of every 100 people think he is doing a great job in the polls. Talk about the blind leading the blind.

leader4hru on July 23, 2014 at 6:54 PM