Report: Obamacare ‘Navigators’ Encouraging Tax Fraud

December 16, 2013

Obamacare "navigators" in charge of outreach for the health insurance marketplace are encouraging tax fraud, violating government rules, and telling Americans to lie on their applications, according to a House committee report.

"Obamacare Navigators have been giving Americans misinformation and, in some cases, actively encouraging enrollees to commit fraud in order to raise their subsidies," according to Breitbart News, which reported on the release by the House Committee on Government Oversight and Reform.

Among other things, the report found:

Navigators Were Unprepared for Website Crash and Lacked a Contingency Plan: In a Committee briefing, Gary Cohen, a top HHS official admitted that Navigators lacked direction in the early days because "it took a while to know what was happening." Also during the briefing, another HHS official, Mandy Cohen, stated that "it seems like in hindsight," there should have been contingency plans for the website’s failure. "War Room" meeting notes, obtained by the Committee, show confused HHS officials struggling to advise Navigators about how to respond to the inoperable website. [...]

Navigators from the Urban League of Dallas were captured on video, encouraging applicants to lie on their health insurance application so the applicants could qualify for tax subsidies. Navigators were also recorded advising an applicant to lie about her smoking habits to obtain a lower monthly premium. It was later discovered that two of the so-called navigators involved in the incident were assisting consumers with their applications even though they had not completed their training and certification requirements. The navigator organization in question fired one navigator, and suspended two others.

"The committee is committed to continuing this important oversight of the Navigator program in an effort to curb fraud and mismanagement and ensure the administration does not waste additional taxpayer dollars on a program that puts consumers at risk," the report said.

[S]ome Navigators went so far as to encourage consumers to commit tax fraud by underreporting income in order to qualify for ObamaCare’s health insurance subsidies.

Published under: Obamacare