The Wall Street Journal’s Pulitzer Prize-winning Obamacare editorialist takes a look at last week’s developments, including the 600-page regulation promulgated on Friday:
HHS now says it will no longer attempt to verify individual eligibility for insurance subsidies and instead will rely on self-reporting, with minimal efforts to verify if the information consumers provide is accurate.
Remember “liar loans,” the low- or no-documentation mortgages that took borrowers at their word without checking pay stubs or W-2s? ObamaCare is now on the same honor system, with taxpayers in tow.
People are supposed to receive subsidies only if their employer does not provide federally approved health benefits. Since HHS now won’t require business to report those benefits or enforce the standards until 2015, it says it can’t ask ObamaCare’s “exchange” bureaucracies to certify who qualifies either.
HHS calls this “a slight technical correction” though it is much more than that. The exchanges will not only start dispensing benefits “based on an applicant’s attestation” about his employment insurance status. HHS is also handing the exchanges “temporarily expanded discretion to accept an attestation of projected annual household income without further verification.”
In other words, anyone can receive subsidies tied to income without judging the income they declare against the income data the Internal Revenue Service collects. This change has nothing to do with the employer mandate, even tangentially.
Why would the Obamacrats charged with implementing the system suffering this embarrassment, even if concealed inside a 600-page regulation promulgated on the Friday before a holiday weekend? The Obamacrats can’t help it:
HHS is disowning eligibility quality control because pre-clearance is “not feasible” as a result of “operational barriers” and “a large amount of systems development on both the state and federal side, which cannot occur in time for October 1, 2013.”
The damn thing will not fly. Why not just delay it in its entirety? The overriding imperative for the Obamacrats is the creation of beneficiaries who will make repeal impossible. The October 1 sign-up date is therefore written in stone.