Senate Report: Illegal Immigrants Benefited from up to $750M in ObamaCare Subsidies

Fox News, February 8, 2016

Illegal immigrants and individuals with unclear legal status wrongly benefited from up to $750 million in ObamaCare subsidies and the government is struggling to recoup the money, according to a new Senate report obtained by Fox News.

The report, produced by Republicans on the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, examined Affordable Care Act tax credits meant to defray the cost of insurance premiums. It found that 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.”

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The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services confirmed to FoxNews.com on Monday that 471,000 customers with 2015 coverage failed to produce proper documentation on their citizenship or immigration status on time–but stressed that this does not necessarily mean they’re ineligible.

“Lack of verification does not mean an individual is ineligible for financial assistance, but only that a Marketplace did not receive sufficient information to verify eligibility in the time period outlined in the law,” CMS spokesman Aaron Albright said.

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Under the law, the feds can dole out these payments on a temporary basis if a recipient’s legal status is unclear, but are supposed to cut off funding and coverage if the recipient does not later come up with the paperwork. Up to a half-million “ineligible” people, according to the report, applied in this way–with their credits paid in advance to the insurers. The IRS, though, is supposed to get overpayments back from the individuals themselves.

The Senate report, based on a review launched by committee Chairman Sen. Ron Johnson, R-Wis., derisively describes this approach as “pay and chase.”

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{snip} The 500,000 individuals in question have been removed from coverage, according to the findings, as the government seeks to get the money back.

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