Government won't verify income claims for Obamacare subsidies

Rick Moran
What's worse is that, according to Forbes, the administration tried to bury the announcement that the government is going to trust people to be honest about their income when applying for Obamacare subsidies in the Federal Register. No formal announcement of this open invitation to fraud was made by the Obama White House.

If you thought the delay in the employer mandate was bad news for Obamacare, just wait. On Friday, Sarah Kliff and Sandhya Somashekhar of the Washington Post discovered that the Obama administration had buried in the Federal Register the announcement that the government won't be able to verify whether or not applicants for Obamacare's insurance exchange subsidies are actually qualified for the aid, in the 16 states that are setting up their own exchanges. Instead, until at least 2015, these states will be able to "accept the applicant's attestation [regarding eligibility] without further verification."

If you've been following the latest news around Obamacare, you know that on Tuesday evening, just before the Independence Day holiday, the White House announced that it would be delaying the implementation of the health law's employer mandate--requiring all firms with more than 50 employees to provide health coverage to their workers--until 2015.

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. 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?

Not only won't the federal government check to see if you're trying to defraud the taxpayer, they've told states they can relax the scrutinty as well:

After encountering "legislative and operational barriers," the federal government will not require the District and the 16 states that are running their own marketplaces to verify a consumer's statement that they do not receive health insurance from their employer.

"The exchange may accept the applicant's attestation regarding enrollment in eligible employer-sponsored plan . . . without further verification," according to the final rule.

The federal government will, however, conduct an audit for the states where it is managing the new insurance Web portal.

The rule also scaled back states' responsibilities to double-check the income levels that consumers report, which determine any tax subsidy they receive.

While initial regulations had proposed an audit of each consumer who reported an income significantly lower than what federal records indicated, the final rule scaled that back to an audit of a statistically significant sample of such cases.

For individuals who are not part of that sample, "the Exchange may accept the attestation of projected annual household income without further verification," it said.

So, if you feel lucky and can avoid the audit, you're in. It's just one more indication that Obama and the Democrats aren't serious about managing the people's purse in any kind of a respnsible manner.



What's worse is that, according to Forbes, the administration tried to bury the announcement that the government is going to trust people to be honest about their income when applying for Obamacare subsidies in the Federal Register. No formal announcement of this open invitation to fraud was made by the Obama White House.

If you thought the delay in the employer mandate was bad news for Obamacare, just wait. On Friday, Sarah Kliff and Sandhya Somashekhar of the Washington Post discovered that the Obama administration had buried in the Federal Register the announcement that the government won't be able to verify whether or not applicants for Obamacare's insurance exchange subsidies are actually qualified for the aid, in the 16 states that are setting up their own exchanges. Instead, until at least 2015, these states will be able to "accept the applicant's attestation [regarding eligibility] without further verification."

If you've been following the latest news around Obamacare, you know that on Tuesday evening, just before the Independence Day holiday, the White House announced that it would be delaying the implementation of the health law's employer mandate--requiring all firms with more than 50 employees to provide health coverage to their workers--until 2015.

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. 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?

Not only won't the federal government check to see if you're trying to defraud the taxpayer, they've told states they can relax the scrutinty as well:

After encountering "legislative and operational barriers," the federal government will not require the District and the 16 states that are running their own marketplaces to verify a consumer's statement that they do not receive health insurance from their employer.

"The exchange may accept the applicant's attestation regarding enrollment in eligible employer-sponsored plan . . . without further verification," according to the final rule.

The federal government will, however, conduct an audit for the states where it is managing the new insurance Web portal.

The rule also scaled back states' responsibilities to double-check the income levels that consumers report, which determine any tax subsidy they receive.

While initial regulations had proposed an audit of each consumer who reported an income significantly lower than what federal records indicated, the final rule scaled that back to an audit of a statistically significant sample of such cases.

For individuals who are not part of that sample, "the Exchange may accept the attestation of projected annual household income without further verification," it said.

So, if you feel lucky and can avoid the audit, you're in. It's just one more indication that Obama and the Democrats aren't serious about managing the people's purse in any kind of a respnsible manner.