People who sign up for Obamacare subsidies should be carefully verified before getting the lucrative government benefits, Republican Rep Diane Black, who authored a verification bill to help avoid fraud in the system, said in Saturday's GOP address.
"Protecting taxpayer dollars is one of Washington’s most important responsibilities," said the Tennessee lawmaker, who has also been a registered nurse for more than 40 years. "Your money should be spent wisely or not at all. And everything we do to stop waste and fix broken government removes obstacles to creating jobs and building a stronger economy."
This past week, the House passed Black's "No Subsidies Without Verification Act," legislation that would stop the government from issuing health care subsidies until it has a system in place to prevent fraud.
Black said that the bill is necessary, and called for the Democratic-controlled Senate to pass it, because "in an attempt to prop up its struggling health care law, the Obama administration decided they’d hand out subsidies without verifying who’s eligible" and relies "on the honor system."
Rather than exercising "common sense and accountability, the Administration is willing to just give away your tax dollars – no questions asked," Black said.
"Not only is that unfair to hardworking taxpayers like you, it opens the door a mile wide to fraud and abuse," she noted. And according to independent estimates, up to $250 billion in bad payments could be spent over the next 10 years, she pointed out.
"This is nonsense," Black said. "And members of both parties agree. Democrats on the powerful Senate Appropriations Committee have also come out for requiring verification. Now we need the full Democratic-led Senate to act."
Black termed her bill as the latest in several bipartisan efforts to repeal and protect Americans from Obamacare.
"The House has also acted in bipartisan fashion to give individuals and families the same delay from the law’s mandates that big businesses have received," said Black "The president himself has signed seven bills that dismantle parts of the law."
Black said the Obamacare affects her personally as well, because of her career as a nurse.
"I can tell you the things patients and their families count on – their doctors, their plans, the cost of their care – all of this comes under siege in the president’s health care law," she said. "It won’t just fail to keep its promises; it will make things much worse. You don’t have to take my word for it: every day we’re seeing new reports of higher costs, less access, and fewer jobs."
Americans and lawmakers, though, can stop the "train wreck" together and "put the focus back on patient-centered solutions. Together, we can build a stronger economy that rewards hard work and people who do the right thing."
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