The Obama administration is taking heat from all sides for its train wreck of a health care law. The latest area of bipartisan agreement? That the White House’s “subsidize first, ask questions later” plan to dole out taxpayer-funded subsidies without verifying eligibility is a terrible idea.
Here in the House of Representatives, lawmakers will soon vote on the No Subsidies Without Verification Act (H.R. 2775) by Rep. Diane Black (R-TN). On the House floor, Rep. Black said her bill requires that “verification systems be put in place before any subsidy is paid with taxpayer money.”
Even Senate Democrats recognize the White House plan is bad for taxpayers. The Senate Appropriations Committee approved a bill in July that said the Obama administration “should verify annual household or individual income prior to making available premium tax credits under” the health care law. The provision was proposed by Sen. John Boozman (R-AR) and approved by a voice vote.
This sorry episode began when the administration announced it was delaying ObamaCare mandates for big businesses (but not families and individuals). The White House also said it would “no longer attempt to verify individual eligibility for insurance subsidies,” wrote the Wall Street Journal -- or as Reuters put it, the president would “depend on consumers observing the honor system.”
So, “A man who earns $50,000 per year and gets insurance through his employer could log on to the new government website and say he earns $20,000 and gets no insurance through his employer, and the government would not even attempt to confirm that the information is accurate before forking over generous taxpayer subsidies,” explained Philip Klein. The bottom line: “It’s a recipe for rampant fraud…”
The No Subsidies Without Verification Act is the latest in a string of bipartisan efforts to repeal and protect Americans from the president’s health care law. The president has signed seven bills that dismantle various provisions of the law. And legislation that provides families and individuals with the same delay as big businesses passed with bipartisan support (and would save taxpayers $35 billion).
Rep. Black’s bill is scheduled for a vote later this week. As Speaker John Boehner said today, “We’re going to continue to do everything we can to protect Americans from this harmful health care law.”