The Obama Administration Doesn't Know Why 800,000 Obamacare Tax Forms Were Sent Out With Errors

Botched forms suggest the complexity of the law, even for those trying to implement it.



The administration's admission last Friday—it's always a Friday—that it had sent  out 800,000 Obamacare tax forms with mistaken information is merely the latest confirmation that, when it comes to President Obama's signature health law, the White House and its bureaucratic operatives are in way over their heads.

The tax forms, which document tax credits received under the law, were likely to prove daunting to individuals in any case. The administration's rampant mistakes are certain to make tax-season headaches even worse.

The error affects about 20 percent of statements sent out under the law, according to The Wall Street Journal, but individuals who have received the forms have no way of independently determining whether their statement is among the mistaken. As the Journal reports, "It is very difficult for consumers to know on their own whether the local premium listed on the statement, known as a 1095-A, is incorrect." Instead, individuals must rely on the administration, which has already proven itself unreliable, to let them know whether they were among the affected.

The White House downplayed the size of the error, saying that it only affects a "very small fraction" of taxpayers. But even a fraction is still a fairly large number. Close to a million people will have to delay their tax filings as a result of the error, according to the Associated Press, and about 50,000 who have already filed will have to do so again.

The mistakes appear to have occurred when the system used the wrong year's premium to calculate the subsidy amount. How exactly did the system go so wrong? That's a good question, but it's one the administration cannot satisfyingly answer. As Andrew Slavitt, the second in command at the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, which oversees the implementation of the health law, indicated to The New York Times, "officials did not know why the mistake had occurred." 

This is not exactly confidence inspiring. But it is telling about the law's intertwining legal and technical complexities, and the ongoing difficulties they present even for the health law's most committed supporters. What this tax-season debacle suggests is that Obamacare is so complicated that even the federal government can't figure it out. 

NEXT: Obama's Incompetence Might Doom his Immigration Executive Action

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  1. how could they when they just learned when it broke on Drudge Report on Friday you have to give them at least a week as Obama is just now learning about it like the rest of us.

    1. Don’t be silly. They won’t learn about it till it appears in a real news source, like The New York Times or MSNBC.

      This is clearly the administration proactively getting ahead of the News (or at least the only News that matters.)

    2. It doesn’t matter to us if we made mistakes be wise you people are still liable for any penalties for mistakes YOU make!! We could even. Come out ahead!!

      And you VOTED for the creators of Obamacare!!

      Like the abused woman returning to the abuser is the American who loves his government.


  2. You know who else had policies that affected only a small fraction of the population…

    1. Bull Connor?

    2. The Kaiser?

    3. Napolean’s bigger older brother?

    4. At least the administration is demonstrating a good understanding of fractions and the effect of changing your denominator.

      If they’d said that it affected 20% of recipients, that would have been a big fraction and looked ugly.

      But changing the denominator from recipients to taxpayers allows them to honestly say it only affects a very small fraction of taxpayers.

      If they were really ambitious, they could have just said that it only affects a teeny-tiny fraction of the human population (one hundredth of a percent)… ergo fake controversy.

      1. Great point.

        1. all sentient entities in the observable universe? the best number yet, an unkown…hahahahahaaha

    5. Umbrella Corporation?

  3. They had to read the forms to find out what’s in them.

  4. Once again the administration demonstrates their audacity in IT matters.

    They leave the regression testing, restorable backups and careful scrutinization of SQL command outputs to the cowards, while they forge ahead boldly towards the future!

    1. I would love to see the action going on behind the scenes for the administration and the developers of the various software. It must be a fucking madhouse of scrambling, screaming, and blame-passing like we’ve never seen before.

      1. And it’s been this way for two years now. By now they’ve surely written millions of lines of code, but most of it doesn’t work and no one knows why. No one has been there since the beginning, so there is nothing consistent to hold everyone together. New people are brought in and it takes weeks, if not months just to get them caught up. After that all the competent ones see that the situation is hopeless and abandon ship. By now the program has almost certainly reached a critical mass of useless people and useless code from which it can never recover.

        1. The mythical man month is obviously a right wing myth.

          1. that’s a person month you cis-normative unpacked privledge worshiping demon…

        2. Over 50% of large IT projects fail. This one is clearly held together with duct tape. They have legions of people handling things manually because the automated systems haven’t been built, and maybe never will be.

          I suppose the administration is now praying that O-care will be embedded enough by 2016 that it won’t be repealed. Inertia is the statist’s friend.

          1. I doubt that. I bet the entire Dem party is praying for the Repubs to repeal it. Then, they can say, ‘just as the bugs had been worked out….’.

            They don’t want to hit 2016 with it still being in disarray.

            1. They can’t override the inevitable veto. There could be mass deaths in hospitals across the country and Democrats would still not admit it was a disaster. It’ll take a GOP president in 2017 to kill it. Democrats will still be rallying around it in 2016.

    2. I’ve worked on IT projects to automate bureaucratic processes; what a fucking nightmare! It just doesn’t matter how good the IT people are. If the underlying process is fucked up, incorporating it into software isn’t going to help.

      And Obamacare is a giant turd. They can program and test until Doomsday and it won’t work.

  5. I think Obama and Valerie are busy looking for some pencil-necked bureaucrats in HHS to fall on their swords for them again.

    1. Swords if they are lucky.

      1. I can see Valerie Jarett walking up to some hapless drone and holding out her hand and shrieking “Choke yourself, bitch!”

        1. Winner!

  6. Guys, I’m not going to sugarcoat this: the inability of hundreds of thousands of Americans to file their taxes or get access to their overpriced, ill-shaped healthcare plans is inconvenient.

    1. There are those who say so, but let me be clear: FYTW.

    2. “If you like your tax forms, you can keep your tax forms.”

  7. “Obamacare is so complicated that even the federal government can’t figure it out.”

    What meanum “even” paleface? The feds CREATE complexity, they don’t figure it out. That’s a job for the little people.

  8. But do they “Love America”?

    1. They love America, but they’re not IN love with America. They sorta, kinda like America. They’d like to bang America a few times then not call America again, maybe then they could just be friends.

      1. I just shot bourbon out my nose thanks to you, fucker.

        1. That was a pretty awesome comment.

      2. Lady B…..I think they want to bang America at will, whenever they’re in the mood, but never actually have to take her out to a movie, or dinner, ever. And, secretly they think she should be grateful to get an ounce of their awesomeness.

      3. Fucking LOL !!!

  9. I guess it would be fruitless to hope that these morons fuck things up so badly that they crash the entire tax apparatus?

    1. No. Because the ACA is so complicated, the only recourse is single payer, which will somehow be less complicated.

      Besides, 800,000 people? That’s only .00114% of the world’s population. It’s nothing!


  11. there are many things that the Obama administration does not know. It’s called consistency.

  12. Always remember that a mistake on the part of the IRS will result in extra time to file, but a mistake on the part of a taxpayer will result in penalties, interest and possibly jail time. And the taxpayer is guilty until he or she proves their self innocent to the IRS.

    Why? FYTW.

    1. I haven’t seen anything about extra time to file. They told these people that they should wait to file. They didn’t say they were getting an extension.

  13. They told these people that they should wait to file.

    President Bunny: Let me be clear…..you should wait to file your taxes….the penalties and interest for which you will be solely responsible…. is a small price to pay so we can get this out of the news cycle and on to things less embarrassing to my administration!

  14. Well, how is he supposed to know? He probably just read about it in the newspaper, like the rest of us.

    1. Well, Pelosi was gonna tell him, but the law wasn’t passed long enough for her to know what is in it!

  15. my mum in-law recently got a nice twelve month old Cadillac CTS Vsport Premium only from working parttime off a laptop
    ?????? http://www.jobsblaze.com

  16. my mum in-law recently got a nice twelve month old Cadillac CTS Vsport Premium only from working parttime off a laptop
    ?????? http://www.jobsblaze.com

  17. Hate to be typo-Nazi, but, shouldn’t the last part of the first line have read:

    “…when it comes to President Obama’s signature health law, the White House and its bureaucratic operatives are in way over their pinheads.”?

  18. I have had three pretty bad mistakes by the IRS since 1973. Pain to work out time and money and frustration on my part, indifference and awesome sincerity. My father in law had his accounts frozen after paying exactly what was owed. A trip to a congressman took care of that in 15 minutes. The true alien problem might be the IRS.

  19. “Botched forms suggest the complexity of the law, even for those trying to implement it.”

    Botched forms suggest that the administration is broadly incompetent. Which we already knew.

  20. You have to print 800,000 of the forms to find out what is on the forms.

  21. The real question on everyone’s mind is, “Will I get the principal back on the interest free loan I have been giving the government for the last year ?”

  22. Start working part time. I kept hearing other people tell me how much money they can make online so I decided to look into it. Well, it was all true and has totally changed my life.
    Move to a better life…. http://www.Work4Hour.Com

  23. my classmate’s ex-wife makes $72 every hour on the internet . She has been unemployed for six months but last month her check was $13076 just working on the internet for a few hours?????? http://www.jobsblaze.com

  24. my friend’s aunt makes $62 an hour on the computer . She has been laid off for five months but last month her pay was $14934 just working on the computer for a few hours. Visit this site………
    ????? http://www.netpay20.com

  25. This error just demonstrates the need for more upper-level supervisors at IRS.
    STOP the IRS CUTS!
    Do it for the children.

  26. my friend’s aunt makes $62 an hour on the computer . She has been laid off for five months but last month her pay was $14934 just working on the computer for a few hours. Visit this site………
    ????? http://www.work-mill.com

  27. Google pay 97$ per hour my last pay check was $8500 working 1o hours a week online. My younger brother friend has been averaging 12k for months now and he works about 22 hours a week. I cant believe how easy it was once I tried it out.
    This is wha- I do…… ?????? http://www.netjob80.com

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