Obama Administration relying on “honor system” for ObamaCare subsidies
The Washington Post reported on Saturday that the Obama Administration will get rid of verification requirements in ObamaCare to determine whether or not applicants are eligible for taxpayer-funded subsidies to purchase health insurance coverage from the state exchanges.
“The Obama administration announced Friday that it would significantly scale back the health law’s requirements that new insurance marketplaces verify consumers’ income and health insurance status,” wrote Sarah Kliff and Sandhya Somashekhar at the Washington Post. “Instead, the federal government will rely more heavily on consumers’ self-reported information until 2015, when it plans to have stronger verification systems in place.”
“‘The exchange may accept the applicant’s attestation regarding enrollment in eligible employer-sponsored plan…without further verification,’ according to the final rule,” the reporters quoted from the regulations issued by the Department of Health and Human Services. “The federal government will, however, conduct an audit for the states where it is managing the new insurance Web portal.”
The announcement was made on Friday, typically when administrations dump unfavorable news in hopes that Americans won’t pay attention to the stories over the weekend. What may this Friday news dump even convenient is that it came the day after a holiday.
Avik Roy explained that the delay of the employer mandate, which was announced on Tuesday, now makes sense. “I, and several others at the time, said ‘wait a minute.’ According to the law, you aren’t eligible for Obamacare’s subsidies if your employer has offered you what the government considers ‘affordable’ coverage,” he wrote Saturday at Forbes. “But if employers are no longer going to report whether or not they’ve offered ‘affordable’ coverage, how can the government verify whether or not workers are eligible for subsidies?”
“Now we know the answer,” added Roy.
Philip Klein points out the obvious, noting that the significiant weaking of eligibility verification paves the way for rampant fraud and abuse and that fraud could lead to an artificially high number of people ultilizing the state exchanges.
So, the Obama Administration will dole out billions in taxpayer-funded subsidies to help people pay for insurance coverage that is skyrocketing in cost thanks to ObamaCare. There will be no check in place to determine whether or not the applicant is lying about their income or whether they’d been offered coverage by their employer? On what planet does that make any sense?