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Agents obtained subsidized 'Obamacare' using fake IDs

Undercover Investigators Find New Glitch With Obamacare


WASHINGTON (AP) -- Undercover investigators using fake identities were able to secure taxpayer-subsidized health insurance under President Barack Obama's health care law, congressional investigators said Wednesday.

The weak link seemed to be call centers that handled applications for frazzled consumers unable to get through online.

The nonpartisan Government Accountability Office told a House committee that its investigators were able to get subsidized health care under fake names in 11 out of 18 attempts - even after HealthCare.gov's much maligned online system flagged some applications as problematic.

The GAO is still paying premiums for the policies, even as the Obama administration attempts to verify phony documentation.

Those follow-up verification checks also appeared to need tightening; the GAO said parts of the fake documentation it submitted for two applications actually got through the process.

Nonetheless, GAO audits and investigations chief Seto Bagdoyan told the House Ways and Means Committee that the agency has not drawn any sweeping conclusions from what he called its "preliminary" findings. A full assessment will take several months.

In the real world, it may be difficult for fraud artists to profit from the nation's newest social program, since government health care subsidies are paid directly to insurance companies.

Still, GAO's report opened another line of attack for Republican lawmakers who have relentlessly tried to kill the 2010 Affordable Care Act. It raised questions about new sorts of flaws in the enrollment system, which experienced computer gridlock when it went live last fall. Ultimately, 8 million people managed to sign up for subsidized health care in federal and state exchanges that handled "Obamacare" enrollment.

GAO also testified that there's still a huge backlog of applications with data discrepancies, even though the administration has resolved some 600,000 cases.

Rep. Charles Boustany, R-La., said the findings point to more bungling by the Obama administration. "This is simply not a question of whether one likes the administration's health care law; it's a question of being good stewards of taxpayer dollars," he said.

Speaking for committee Democrats, Rep. John Lewis of Georgia said it's time for Republicans to stop trying to dismantle the health care law and instead start fixing problems. "We will not go back to a time when Americans did not have access to affordable health insurance," said Lewis.

The Obama administration is taking the report seriously.

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

Among the findings:

-Contractors processing applications for the government told the GAO their role was not to ferret out potential fraud. "There is no provision to look for fraud, in the contract itself," said Bagdoyan.

-Five of six bogus phone applications went through successfully. The one exception involved an applicant who refused to provide a Social Security number.

-Six online applications were snagged by an identity checking system. But investigators just dialed a call center and all six were approved. That seemed to be an open pathway to coverage.

-The GAO also tried to check the reliability of counselors providing in-person assistance. In five out of six cases, investigators were unable to get help. In the final case, the counselor correctly told the undercover investigator that the agent's stated income would not qualify for subsidized coverage.

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jeffnevar July 23 2014 at 1:05 PM

This guy used a fake ID to become president!

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35 replies
Welcome Justin July 23 2014 at 12:56 PM

Wow. 2 failure in Obamacare discovered in as many days. Throw in the massive increases in consumer costs, and is there anything good anyone can say about this ? I really think the dems should have actually read this bill before they passed it !

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17 replies
mgt0331 July 23 2014 at 12:58 PM

When a Dem says you have to sign the bill before you know what is it, don't be "surprised" to see problems. This whole Obama Care is a farce. Yes, all who earned it should have some kind of health care, but this abomination is not it. Not government controlled. God help us.

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26 replies
bronbronco27 July 23 2014 at 1:07 PM

This is only the tip of the iceberg. No one should be surprised except those who blindly follow in the first place. The program is looking for volume and funds as 'proof' of its success. It's a sham and has been from day one. Companies are dumping full time positions for many ,many people due to this 'law'. It was forced on the American people as a vanity for a person who thrives on vanity.

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19 replies
ghhs58 July 23 2014 at 12:42 PM

And someone was under the impression that this was not going to happen. Please give me a break we don't even check to see if those who vote are who they say they are. Just remember who you voted for and why!

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14 replies
Kim July 23 2014 at 1:03 PM

Anything this incompetent piece of crap touches turns to ****!

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6 replies
kkishb1999 July 23 2014 at 1:01 PM

This is a planned process from the very top!!! They will do anything to make the WORSE TAX in the history of our country continue to be promoted. The big lie…..Obama and Reed two of a kind.

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6 replies
jerry.sackett July 23 2014 at 12:52 PM

Obamacare and Obama: both huge failures!!

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13 replies
lawless.obama.government July 23 2014 at 1:04 PM

The more we learn about Obamacare
the uglier Obamacare gets.
And
As the lies told to America's citizens by Obama's Democrats are uncovered,
The more Americans agree
OMG -
Obama's Democrats
Must
Go..!

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27 replies
mdat July 23 2014 at 1:44 PM

I truly hope this bites every young voter who elected this traitor!! And then re-elected him!!
You get the rotten, corrupt, immoral, anti-American government you vote for!!
Obama told everybody what he was going to do: fundamentally transform this country!! It's why I would have voted for absolutely anybody else, even though I despise McCain!! How's that hope & change working out for ya, fools???

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2 replies
bill_jones86 mdat July 23 2014 at 1:47 PM

i call it the under 35 gen of idiots not all but more of them than in other generations blame the media and school systems for brainwashing these kids. they have nothing to compare anything too. coddled and indecisive for the most part

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mdat mdat July 23 2014 at 1:48 PM

BTW: that includes my kids, too, if they were stupid enough to fall for this trash!!

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