On Friday, the Obama administration dropped another health care implementation bombshell.
In a 606-page regulation, issued the Friday after July 4, the administration announced that income and employment verification in the state-run exchanges in 2014 will be based on the “honor system.” That is, the state exchanges will not be required to secure independent verification of the household incomes of the applicants, nor will they have to track down whether or not applicants were offered qualified coverage by their employers. On both counts, the state exchanges can simply accept whatever is claimed by the applicants as accurate, and then pay out subsidies accordingly.
This announcement is another indicator—as if we needed one—of the complete fiasco that is Obamacare implementation.
The application process was not supposed to work this way. The administration has had three and a half years to build the “data hub” that was supposed to be the repository of real-time income information that the state exchanges would tap to administer benefits. The Department of Health and Human Services has spent hundreds of millions of dollars on contracts and federal personnel to build the data hub. Now, at the eleventh-hour, in a regulation they hoped no one would notice, the administration announces that, due to the large amount of “systems development” work necessary to pull this off (you think?), the verification system they were telling everyone for months would be ready on time is now, well, not ready on time, with no prospect that it ever will be operational.