- - Wednesday, July 23, 2014

ANALYSIS/OPINION:

Obamacare was revealed to have a fatal flaw on Tuesday when federal appellate courts split over the legality of the subsidies crucial to the health care plan. The subsidies have been given to anyone who asks for them. That’s not how the law said to do it.

Anyone interested in $2,700 worth of Obamacare subsidies need only tick a few boxes on a government form and tell a few lies to get the discount. That was the finding of Government Accountability Office (GAO) investigators who went undercover to find out what happens when fake applications are submitted to Healthcare.gov, or given to a counselor on the Obamacare telephone hotline.

Fake applications sailed through the system 92 percent of the time. The only time the government blinked was when an application did not show the requested Social Security number. The bureaucrats were fully satisfied as long as the applicant crossed his heart and swore that the information was true.

Even noncitizens are eligible for the subsidies they’re not supposed to get. Sham documents sent in to “verify” identities were cheerfully accepted. Officials of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services explained that it tells contractors to make sure the documents are legible, not that they’re authentic.

The GAO is paying real premiums on insurance policies for nonexistent people, demonstrating that the system is flawed to its core. “We are seeing a trend with Obamacare information systems,” says House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Dave Camp, Michigan Republican. “Under every rock, there is incompetence, waste and the potential for fraud.”

The committee invited Seto Bagdoyan, the GAO analyst in charge of the “secret shopper” investigation, to present his findings on Wednesday. Mr. Bagdoyan promised more revelations, saying, “The work is ongoing on at the investigative level and the audit front.”

The only “success” the GAO reports is that no faked applications were accepted in person by Obamacare “navigators.” That’s because GAO’s undercover investigators were brushed off when they tried to make appointments.

None of this is particularly surprising, given the lack of interest President Obama has shown to make sure federal money is wisely spent. From his first days in office he splurged, spending $1 trillion — that’s trillion with a “t” — to stimulate “shovel ready” jobs. The money created more fraud and waste than actual jobs.

Whether it’s health care freebies, bailouts, stimulus packages or Obamaphones, they always encourage scammers and charlatans. When government spends other people’s money, it has no incentive to find the fraudsters. The GAO has done its part, putting a spotlight on the shame. It’s Eric Holder’s move.

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