More than half a million people who were illegal immigrants or had questionable legal status received $750 million in ObamaCare subsidies, according to a new Senate report.
The report, produced by Republicans on the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, and launched by committee Chairman Sen. Ron Johnson, R-Wis., reviewed Affordable Care Act tax credits and found that more than 500,000 recipients were ineligible due to legal status, reported Fox News.
As of June 2015, the report said, “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.”
— Fox News (@FoxNews) February 9, 2016
In what Sen. Johnson called a “pay and chase” method, the federal government temporarily allows payments for individuals with unclear legal status but is supposed to cut those funds if paperwork is not produced eventually. The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services pay the insurance companies on behalf of applicants and the IRS then has to “chase” after the payments once the ineligibility is discovered.
The Senate report said, “This ‘pay and chase’ model has potentially cost taxpayers approximately $750 million,” and accused the administration of failing to have a plan to recoup the funds, reported Fox.
“The information provided to the Committee by the IRS and HHS reveals a troubling lack of coordination between the two agencies … and demonstrates that the IRS and HHS neglected to consider how they would recover these wasteful payments,” the report said.
Even though the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services confirmed to FoxNews.com on Monday that 471,000 customers with 2015 coverage did not produce the required citizenship or immigration documentation in a timely manner, this did not necessarily mean they were ineligible.
The backlash on social media was immediate.
— NJ Dre (@njdre2000) February 9, 2016
— Susan Rieder (@rieder202) February 9, 2016
— Stu M (@Popstufs3) February 9, 2016
— Braeden Hiles (@hiles_braeden) February 9, 2016
Many Twitter users pointed to their own health insurance struggles as credits are handed over so freely to ineligible recipients.
— Jenn Borowiec (@jenn_borowiec) February 9, 2016
— Mary Braden (@marybraden) February 9, 2016
— Roc Zod Priapus (@RZodPriapus) February 9, 2016
And many remembered Congressman Joe Wilson’s famous “You lie” outburst at Obama’s 2009 State of the Union speech.
Remember when Joe Wilson said “You lie!” when Obama said illegal aliens would not qualify for Obamacare benefits? https://t.co/SQ30LyIk7S
— Paul Izzo (@paulizzo35) February 9, 2016
@greta Looks like ALL the media and democrat/republican party owe Joe Wilson an apology b/c he was RIGHT when he yelled you lie!
— Steve (@MACHTink) February 8, 2016
— Tricia Wingate (@PatriciaAHenso1) February 9, 2016