Lawmaker pushes bill to stop O-Care subsidies

Rep. Diane Black (R-Tenn.) has reintroduced a bill that would halt all subsidies to ObamaCare recipients until a system is put in place to verify income eligibility in all insurance applications.

A report Wednesday found a million people who signed up for ObamaCare are at risk of having to pay back parts of their subsidies because the information they provided in their applications doesn't match data from federal records.

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“These improper payments are the predictable result of President Obama’s reckless decision to move forward with a program that was never ready,” said Black. “We knew that paying out subsidies without first confirming that someone was eligible would become a nightmare for American taxpayers, and these reports confirm our concerns.”

Black initially proposed the bill last summer after raising concerns with the ObamaCare verification process.

Last month Republicans on the House Ways and Means Committee, including Black, wrote to Treasury Secretary Jack Lew asking the department to stop all payments until it could verify all the applications were accurate.

However, Rep. Sandy Levin (D-Mich), accused Republicans of playing politics because part of the verification process allows applicants 90 days to resolve any issues and stopping subsidies could deprive people access to health insurance.

Black warns that not only will taxpayers be on the hook to pay for wrongful subsidies but many people could end up being hounded by tax collectors years down the road for making simple mistakes on their applications.

The House Ways and Means subcommittee on Health and Oversight has scheduled a hearing on June 10 to talk about the issue of income verification under ObamaCare.

On the Senate side, Sen. Rob Portman (R-Ohio) has sent a letter to the Health and Human Services Office of Inspector General to investigate reports that people may be receiving subsidies they are not eligible for.