KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations

House Republicans Take Aim At Health Law Subsidy Overpayments

Lawmakers at a joint hearing of the Ways and Means health and oversight subcommittees heard testimony from conservative groups noting that the total of these overpayments to people newly enrolled in health plans could reach hundreds of billions of dollars, and, even though those consumers could face a tax hit, the actual funds could be difficult to recoup.

Reuters: Republicans Call Obamacare Subsidies A Risk To Taxpayers
Congressional Republicans sought to portray Obamacare subsidies for low-income families as a financial risk for taxpayers on Tuesday, a claim that could become a new avenue for campaign attacks on Democratic candidates this fall. At a hearing in the Republican-controlled U.S. House, witnesses from conservative groups said overpayments of federal subsidies to people newly enrolled in Obamacare health plans could reach hundreds of billions of dollars while jeopardizing the health coverage and federal tax refunds of subsidy recipients found to owe money (Morgan, 6/10).

The Wall Street Journal’s Washington Wire: GOP Says Tax Man Cometh For Health Law Enrollees
Republican lawmakers on Tuesday warned that Americans getting larger health-insurance subsidies than they should under the Affordable Care Act will face a tax hit come April. The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, the agency overseeing the health law, has said that at the end of May there were around 1.2 million people whose insurance-exchange applications for coverage had income inconsistencies. That could include people who had misstated their income, had a change in family status, or who got a bonus or raise (Armour, 6/10).

CQ Healthbeat: Excessive Health Law Subsidies May Not Be Recovered, Panel Is Told
The government could lose more than $150 billion over a decade because it can’t accurately verify the incomes of people who qualified for subsidies to help buy insurance under the health law, House Ways and Means lawmakers were told on Tuesday. Some recipients who were overpaid will refuse to give back the difference while the government will remain unable to identify everyone who got too much money, Republicans and conservative policy experts said to a joint hearing of the Ways and Means Health and Oversight subcommittees (Adams, 6/11).

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