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IRS overpaid nearly $3.5 billion in Obamacare tax credits in 2017, can’t recoup money

by Tom Howell Jr  |  Published on February 8, 2018

The IRS overpaid nearly $3.5 billion in Obamacare tax credits last year that it cannot recoup because of constraints built into the program, frustrating Republicans who have failed to repeal the health care law but say that money could have been spent on programs for veterans or infrastructure.

A Treasury watchdog said the government paid out roughly $24 billion in Obamacare subsidies in the heart of the 2017 tax-filing season, with $5.8 billion in overages. Of that, just $2.3 billion was clawed back, leaving $3.5 billion in outstanding excess payments.

“The overpayments were that much?” said Rep. Phil Roe, Tennessee Republican.

He said he is trying to expand an assistance program for older veterans and their caregivers. “I can think of a lot of things I can use $3.5 billion dollars for,” he said.

Most Obamacare exchange customers receive taxpayer-funded subsidies to help cover their premiums.

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