7/07/2013

If Obama can keep making up health care law as he goes, why was it even necessary to pass the law to begin with?

Just last week, the Obama administration announced that they were going to ignore for one year a requirement that employers with 50 or more full-time workers provide health coverage.  It is nice that you can pick an choose different parts of law and rewrite it as you go along.  Now the Obama administration has decided not to verify consumers' claims about income and health insurance status for 2014.  It is nice to know that this isn't the first time that the government as relied "the honor system" for enforcing laws.  One wonders how the CBO would have figured out the costs of the law if they conceived that cheating on the system wouldn't be investigated.  From the Washington Post:
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 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. . . . 
The federal government will, however, conduct an audit for the states where it is managing the new insurance Web portal. . . . 
It is not unprecedented for the government to use the honor system in situations in which it collects data on millions of individuals . . .

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