It’s not just running huge deficits that makes President Obama and the Democrats profligate with the taxpayer’s puirse. It’s also the fact that they really don’t seem to care enough to make sure those who are eligible for federal benefits actually are the ones that get them.
The recent revelation about an IRS contract employee who was receiving disability payments for what he claimed was a high school football injury highlights the increase in disability fraud as the numbers of people receiving disability benefits has skyrocketed the last few years. Fraud in the SNAP program is at epidemic levels as food stamp recipients also hit a record high.
The fact is, under the Democrats, it’s relatively easy to steal from the government. And it’s going to be fairly easy to defraud the taxpayer under Obamacare.
The administration announced on Friday that the health insurance exchanges will not check to verify your income or health insurance status. They will take you at your word that you deserve a taxpayer subsidy to purchase insurance on the state exchanges, or are deserving of being put on Medicaid.
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.
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 delay comes after a Tuesday announcement that the federal government would postpone for one year a requirement that employers with 50 or more full-time workers provide health coverage.
“I think that Health and Human Services is doing the best that it can under the circumstances,” said Sara Rosenbaum, a health policy professor at George Washington University.
The verification systems are meant to determine who qualifies for new benefits under the Affordable Care Act. The law includes tax subsidies to purchase health insurance for Americans who earn less than 400 percent of the poverty line, about $45,000 for an individual.
Those earning less than 133 percent of the poverty line – about $15,000 – will qualify for Medicaid coverage in the District and 23 states that have decided to expand the program.
The federal government also needs to know who receives health insurance coverage from an employer. Consumers who receive affordable health insurance from their company under a policy that costs less than 9.5 percent of their income do not qualify for tax credits under the Affordable Care Act.
New regulations published Friday scaled back the federal government’s role in determining whether information submitted to new health marketplace is accurate.
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.
Why the free pass for fraudsters? Because verification would take too long and consumers would be upset with the delay. The government simply has no easy way to verify your income or insurance status. Hence, they aren’t going to bother to check. Why should they? It’s only money. Far better to keep consumers from getting mad at Democrats and hurt them in the 2014 mid terms then worry about the potential for massive fraud against the taxpayer.
Republicans would love to jump on this and some of them may. But anything to do with Obamacare enforcement will not redound to the GOP’s favor. They’ve refused to fund anything to do with Obamacare and pointing out the potential for fraud would leave them open to charges of hypocrisy.
The government says it will catch the fraudsters by 2015 and they very well may stop of few of them. But this invitation to chicanery is so seductive that it’s doubtful they’ll be able to catch a sizable percentage of those who fib on the application for insurance from the state exchanges in order to get a bigger subsidy.
But again, it’s only (your) money.