Six Illinois Republicans voted to block health insurance subsidies offered through the Affordable Care Act (ACA) until there is a system set up to verify income and other eligibility criteria for applicants. The No Subsidies Without Verification Act, HR 2775 (PDF), passed by a 235-191 vote in the U.S. House Wednesday with yes votes coming from U.S. Reps. Peter Roskam (R-IL,6), Rodney Davis (R-IL,13), Randy Hultgren (R-IL,14), John Shimkus (R-IL,15), Adam Kinzinger (R-IL,16), and Aaron Schock (R-IL, 18). Only five Democrats voted in favor of the bill.
The legislation, introduced by U.S. Rep. Diane Black (R-TN,6), will block Americans who buy coverage using the health insurance exchange from receiving an average of $2,700 in tax credits. The bill is a knee-jerk reaction to a July announcement by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services that grants state-run health insurance exchanges the ability to take some liberties in determining who is eligible for the immediate tax credits that some Americans would receive when buying coverage.
"Because fraud and abuse have been rampant in just about every program that is administered by the Department of Health and Human Services, including Medicare and Medicaid, a certified verification system being in place prior to the implementation to the Affordable Care Act is critical," U.S. Rep. Michael Burgess (R-TX, 26) said during the bill's debate.
"The President's strategy on the healthcare law is now: Trust, don't verify."
But critics say the bill is nothing more than a vapid attempt to dilute the success of the health reform law.