A pair of Senate Republicans called on the Obama administration Thursday to explain how it is protecting taxpayer dollars used to help Americans purchase health coverage under Obamacare.
Sens. Mike Johanns of Nebraska and Jerry Moran of Kansas accused Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius of lax oversight in making sure the government verifies a person’s income before paying out sliding-scale subsidies to insurers on their behalf.
They also said the secretary misled them by claiming the income verification system would be in place.
The senators were responding a Washington Post report over the weekend that said hundreds of thousands of people may have received subsidies that are too generous, and that the federal government does not have the web tools in place to check and reconcile the discrepancies.
An anonymous White House source told The Post that federal health officials are “all on the same page that the issue needs to be resolved as soon as possible.”
“It appears that despite our efforts to safeguard taxpayer dollars, your agency has yet again misled Congress and the American public,” Mr. Johanns and Mr. Moran wrote. “Not only are taxpayer dollars being distributed incorrectly, but hundreds of thousands of Americans may be in for a shock next April when they learn they must repay money to the Treasury because your agency miscalculated their subsidies.”
House Republicans on the Ways and Means Committee issued a similar letter on Wednesday to Treasury Secretary Jacob Lew. While HHS oversees much of the Obamacare rollout, Mr. Lew’s department is responsible for the subsidies and tax penalties associated with the law.