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Portman, Hatch and Grassley Urge HHS to Improve Verification System to Stop Ongoing Fraud

Federal Information & News Dispatch, Inc.

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Contact: Caitlin Conant (Portman) 202-224-5190

Aaron Fobes (Hatch) 202-224-4515

Jill Gerber (Grassley) 202- 224-6522

Portman, Hatch and Grassley Urge HHS to Improve Verification System to Stop Ongoing Fraud

Washington, D.C. - Today, U.S. Senators Rob Portman (R-Ohio), Orrin Hatch (R-Utah), and Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) urged U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Sylvia Burwell to improve Obamacare's subsidy verification system after reports of fictitious identities and fraudulent documents being used to obtain subsidies. On January 1, 2014, HHS certified to Congress that "the Exchanges verify that applicants for advance payments of the premium tax credit and cost-sharing reductions are eligible for such payments and reductions."

"Several pieces of new information have recently emerged that call the accuracy of HHS' certification into serious doubt," the senators wrote. "The latest evidence is from a Government Accountability Office 'secret shopper' investigation, which found that 11 out of 12 secret shoppers were able to obtain health insurance and qualify for premium tax credits through the Federal Exchange using fictitious identities and fraudulent documents...HHS has yet to respond to many of our questions. We ask that you please provide answers to Congress."

A report issued on July 23, 2014 by the Government Accountability Office (GAO) revealed that individuals were able to obtain health insurance and premium tax credits through the federal Exchange using fictitious identities and fraudulent documents. Specifically, the report found that 11 of 12 secret shoppers were able to obtain health insurance and premium tax credits through the federal Exchange using fictitious identities and fraudulent documents. The Administration has repeatedly failed to provide transparent and accurate information about the implementation process and proper oversight is necessary to ensure it is protecting Americans' tax dollars.

Full text of the letter can be found at: http://www.portman.senate.gov/public/index.cfm/files/serve'Fileid=82fd72c7-f2ba-4cd8-9f90-9ca5f5df7052.

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