Obama Error

Health care tax goof


In February, the Obama administration revealed that it had sent out roughly 800,000 tax forms containing erroneous information. The mistake affected people in the 36 states with federally run health insurance exchanges. An additional 100,000 people in California, which runs its own exchange, faced a similar problem.

The forms, known as 1095-As, document the health insurance subsidies available to individuals under Obamacare, and they are required for tax returns. As a result, the administration asked those individuals who received the mistaken forms to delay filing. According to the Associated Press, which first reported the story, about 50,000 people who already did their taxes were expected to have to refile.

The White House downplayed the scale of the error, saying that it only affects a "very small fraction" of taxpayers. Administration officials, however, could not explain the source of the error. Andrew Slavitt—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 that "officials did not know why the mistake had occurred." Nor was there any easy way for individuals to know whether they were among those sent mistaken info. Instead, they had to rely on the administration, which had already bungled the job once, to notify them.