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Government sends Obamacare payments... without verification

One-size-fits-all federal programs don’t work, a new report by the Health and Human Services Office of Inspector General proves. At least, they don’t work when it comes to health care.

The report states that the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) does not have adequate procedures in place to ensure tax credit payments are properly sent to Obamacare enrollees as required by federal law. The CMS simply doesn’t have the necessary manpower or information to make sure everyone receives the correct amount of money.

Americans for Tax Reform explains:

As HHS OIG noted, CMS has “sole responsibility” for ensuring that tax credits were properly distributed to paying enrollees. Following this confirmation, the IRS is then responsible for reconciling tax credits with an enrollees' tax returns.

To meet this responsibility, CMS relied entirely on data from health insurers to verify whether enrollees had paid their premiums and were eligible. Unfortunately, this data was insufficient - insurers provided payment information on an aggregate rather than enrollee-by-enrollee basis, making verification all but impossible. 

Insufficient data and poor verification processes meant that CMS was not even able to determine whether improper payments had been returned:

"CMS had not yet established computer systems to enable marketplaces to share confirmed enrollment data; therefore, CMS did not verify that QHP issuers were returning APTC overpayments to Treasury."

This latest report raises just one of the many concerns that watchdog groups have flagged regarding the ability of the administration to properly implement and monitor Obamacare over the past year.

Mishandling taxpayer funds matters when the country is $19 trillion in debt. The fact is that federal bureaucracies are so bloated, incompetent, and corrupt, the more we use them the more inefficient our country will be.

That’s why an Article V Convention of States is so necessary. Constitutional amendments proposed at an Article V Convention can decentralize power, ensuring that decisions are made as close to home as possible. If we want to climb out of the financial hole we’ve dug, we have to take power away from D.C. and give it back to the states.

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