McConnell: Taxpayers should know if O-Care subsidies are abused

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Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) lead a group of Republican senators in calling attention to the possibility that the federal government is making incorrect ObamaCare subsidy payments.

McConnell, along with Sens. Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) and Tom Coburn (R-Okla.), wrote a letter Tuesday to the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Inspector General (IG) asking him to examine recent reports that the government may be paying for ObamaCare subsidies to people who aren't poor enough to recieve them.

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“Whatever one’s opinion of ObamaCare, the American public deserves to know that their tax dollars are allocated appropriately and that public officials take their responsibility to accurately and faithfully apply the laws enacted by Congress seriously,” the lawmakers wrote.

The senators cited a recent news report that more than 1 million Americans were incorrectly paid ObamaCare subsidies because HHS hasn’t yet implemented a computer system that is suppose to ensure only those eligible are getting the assistance to pay for their healthcare needs. Under the healthcare law, low income families can apply for a grant to help cover healthcare costs.

“These reports call into serious question the veracity of the secretary’s certification that exchanges will accurately verify an applicant’s eligibility for subsidies before they were issued,” the senators wrote. “It seems highly unlikely that the secretary could accurately certify that systems were in place to verify the accuracy of applicant information, when in fact these systems had not been fully developed, tested, and deployed.”

The IG is expected to deliver a report to Congress on July 1 outlining the measures being used by HHS to make sure no one is gaming the system. The senators asked him to address in his report the media accounts that no such system is currently in place.