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House Passes Rep. Black Bill – No Subsidies Without Verification Act

Sep 12, 2013 Issues: Health

(Click the image above to watch Congressman Black speak on her bill on the House floor.)

Washington – Today, Congressman Diane Black (R-TN-06) issued the following statement upon passage of her legislation, H.R. 2775, the No Subsidies Without Verification Act:

“Protecting American taxpayers from fraud and abuse is not a partisan issue,” said Congressman Black. “That is why I am so pleased that this commonsense bill passed today with bipartisan support. Until we can repeal Obamacare, we need to protect the American taxpayers from the staggering amounts of potential fraud and abuse in the Obamacare exchanges.  This bill would do just that by prohibiting the Administration from carelessly doling out taxpayer-funded subsidies on the basis of self-attestation. Only those who are truly eligible for taxpayer subsidies should receive them.”

“Unfortunately, because of this Administration’s clandestine rule change over the 4th of July holiday, this is not currently the case, and it has been estimated that as much as $250 billion of hard earned American taxpayer dollars could be given out in fraudulent Obamacare subsidy claims. I applaud the work of my colleagues in the House to pass this important measure, and I urge the Senate to swiftly put this to a vote and send it to the President.”

Background:

On July 5th, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) released more than 600 pages of Obamacare regulations which included an announcement that the government would no longer verify that each applicant for the exchange subsidies are actually qualified for the assistance.  Instead, the Administration would rely on self-attestation and sample audits to “protect” the integrity of this new $1 trillion entitlement program.  HHS later announced a change in this policy and stated it would now extend the sample population to 100%. \

The Problem:

  • Individuals who self-attest will still receive subsidies during the audits, which could take 6 to 12 months. 
  • Not verifying eligibility could likely equate to approximately $250 billion in fraudulent payments through Obamacare subsidies, all to prop up a law that the American people continue to overwhelmingly reject (Source: WSJ)
  • No official changes have been made to the rule—there is no guarantee to the American people that applicants will be verified. 
  • No information has been provided to Congress on how long HHS will take to verify eligibility.

The Solution:

H.R. 2775, the No Subsidies Without Verification Act, prevents the Obama Administration’s attempt to defraud taxpayers by demanding that accurate verification systems be put in place before subsidies are dispersed.  This common-sense measure requires the Inspector General to verify subsidies are issued to only eligible Americans.  H.R. 2775 prevents fraudulent Obamacare subsidy claims before they go out – ending the pay and chase of fraudulent claims that plagues our health care system. 

Verification Protects Taxpayer Dollars.  The Democrat-led Senate Appropriations Committee has already unanimously passed legislation (S. 1284, Section 226) affirming its belief that the Obama Administration must verify eligibility before doling out taxpayer-funded subsidies.  Additionally, a Senate companion measure has been offered by Senator Coburn, S. 1455.

Resources:

Black's Closing Remarks on No Subsidies Without Verification Act

RELEASE: Congressman Black Introduces Legislation to Protect Taxpayers from Obamacare Fraud & Abuse

Black's Op-Ed in Investor's Business Daily: ObamaCare Honor System For Subsidies Will Invite Fraud

Wall Street Journal: Stopping ObamaCare Fraud -- Will Democrats vote to verify who is eligible for subsidies?

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Congressman Diane Black represents Tennessee’s 6th Congressional District. She has been a registered nurse for more than 40 years and serves on the House Ways and Means and Budget Committees.