300,000 could lose Obamacare coverage without proof of citizenship
The Obama administration announced yesterday that they are informing 310,000 Obamacare enrollees that unless they can offer proof of citizenship before September 5, they will lose their insurance.
The problem: Because of the administration's incompetence, the healthcare.gov website - still not finished - can't determine whether an enrollee is a citizen or not.
The Obama administration moved Tuesday to cut off health insurance for up to 310,000 people who signed up through the HealthCare.gov system unless they can provide documents in the next few weeks showing they are U.S. citizens or legal residents.
Those individuals have until Sept. 5 to send in additional information that could confirm they are in the U.S. legally, a condition of using the online insurance exchanges to obtain coverage.
Officials at the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, which administers the 2010 Affordable Care Act, said they would tell insurers to terminate health policies for people who don't respond, starting Sept. 30.
CMS and its contractors are still trying to dig out from technological flaws with HealthCare.gov. Millions of users had difficulties using the site to shop for insurance when it launched last fall, but deeper problems remain within the system, including the ability to use databases held by various federal agencies to check people's eligibility for coverage.
Federal officials have said the application system wasn't able to determine citizenship and immigration status for almost one million people of the 5.4 million who had obtained plans through HealthCare.gov by the time the main enrollment period closed in mid-April, because the information in their application didn't match the data the federal government had on file.
Immigration status has been one of the most politically charged aspects of the law. During congressional debate, supporters added a provision banning people living in the U.S. without authorization from using the exchanges to buy coverage and from receiving tax credits that many lower-income Americans and legal residents can get.
Some immigration activists grudgingly accepted the restriction as necessary to maintain support for the legislation, but said it was spiteful to prohibit people from using the site entirely.
At the same time, Republicans critical of the law said they didn't believe the federal government was capable of preventing widespread fraud and have pointed to the data problems as proof of their predictions.
Citizenship status is the least of the administration's worries. The 800 lb gorrilla in the room is the 2 million people who may be receiving the wrong subsidy. Come tax time next year - if you can figure out the confusing and complex tax forms - taxpayers may wake up one day and discover they owe thousands of dollars to Uncle Sam because either the insurance company or the Obamacare website figured the subsidy incorrectly.
To have inflicted this plague of stupidty, incompetence, and chaos on the American people is criminal.