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Date: Jul 24, 2014; IBD Section: Issues & Insights; Page: A12

Open To ObamaFraud

Health Reform: An undercover operation disclosed on Wednesday shows just how easy it is to defraud ObamaCare. This is your health care on government.

Controls in place to verify eligibility and subsidy amounts for ObamaCare applicants, the Government Accountability Office sent a dozen people out to try enrolling with made-up identities.

All but one of the 12 succeeded in enrolling in a subsidized ObamaCare plan. Even for government, a 92% failure rate is awfully bad. In cases where the testers couldn’t get past the identity check using an online application, they were still able to enroll over the phone.

Three “applicants” didn’t bother to submit any supporting documentation about income or citizenship and still got into the program. The government even sent notices to two of the undercover agents, saying their citizenship information had been verified.

At the time the report was put together, all 11 of the undercover operatives were still technically enrolled in ObamaCare plans, which would cost taxpayers a total of $30,000 in subsidies this year.

Health and Human Services officials told the GAO they had no evidence of fraud. How could they when, as the GAO learned, the HHS contractor hired to verify applicant information “is not in a position to know if fraud is being attempted”?

The scale of the problem is potentially massive. According to the GAO, 4.3 million ObamaCare applications have known “inconsistencies” — most of which involve questions about citizenship or income. Only 650,000 of these — or 15% — have been cleared.

The GAO also tried to determine if ObamaCare “navigators” were encouraging applicants to lie about their income to get bigger subsidies. It didn’t, but only because five of the six undercover agents couldn’t find anyone who would help them. So much for the $67 million in federal “navigator” grants.

More disturbing, the Obama administration can’t verify that its subsidy payments to insurers go only for those enrolled. Obama officials told the GAO “they are thus far unable to identify individuals who have made premiums payments” and so must “rely on health insurance issuers to self-report enrollment data.”

This casts more doubt on Obama’s claim that 8 million signed up. And it practically invites insurers to inflate their enrollment numbers.

For an administration that exemplifies incompetence, this is a new low. But its callous disregard of taxpayer money amounts to criminal negligence.