We’ve been citing Philip Klein at this blog a lot lately. One of his pieces from last week is a prime example as to why:
To recap, as originally envisioned, Obamacare’s new insurance exchanges were supposed to be able to quickly verify information provided by applicants against multiple databases before providing beneficiaries with taxpayer subsidies to purchase insurance. But under the gun to get the exchanges up and running by the Oct. 1 deadline, HHS decided to substantially weaken the requirements and rely increasingly on applicants’ personal claims about their income level and insurance status, thus increasing the likelihood of fraud.
If Republicans were smart, they’d draft a bill based on the following mantra: “No Subsidization Without Verification.” That is, they should take a stand that nobody can receive subsidies through Obamacare before the government has a system in place that can independently verify the information as accurate.
With the end of the fiscal year coming up, Klein notes Republicans can up the ante (emphasis added):
If Republicans want to raise the stakes, they should consider making this a part of the fall budget battle. The logic for this is pretty straightforward. If there aren’t proper anti-fraud measures, it could potentially explode the cost of Obamacare. Furthermore, the exchanges are supposed to be up and running on Oct. 1, which is when the new fiscal year begins (and current government funding expires). Force every House Democrat to take a vote on whether they want to allow Obamacare to be implemented without the anti-fraud procedures that the administration once viewed as necessary. Let Senate Democrats explain that they are willing to shut down the government to prevent these once-crucial verification procedures from going into effect.
This is an excellent idea by Klein. The federal government loses hundreds of billions every year to fraud, waste, duplication, and stupidity. Sending another trillion dollars out the door (to paraphrase Klein) without proper fraud protections is just an invitation to waste taxpayer dollars.
What do you think, Tea Partiers? Should the GOP make Democrats implement fraud prevention in Obamacare as part of the fall budget debates? Here is Klein’s conclusion:
For Republicans, this strategy will have the effect of either delaying a big chunk of Obamacare indefinitely or further exposing that it is unworkable by forcing Democrats into an embarrassing and indefensible position.
Fiscal conservatives could have this as a backup in case Senators Lee (R-UT) and Cruz (R-TX) can’t force their fellow Senators to hold the line on defunding Obamacare come fall budget time.