Tags: Rob Portman | obamacare | income | subsidies

Sen. Portman Demands Investigation Into Obamacare Subsidies

By    |   Thursday, 14 May 2015 04:41 PM

Ohio Republican Sen. Rob Portman is demanding an investigation into Obamacare subsidies, including proof the administration has been checking a person's income and legal status before doling out the aid.

Portman, who chairs the Senate Homeland Security subcommittee on investigations, noted the Obama administration "assured Congress that the eligibility verification process for the exchanges was working."

"[B]ut millions of Americans are now learning that they received overpayments that they have to repay," he wrote in a statement, The Hill reports.

Others might have received credits in error because of a poor safeguards system that risks "wasting billions in hard-earned tax dollars," Fox News reports.

Portman cited H&R's report that found repayments have dug in to the average taxpayer's refund by about a third.

The administration hasn't released official numbers from the tax season that ended April 15.

Fox News explains Obamacare offers eligible consumers government-funded tax credits to buy insurance on exchanges. The federal government sets the amount based on a recipient's stated income, family size and whether an applicant's job offers health coverage.

In general, Obamacare offers bigger subsidies to those earning less, and with larger families. But if a customer finishes the year earning more than they stated on their Obamacare insurance application, the law requires them to repay a portion of the credit.

In a letter Wednesday to the Department of Health and Human Services, Portman demanded a copy of all documents related to federal and state verification processes, and sent two pages of questions that he charges have been previously ignored by officials.

"Congress and the public must have confidence in the exchanges’ verification systems," Portman wrote in the letter, The Hill reports.

He said the department’s lack of response so far, as well as recent media reports and audits of those systems, have "undermined that confidence."

Nearly all people who received tax credits will either owe or receive money because of a change in income or family status after they calculated their Obamacare subsidies, according to the Kaiser Family Foundation.

The foundation estimated about half of all affected households will likely owe money to the federal government.

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Ohio Republican Sen. Rob Portman is demanding an investigation into Obamacare subsidies, including proof the administration has been checking a person's income and legal status before doling out the aid.
Rob Portman, obamacare, income, subsidies
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2015-41-14
Thursday, 14 May 2015 04:41 PM
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