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GOP Targets Obamacare Subsidies

GOP Targets Obamacare Subsidies

Republicans in Congress are taking a new angle in their push to stop Obamacare.  The GOP-led House has passed a bill that bans any taxpayer-subsidies under the healthcare law until a system is in place to verify the eligibility of recipients.  Earlier this year, the Obama Administration announced it would not verify the income of those getting Obamacare subsidies until 2015.  Woodlands Congressman Kevin Brady (R-TX), who is chairman of the Ways and Means Health Subcommittee, says the No Subsidies Without Verification Act is about preventing massive fraud.  "Somehow (the administration) believes it's okay for billions of dollars in taxpayer subsidies to go out the door without the bat of an eye, on the honor system," according to Brady.

The Obama Administration has said that people's stated incomes will be checked against tax and Social Security records, and anyone who is found to have received ineligible benefits will be required to pay them back.  Brady says that isn't good enough.  "Meanwhile, taxpayer subsidies will fly out the door as individuals pinky-swear that their income is accurate."  He sees it as common sense.  "We wouldn't allow an individual to apply for a mortgage, a car loan or a credit card without verifying their income...you can't go to a grocery store, restaurant, or gas station and pay on the honor system," says Brady.

Democrats claim the bill won't achieve its goal because most subsidies go to insurance companies and not the individuals themselves.  Nevertheless, five Democrats voted in favor of the bill, which passed the House 235-191.  It now faces likely defeat in the Democrat-controlled Senate, something Brady says he can't understand.  "Wow, that's considered radical in Washington...not paying those who aren't eligible."

 

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