Networks Evening Newscasts Ignore Latest ObamaCare Audit Findings

August 10th, 2015 7:56 PM

All three broadcast evening newscasts tonight ignored a new audit showing that the government may have paid out subsidies to ObamaCare purchasers who were not eligible for them. 

"Some people who signed up for healthcare through ObamaCare may not have been qualified for the benefits they received, according to a government audit released Monday," Sarah Ferris of reported today.

The Wall Street Journal's Stephanie Armour filed her story on the matter last night, and it appeared on page A3 of Monday's paper under the headline "Audit of Health Exchanges Finds Fault With Controls." Here's an excerpt: 

Some consumers who got health coverage or subsidies through might not have been eligible to receive them last year because of deficiencies in the federal exchange’s internal controls, according to a government report likely to further stoke Republican criticism.

Not all the internal controls were effective in determining if applicants were properly eligible for health insurance or subsidies, the Health and Human Services’ Office of Inspector General concluded in a report released Monday. It also found problems resolving inconsistencies between some applicants’ information and federal data.

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, which implements the health law, said the report examined the first open enrollment period in 2014. The agency said it was aware of the majority of the technology issues during those early days and corrected them prior to the inspector general’s report.

The report, based on audits and a review of two different samples of 45 applicants, doesn’t necessarily mean the exchange improperly enrolled applicants or incorrectly calculated subsidies, according to the study. But the report notes that without properly verifying eligibility and resolving inconsistencies, the federal exchange couldn’t ensure that applicants met requirements for subsidies or that subsidies were the right amount.

The report reviewed internal controls that were in place from Jan. 1, 2014 through March 31, 2014, and special enrollment periods in April of last year.

Omitting this audit from news coverage is par for the course for the broadcast news media. Here are some other occasions where the broadcast nets ignored news items that cast ObamaCare in a negative light:

-- "Networks Ignore GAO's Study on ObamaCare Accepting Fake Applications; NBC Touts Enrollment" [July 23, 2014]

-- "Networks Ignore Government Report That ObamaCare Plans Cover Abortions" [Sept. 16, 2014]

-- "Networks Ignore Over 100,000 About to Lose ObamaCare" [Sept. 16, 2014]

-- "Obamacare Created or Hiked 13 Taxes, Networks Ignore Them in 87 Percent of Stories"  [Feb. 18, 2015]

-- "Obamacare Penalty Starts Hitting Taxpayers, Nets Ignore in 91% of Stories"   [April 9, 2015]

-- "Networks Duck Rising ObamaCare Premiums, Bad Polls for Hillary and Obama"   [June 3, 2015]