February 23, 2015

HHS Sends Inaccurate Tax Forms To 800,000 Enrollees

ABC World News (2/20, story 11, 0:15, Muir) reported that “outrage” over another Affordable Care Act “glitch” continues to mount after nearly 800,000 people received inaccurate tax forms from the Federal exchange website. As a result of the “glitch,” consumers “who already filed taxes with those forms will likely have to file again now.”

The CBS Evening News (2/20, story 3, 1:10, Pelley) reported that “officials say they need time to sort out the mistakes.” Approximately “50,000 have already filed their taxes.” Officials claim “they should be ready with the correct information by early next month.”

The Washington Post  (2/21, Millman) reported on its front page that the tax form error has “drawn further criticism from Republican opponents, who say the error is just the latest evidence that the law is frustrating Americans and doesn’t work.” On Friday, HHS “officials said nearly one million customers had been notified and asked to delay filing their returns for two or three weeks.”

The Wall Street Journal  (2/21, A1, Radnofsky, Subscription Publication) reported in a front-page story that Rep. Diane Black (R-TN) said, “The Obama administration has built a health-care law so complex, so confusing, and so costly that even they don’t know how to properly administer it.”

According to the New York Times  (2/21, Pear, Subscription Publication), consumers “can expect to receive corrected data in the first week of March.”

The Los Angeles Times  (2/20) noted that the problem “involves the 1095-A forms that healthcare exchanges must send to individuals and families showing how much money they got in 2014 from the federal government to subsidize their health insurance premiums.”

The AP  (2/21, Alonso-Zaldivar) reported that “the latest goof could signal new problems with the complex links between” ACA and the “nation’s income tax system.” In a blog post, HHS officials revealed that the “mistake happened when information on this year’s premiums was substituted for what should been 2014 numbers.”

According to Politico  (2/22), a government source said the error resulted from “an intermittent defect in code.” Politico added that whether “it was a coding error or greater technological flaw, it’s only the latest sign that still has deep troubles despite a second enrollment season that went far more smoothly than the first.”

Similarly, the Washington Times  (2/23, Howell) reports that the “unforced error” by HHS “spoiled the administration’s victory lap after a relatively successful enrollment period that ended Feb. 15.”

The Hill  (2/21, Ferris) reported that the House Oversight Committee “has scheduled a hearing for next week to examine the intersection of ObamaCare and tax season, teeing up a tense battle between the administration and the GOP.” The committee announced the hearing Friday, “hours after the administration revealed a major glitch in which 800,000 people received the wrong tax forms and were asked to delay their filings.” The hearing will be held by the Subcommittee on Healthcare, Benefits, and Administrative Rules. The Hill  (2/20, Ferris) reported in a separate article that top Republicans, “including Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (Ky.) and House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Paul Ryan (Wis.), have highlighted how tax season is becoming more complicated under ObamaCare.”

Also reporting the story are Bloomberg News  (2/20, Edney), the Washington Times  (2/20, Howell), CBS News  (2/23), CNN  (2/20), Fox News  (2/20), The Hill  (2/22, Sullivan, Ferris), National Journal  (2/22, Subscription Publication), Reuters  (2/20), the Boston Globe  (2/21), the Detroit Free Press  (2/20), the Lancaster (PA) New Era  (2/23), the New Orleans Times-Picayune  (2/23), Fox News  (2/20), the Daily Caller  (2/20, Stoltzfoos), the Arizona Republic  (2/20), the Boston Herald  (2/23), the Chicago Tribune  (2/20), the Newark (NJ) Star-Ledger  (2/23), the New York Post  (2/23), the Wilmington (DE) News Journal  (2/20), Forbes  (2/20), Vox  (2/23) and Watchdog  (2/23).


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