It looks like once again, Republicans were right, when they said that should Obummer go ahead, and allow people to sign up for subsidies, to help pay for health insurance without checking their income, would cause problems….it did.
What makes it even worse, Republicans came up with legislation that would force the government to check applicant incomes, but it failed.
Now we know that more than 1 million Americans may be getting health insurance subsidies that are too high or too low. According to that report, the government is unable to fix the problem.
Under the law, people can report their income level to the federal government or any state running its own insurance exchange, to see if they qualify for health insurance subsidies. But the report said officials don’t have the ability to verify those income levels easily and quickly, as no computer application for doing so has been built.
Subsidy payments are now too high or too low. The government doesn’t even know how to fix this.
Last year, House Republicans warned about this very problem of income verification. In July 2013, the Department of Health and Human Services issued a rule that gave states flexibility as they worked to determine whether people were entitled to insurance subsidies.
The law said that states were allowed to use random sampling to check whether the income levels people report match up with what the government knows about their income. That meant not every person had to have their income verified.
Then the Obama administration said even if people were not chosen as part of the random sample, the IRS would eventually be able to verify their income. Many House Democrats made this argument, and said the final IRS check would allow the government to seize any subsidy overpayments made to people using an Obamacare exchange.
As of this moment, the government still has no way to verify income.
“We knew that paying out subsidies without first confirming that someone was eligible would become a nightmare for American taxpayers, and these reports confirm our concerns,” she said. “Not only are taxpayers potentially on the hook for billions of dollars in fraudulent subsidy claims, but honest Americans who merely make a mistake filling out Obamacare forms might now he hounded years later for back taxes.
“This is completely unnecessary and why we in the House passed my legislation to protect hard working American taxpayers from President Obama’s reckless decision to move forward with implementation of Obamacare at any cost.”
Last September, the House passed the No Subsidies Without Verification Act, with the help of five Democrats. But as expected, the Democratic Senate did not consider the bill at all after the House approved it.
Black is one of five GOP cosponsors of legislation introduced this week that would require states to pay back any federal money used to launch a state-based insurance exchange that later fails.
The House bill is similar to a bill that Sen. John Barrasso (R-Wyo.) introduced last week.