Levin Statement on GAO Investigation
WASHINGTON – Ways and Means Committee Ranking Member Sander Levin (D-MI) today made the following statement in response to an ongoing GAO investigation that is using fake identities to gain access to affordable health insurance:
“It is important to keep in mind that the motivation for the fraud fabricated as part of the GAO investigation for a real person would be a desire to receive insurance coverage. There would be no financial windfall, as any government subsidy goes directly to insurance companies and not to the consumer seeking that insurance. In fact, people committing these frauds would be risking severe fines and possibly jail time.”
“Individuals receiving insurance under the ACA have a grace period to verify the information provided in their application. If they are unable to do so, they will be unenrolled from insurance. If they have misstated their income, they will have to repay the government for the subsidy that went to their insurance company. That grace period becomes shorter next year, and if the final GAO investigation highlights other steps that should be taken, those should be considered as well. Indeed, CMS has indicated that they’re willing to work with GAO to make any needed improvements.
“What should not be done is to vilify Americans seeking the security of health insurance – often for the first time in their lives – as criminals seeking to fraud the U.S. government based on 12 examples and an incomplete investigation.
“It is disturbing to see the Republican determination to take health insurance away from Americans. Instead of lifting one finger to help constituents, or working on a bipartisan basis to fix the Affordable Care Act, Republicans are content to use 12 examples from an investigation still underway to undermine the law.”