Reposted from The Ripon Advance, By Aaron Martin, September 3 - 2014 - Rep. Diane Black (R-Tenn.) raised concerns on Thursday about the lack of a verification process to determine eligibility for health insurance subsidies under the Affordable Care Act.
Black, a member of the House Ways and Means Committee, outlined her concerns in a letter to the Department of Health and Human Services.
“Verification of eligibility for federal subsidies is not only common sense, it is also required under law,” Black said. “Obamacare’s premium tax credits and other subsidies are projected to cost nearly $1 trillion over 10 years as it stands already. It is deeply disturbing that the Obama administration would not take the steps necessary to establish effective procedures to protect taxpayers and use every possible resource to complete the verification process.”Black said the Obama administration has tools at its disposal to implement broader verification practices that are already in use by other government programs, but it has elected to limit its own ability to collect the information.
“With the 2015 open enrollment period fast approaching, we need to know what steps the administration is taking to guard against fraudulent payments and ensure comprehensive, effective verification of eligibility for all applicants,” Black said.
The Obama administration did not require states operating their own exchanges to implement income verification to determine subsidy eligibility for insurance policies that were purchased in fiscal year 2014, Black said.
In June, Black introduced the No Subsidies Without Verification Act, which would require that an income verification system be implemented before any additional taxpayer subsidies are doled out.