Now that President Obama has finished (for now) showboating about ObamaCare's “8 million enrollees,” the Treasury's inspector general has delivered a not-so-insignificant wrinkle: All those enrollees' personal information may not be safe.
IG J. Russell George told senators that he “remains concerned about the protection of confidential taxpayer data.” Not that any of this is news. Since the infamously screwed-up launch of the HealthCare.gov federal website, security specialists have dubbed it “IdentityTheft.gov.”
What's needed — what else? — is more money from Congress, according to IRS officials. This, after the nation's tax collector squandered almost $3 million in bonuses to 2,800 employees with various “conduct” problems.
But there's more: Aside from securing patients' confidential information, it's projected that about 6 million enrollees will claim health care tax credits totaling $16 billion in 2014, writes Laura Trueman for The Heritage Foundation. Mr. George said the IRS fraud-detection system “may not be capable of identifying Affordable Care Act refund fraud or schemes prior to the issuance of tax refunds.”
Last year the government estimated that it paid $4 billion in bogus tax refunds over the previous year, The Associated Press reports.
But rather than address ObamaCare's security shortfalls up front and the challenges to come, Team Obama is more interested in taking dubious victory laps — and tripping badly over its missteps.
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