How does the absence of transparency in government cost taxpayers' money?
That question arises today because of a news article in the New York Times, which reports that up to two million of the individuals who enrolled for health insurance coverage through the federal government's or their state's Affordable Care Act (ACA) "marketplace" are in for a very rude surprise when they file their income tax returns in April 2015.
The Obama administration is contacting hundreds of thousands of people with subsidized health insurance to resolve questions about their eligibility, as consumer advocates express concern that many will be required to repay some or all of the subsidies.
Of the eight million people who signed up for private health plans through insurance exchanges under the new health care law, two million reported personal information that differed from data in government records, according to federal officials and Serco, the company hired to resolve such inconsistencies.
The government is asking consumers for additional documents to verify their income, citizenship, immigration status and Social Security numbers, as well as any health coverage that they may have from employers. People who do not provide the information risk losing their subsidized coverage and may have to repay subsidies next April.
Depending upon the household income of those who bought health insurance through the ACA exchanges, the amount of subsidies that they might need to repay when they file their 2014 income tax returns could be hundreds or thousands of dollars.
This particular problem arises for one, and only one reason: the desire of the Obama administration and the authors of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) to conceal just how much the health insurance policies that might be purchased through the federal and state government-run "marketplaces" really cost from consumers.
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