A question about voter registration that federal regulators added to a draft application for Obamacare recipients is the kind of “dirty trick” that occurs when legislation is hastily passed, a leading opponent of the healthcare law tells Newsmax.
Grover Norquist, president of Americans for Tax Reform, said he isn’t surprised by a questionnaire which asks those seeking federal healthcare if they want to register to vote.
“When you pass a 3,000-page bill in the middle of the night, expect to find dirty tricks,” Norquist said. “When you pass a bill and don’t put it online for people to read, expect to find dirty tricks.”
“Nobody had a chance to read it ahead of time except for the special interests,” he said.
Republican Rep. Charles Boustany Jr. of Louisiana first raised the issue earlier this week in response to the draft application from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services.
The 61-page questionnaire seeks information about an applicant’s identity and whether they qualify for Obamacare. On Page 59 is the question: “Would you like to register to vote?”
Boustany questioned Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius about whether groups used as “navigators” to sign up Obamacare applicants might include those friendly to Democrats, like AARP and Families USA.
Boustany, chairman of the House Ways and Means Oversight subcommittee, said the agency was overstepping its bounds by asking the question about voting.
The White House denied the question on voter registration was tied to the Affordable Care Act.
“The linkage of checking off whether or not you want to register to vote goes back to a 1993 law regarding Medicaid, which maybe Republicans opposed, I can’t remember,” White House Press Secretary Jay Carney told reporters in a briefing.
“It’s not about the Affordable Care Act,” Carney said. “As a separate measure, I’m not sure that it’s such a terrible thing that people might want to register to vote. But I think this predates the Affordable Care Act.”
Norquist disagreed there is no harm done by asking such questions. He said placing the government between consumers and their health care opens the door to the government collecting more information on issues ranging from gun control to income.
“Why do you think they’re just interested in your health care?” Norquist asked. “There’s no end to their capacity to mess with you.”
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