HHS Inspector General: 1,295,571 Obamacare Enrollees May Or May Not Be Legal Citizens

HHS Report: 1,295,571 Obamacare Enrollees May Or May Not Be Legal Citizens – Big Government

A devastating new Health and Human Services (HHS) Inspector General report released on Tuesday reveals that the Obama administration has yet to determine whether 1,295,571 of the over 8 million Obamacare enrollees are U.S. citizens lawfully in the country.

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The finding, located on page 11 of the report, states that 44% of the remaining 2,611,780 application “inconsistencies” are related to verifying “Citizenship/national status/lawful presence.” Another 960,492 application inconsistencies were related to verifying whether subsidy applicants provided accurate income information.

Moreover, the Inspector General report only covered the federal Obamacare exchanges to determine how the Obama administration resolved verification problems through December 2013. As for the 15 state-run Obamacare exchanges, the report says four–Oregon, Nevada, Vermont, and Massachusetts–are simply “unable to resolve inconsistencies.”

As the Washington Post reported in May, as many as one million Obamacare enrollees may be receiving incorrect taxpayer-funded subsidies due to Obamacare’s continued technical failures and inability to properly verify income and citizenship eligibility.

One year ago, conservatives warned that the Obama administration’s decision to use the so-called “honor system” for income eligibility was merely a backdoor way to get as many individuals on the public dole as possible.

The Office of Inspector General determined that “the federal marketplace was generally incapable of resolving most inconsistencies.”

Obamacare will cost U.S. taxpayers $2.6 trillion over the next ten years.

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HHS Inspector General Reports Millions Of Data Inconsistencies In Obamacare Applications – Washington Examiner

Applications for insurance coverage through President Obama’s health care law submitted in the final three months of 2013 contained millions of inconsistencies in which information such as income and immigration status could not be independently verified by the federal government, according to a June report from the inspector general of the Department of Health and Human Services.

The inconsistencies may have resulted in individuals receiving an improper amount of subsidies, or subsidies that they shouldn’t have been eligible for in the first place – something that could require them to repay the money in future tax bills.

In other cases, inconsistencies led to bizarre outcomes. According to the report, “one marketplace cited situations in which infants and young children included on applications were erroneously identified as incarcerated.”

At issue is the information that individuals are asked to submit when they apply for coverage, such as income, citizenship status, Social Security number, or incarceration status. In theory, once data are submitted, they are supposed to be checked in a massive storage database known as the “hub,” which gathers data from multiple federal agencies.

“In some circumstances, the marketplace cannot verify an applicant’s information through available data sources,” the report explained. “When this happens, it is referred to as an inconsistency. This may arise when Federal data available through the Data Hub or data from other sources are unavailable or do not exist, or because the information on the application does not match the data received through the Data Hub or from other data sources.”

According to the HHS inspector general, applications submitted to the federal exchange in the opening months of Obamacare – October 2013 through December 2013 – contained over 2.9 million inconsistencies, of which more than 2.6 million, or 89 percent, remained unresolved as of Feb. 23, 2014.

To be clear, this does not mean that 2.9 million separate individual applications contained inconsistencies. Every applicant is prompted to answer a series of questions, and thus any given application can contain multiple inconsistencies. HHS could not provide data on the number of applications that included at least one, so there’s no way of saying what percentage of the total number of applications were affected. An inconsistency also doesn’t necessarily mean information is inaccurate, either, it just means it can’t be matched with available data.

The federal government has had an easier time resolving discrepancies related to Social Security numbers, while income and citizenship or lawful presence status have proven more challenging.

These numbers pertain only to the federal exchange that serve residents of 36 states, not the 15 states running their own exchanges.

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The HHS inspector general also received reports from 11 states running their own exchanges disclosing an additional 1.2 million inconsistencies, though the states could be counting differently and thus the federal and state numbers cannot be easily combined.

“During our review, 4 of the 15 State marketplaces reported that they were unable to resolve inconsistencies (Massachusetts, Nevada, Oregon, and Vermont),” the report read. “They attributed this inability to failures in their information technology systems.”

While the government is awaiting more documentation from individuals to resolve inconsistencies, those individuals are allowed to receive benefits for 90 days. However, according to the report, “because of the Federal marketplace’s inability to resolve most inconsistencies, we were unable to determine the number of applicants who may have exceeded the 90-day inconsistency period or for whom the inconsistency period was extended by the Federal marketplace because the applicant demonstrated a good-faith effort in obtaining satisfactory documentation.”

In a response, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services said that most inconsistencies are still within the 90-day window, but that Obamacare gives the authority to the Secretary of HHS “to extend the 90-day inconsistency period for applications for coverage for 2014.”

The inspector general noted that resolving inconsistencies was considered a lower priority in the early months of the Obamacare rollout due to the pressing technical problems facing the website. But the report concluded that, “marketplaces must resolve inconsistencies to ensure that eligibility determinations for enrollment in (qualified health plans) and for insurance affordability programs are accurate.”

The report recommended that CMS “develop and make public a plan on how and by what date the Federal marketplace will resolve inconsistencies” and bolster oversight of state-based exchanges.

In its response, CMS said that the inconsistencies were to be expected.

“It is not surprising that there are inconsistencies between some information provided by application filers and the electronic data sources, and, in fact, this issue is addressed in the Affordable Care Act,” CMS wrote. “This is the first year that consumers have applied for coverage through the Marketplaces. Therefore, consumers are inexperienced with the eligibility process, which could lead to application mistakes.”

Some of the issues could be explained because different data is available, CMS said. “For example, the Internal Revenue Service’s (IRS) tax data is generally two years old (i.e., tax return information for 2012 is used to verify income attestations for coverage for 2014.),” according to CMS.

The few million inconsistencies represents a “small number” compared to the “hundreds of millions of possible data inconsistencies,” given that any application can contain over 20 different pieces of data.

CMS said it agreed with the inspector general’s recommendations and was continuing to resolve the inconsistencies – manually, at first, until it develops an automated system later in the summer.

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Unreal! Inspector General Says Suspected Terrorists Were Hired To Guard Consulate In Benghazi

Inspector General: Suspected Terrorists Hired To Guard Consulate In Benghazi – CNS

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Libyans suspected of bombing and vandalizing the U.S. consulate in Benghazi prior to the deadly attack that killed U.S. Ambassador Christopher Stevens had been hired there as security guards by a British contractor, according to a report released June 13 by the State Department’s Office of Inspector General (OIG)

“One guard who had been recently fired and another guard on the company’s payroll were suspected of throwing a homemade bomb into the U.S. compound 6 months before the attacks,” according to the OIG report.

“In addition, according to the United States Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, the Temporary Mission Facility in Benghazi had been vandalized and attacked in the months prior to the September 2012 attacks by some of the same guards who were there to protect it,” the report stated.

The Libyan guards were hired after “a casual recruiting and screening process” and received “minimal training,” according to a media reported cited in the audit of embassy security procedures in six countries.

The audit also found a criminal with “multiple false identities” working at a U.S. embassy due to limited oversight in the process required for vetting locals hired as security guards under the department’s $556 million Local Guard Program (LPG).

The guard “admitted to having a criminal history, which included two arrests and three cases of employing false identities to gain employment with local security contractors,” the OIG report stated.

A review of the guard’s personnel file, which “contained no local police background check,” also revealed ”an invalid current address, no explanation for travel outside of [redacted], incomplete details on previous work experience, false statements on having used other names, and criminal history.”

At the six embassies audited, whose locations were all redacted from the report, the OIG found “severe deficiencies” in the vetting process for embassy security guards.

In fact, none of the security contractors fully performed all of the vetting required under their contracts despite the fact that there were at least 272 significant attacks against U.S. diplomatic facilities and personnel between 1998 and 2012, placing “embassies and personnel at risk,” the report said.

A typical vetting includes a “police check covering criminal and/or subversive activities, a credit check, proof of successful previous employment with supervisor recommendations, and a personal residence check.” But out of a sample of 48 files examined by the OIG, “19 (40 percent) did not have police checks.”

In some cases, vetting requirements were not completed during the transition time between contractors until more than two years after the security guards had been placed on duty, the report noted. Even basic information such as “addresses and employment were missing from the local guard personnel files.”

The results of background checks must be cleared by a regional security officer (RSO) before any local guards can begin work at an embassy.

However, the OIG found that the RSOs, who are responsible for final approval of foreign nationals hired as embassy security guards, “frequently could not demonstrate that they had reviewed and approved the local guards employed to protect their posts.”

In one instance, “the RSO could not produce an accurate listing of all the local guards who worked at the embassy, and the project manager for the security contractor received an embassy badge without undergoing a background investigation or RSO approval.”

In some cases, local privacy laws prevented security contractors from fulfillling all of the required vetting. Other obstacles in less developed countries included lack of credit reporting services or the availability of official records such as birth certificates, the report stated.

The Office of Inspector General urged that these obstacles be taken into account in the vetting requirements so that contractors could still perform thorough checks of all hirees.

“Without modifying the Local Guard Program contract to reflect local conditions and limitations,” the report said, “the Department cannot hold the security contractor accountable for adhering to all the vetting requirements contained in.”

The inspector general also found that the security contractor at one embassy invoiced $1.48 million of monthly $100 supplemental wages between 2010 and 2013 that were never paid to the local guards.

On average, State Dept. contractors failed to pay $298,000, or between 15 and 25 percent of the full supplemental wages due to local security guards since 2010, according to the OIG. The State Department has since clarified how the supplemental wages should be distributed, and the Bureau of Administration is in the process of deciding the total amount of monies owed.

The OIG made a number of recommendations to the embassies to beef up their security procedures, many of which have already been completed. But other embassies are still in the process of demonstrating full compliance, the report noted.

CNSNews.com contacted the State Department multiple times for comment but did not receive a response.

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Inspector General Report: 52 Felons Regularly Gained Access To Military Bases

Report: 52 Felons Gained Access To Military Bases – Big Government

A newly released Inspector General report reveals that convicted felons have gained access to United States military facilities on a regular basis. Monday morning, 12 people were murdered by a gunman who had authorized access to Washington’s Navy Yard.

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According to the report, “the problems in vetting contractors were related to budget cuts.” The report identified that 52 felons had unauthorized access to to military facilities for 62 to 1035 days. It states the Navy did not:

“follow federal credentialing standards and DOD contractor vetting requirements and did not provide 7 of the 10 installations visited the appropriate resources and capabilities to conduct required contractor background checks.”

A congressional aide told the Hill that budget cuts were not from the sequester, but resulted from military cuts before the sequester took place.

This is not the first time there has been a problem with vetting government contractors. Edward Snowden, who leaked enormous amounts of classified information to the world was also a government contractor. A Navy official claims the the security process faulted in the report were not the ones that gave Washington Naval Yard gunman access.

Senator Jeff Sessions (R-LA) told reporters on Capitol Hill “It may be time for a [congressional] review to see how well these contractors are doing their jobs” regarding the vetting for sensitive security positions.

The report singles out a company named Eid Passport, who did not turn up felony convictions in the reports they issued on the background checks.

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Senator Cruz To Hold Up All State Department Nominees Until Obama Nominates Inspector General

Backbone: Cruz To Hold Up All State Dept. Presidential Nominees Until Obama Nominates Inspector General – Right Scoop

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This is just one of the reasons why Ted Cruz is nothing but awesomeness:

POLITICO – Sen. Ted Cruz said Wednesday he will hold up all presidential nominees for the State Department until President Barack Obama nominates an inspector general for the department.

The Texas Republican said that the attacks on Americans in Benghazi as well as overspending in overseas conflicts in Afghanistan and Iraq underscore the need for Obama to select a watchdog to the State Department, which has been missing a permanent IG since Obama assumed the presidency in 2009.

“The position has been vacant for almost 2,000 days. This is a crucial oversight position and should be a priority for an agency facing substantial management challenges,” Cruz said. “Until the president acts, I have notified Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and Minority Leader Mitch McConnell that I will place a hold on all State Department nominations.”

Secretary of State John Kerry told senators in April that a candidate for the IG position is coming soon. State Department spokesman Patrick Ventrell said the nomination of that candidate will be revealed “after the vetting and paperwork process is complete.”

MORE

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IRS union head met with Obama the day before targeting of Tea Party groups began

Well now, isn’t that special?

By now, you’ve probably seen the news:

Report: Head of IRS Employees Union Met
With President Obama the Day Before
Tea Party Targeting Began

Colleen Kelley, president of the National Treasury Employees Union which represents employees of the Internal Revenue Service, met at the White House with President Obama the day before two IRS officials created the “Sensitive Case Report” that targeted Tea Party groups for special scrutiny on their applications for non-profit status.
White House visitors logs show that Kelley visited the White House on March 31, 2010, to meet with Obama, a day before an Inspector General’s report shows that the “Sensitive Case Report” was created, Jeffrey Lord of The American Spectator reported . . .

And you might be surprised (but probably not) to learn that Colleen M. Kelley has never worked a day in the private sector:

[A]n NTEU member since 1974, Kelley was an IRS Revenue Agent for 14 years and served in various NTEU chapter leadership positions, including chapter president of NTEU Chapter 34 in Pittsburgh. She was elected National President in August 1999 and was overwhelmingly re-elected to a fourth four-year term in 2011.
Kelley first joined the IRS upon graduation from Drexel University, where she earned a bachelor’s degree in accounting. She also earned a Master of Business Administration (MBA) from the University of Pittsburgh.

Go read it all, Stacy also lists the folks, or some of them, that Kelley seems to, shall we say, dislike intensely. I am sure Dan Pfeiffer would dismiss this all as “irrellevant”, and tell us these are just funny coincidences. Me, I think The Church lady might sum it up best

Why are we so deep in debt?

Many reasons you might say, but the big issue is simple. The government has ZERO respect for taxpayers. It has not even one hint of an idea that maybe they should try to spend less. Here is but one example that illustrates that our government, on all levels, has developed a culture spend, spend, spend

A federal audit has revealed the chairman of the Federal Maritime Commission, Richard Lidinsky, used taxpayer dollars to spend more than $1,600 a month leasing a Chevy Tahoe SUV and $75 an hour to hire a staffer to drive him around Washington D.C. 

Channel 2 Action News also found parking for the vehicle cost $4,700 a year, and at least 105 trips made with the vehicle were used to “shuttle the agency’s chairman from his office to a nearby train station” that was three blocks from his office, less than a ten-minute walk. 

After agency employees complained about the SUV, The Federal Maritime Commission’s Inspector General “investigated the procurement and usage of the SUV” and also found the agency “trampled government rules” because the Chevy Tahoe, which gets 15 miles per gallon, is not a fuel-efficient vehicle. All government vehicles must pass fuel-efficiency standards. In addition, the investigation found that “agency employees failed to properly log the trips made in the SUV.”

I am sure Libs will read this and say what difference does that spending make, we are, after all, TRILLIONS in the hole. It is about the culture people! Think if the culture was changed? Think if the culture demanded fiscal responsibility rather than accepting this type of waste and fraud? Think if the culture started to change. From a culture of entitlement to a culture of respect and fiscal responsibility!

 

Key Holder Deputy Resigns As Inspector General Releases Fast And Furious Report

Key Holder Deputy Resigns As Inspector General Releases Fast And Furious Report – Daily Caller

The Department of Justice’s inspector general released its internal investigation into Operation Fast and Furious on Wednesday afternoon, and senior DOJ official Jason Weinstein resigned as it was released.

The 512-page report grills Attorney General Eric Holder and his inner circle at DOJ, and excoriates the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives for Fast and Furious.

House oversight committee chairman Rep. Darrell Issa ripped the DOJ in a statement. “The Inspector General’s report confirms findings by Congress’ investigation of a near total disregard for public safety in Operation Fast and Furious,” Issa said. “Contrary to the denials of the Attorney General and his political defenders in Congress, the investigation found that information in wiretap applications approved by senior Justice Department officials in Washington did contain red flags showing reckless tactics and faults Attorney General Eric Holder’s inner circle for their conduct.”

“Former Deputy Attorney General Gary Grindler, Assistant Attorney General Lanny Breuer who heads the Criminal Division, Deputy Assistant Attorney General Jason Weinstein, Arizona U.S. Attorney Dennis Burke, and Holder’s own Deputy Chief of Staff Monty Wilkinson are all singled out for criticism in the report,” Issa added. ”It’s time for President Obama to step in and provide accountability for officials at both the Department of Justice and ATF who failed to do their jobs. Attorney General Holder has clearly known about these unacceptable failures yet has failed to take appropriate action for over a year and a half.”

Despite the fact that ATF and the DOJ are blamed for Fast and Furious, House oversight committee Democratic ranking member Rep. Elijah Cummings and Holder issued statements claiming their innocence.

“The IG’s comprehensive report debunks many of the extreme allegations made by Republicans and confirms many of the conclusions reached in a report I issued nearly a year ago – that neither the Attorney General nor senior DOJ officials authorized or approved of gunwalking in Fast and Furious, that gunwalking started under the Bush Administration in 2006, and that ATF agents in Phoenix and the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Arizona share responsibility for misguided operations spanning five years,” Cummings said. “Although the report does not find that DOJ intentionally misled Congress, it does find that the Department could have done a better job responding to requests for information, particularly after determining that the weapons found at the scene at Agent Terry’s murder were linked to the operation. I hope this report provides the Terry family with much-needed answers and that Congress can now turn the page and focus on reforms to help ensure that this never happens again.”

“I have reviewed the Office of the Inspector General’s report on Operation Fast and Furious and the key conclusions are consistent with what I, and other Justice Department officials, have said for many months now,” Holder added in a lengthy statement.

In a statement announcing his resignation, Weinstein accuses the inspector general of wrongly identifying him as a high-ranking DOJ official responsible for Fast and Furious “[f]or reasons that are completely incomprehensible to me, and are based on considerations other than the evidence.”

“Nothing could be further from the truth,” Weinstein said. “In fact, I was the person who blew the whistle that gun-walking had taken place years earlier in the Operation Wide Receiver investigation and, on that basis, delivered a warning to high-ranking officials at the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) that such tactics were unacceptable. Against that background, the suggestion that I was insufficiently aggressive in ferreting out the truth about Fast and Furious is based on a complete distortion of the facts and reflects the application of perfect hindsight, as connections that were all too easily made by OIG investigators after the fact simply could not have been made by me or anyone else at Main Justice as the events were unfolding.”

Even so, Weinstein said he’s resigning to try to stop Fast and Furious, and his role in it, from remaining an “enormous distraction for the Criminal Division and Main Justice as a whole.”

Former acting ATF director Kenneth Melson – who Holder promoted into senior DOJ leadership after Fast and Furious first broke in the mainstream news – has resigned as a result of this report as well.

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