Wow. It’s almost as if the Obama Administration didn’t care if Obamacare dollars flowed to illegal aliens. And, by the way, we aren’t going to get that money back.
In March 2015, Chairman Ron Johnson of the Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs initiated an inquiry into CMS’s eligibility verification process and into the process used to recoup improper payments. 2 The inquiry found that CMS had awarded ACA tax credits on behalf of more than 500,000 individuals who CMS later determined to be ineligible for coverage and tax credits. The inquiry also found that CMS and the IRS lack an effective plan to recoup credits that CMS awarded to ineligible individuals. The majority staff estimates that CMS distributed approximately $750 million in taxpayer funds in the form of tax credits, and anticipates that the IRS is unable to fully recoup the funds. This “pay and chase” model has potentially cost taxpayers approximately $750 million.
Pursuant to the ACA, if CMS cannot verify an individual’s citizenship, status as a national, or legal presence, CMS provides temporary coverage to the individual, including credits and subsidies, while it allows the individual to provide documentary evidence of his eligibility. If the individual does not provide sufficient documentary evidence of eligibility, CMS must remove the individual from coverage. Indeed, CMS has announced that it removed more than 500,000 individuals from health insurance coverage because of their failure to document citizenship or legal residency status.
Based on information provided to the Committee and the majority staff’s calculations, as of June 2015, the Administration awarded approximately $750 million in tax credits on behalf of individuals who were later determined to be ineligible because they failed to verify their citizenship, status as a national, or legal presence.