While the federal government has been on a shutdown as the Republican House seeks to negotiate various aspects of Obamacare, such as a delay of the individual mandate, eliminating the medical device tax or eliminating the congressional exemption, one glaring error is being overlooked.
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President Obama, without any legislative or congressional authority, changed a major aspect of the Affordable Healthcare Act. He temporarily waived the requirement to verify the income of those millions who looked over the health insurance exchange Website. The “temporary” waiver will continue until 2015. In the meantime everyone is on the honor system as to whether they get a government subsidy for their insurance premiums. The governmentese word is “self-attest.”
The Treasury Inspector General estimates that 21-25 percent of the Earned Income Tax Credits go to ineligible persons. The Wall Street Journal took this fraud level and calculated it would be equivalent to $250 billion in ineligible subsidy payments over a decade of Obamacare.
Incomes are supposed to be checked by the Internal Revenue Service. Failure to pay 25 percent or more of income taxes due is considered fraud by the IRS and can land a person in prison.
The house should send over a continuing resolution for a budget that includes a delay in paying out insurance premium subsidies until the government can verify incomes by cross-referencing the applicant’s latest income tax filing.