Levin Floor Statement on Verify First Act

Jun 13, 2017 Issues: Health Care

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Rep. Sander Levin (D-MI) today made the following remarks on the House floor during the debate of the so-called Verify First Act, H.R. 2372:

(Remarks as delivered)

"Mr. Speaker, the Verify First Act, H.R. 2372, jeopardizes American families’ ability to afford health insurance.

"The so-called “Verify First” Act would require a new verification process of an individual’s a Social Security number before he or she can receive any tax credit for health coverage – either under the ACA or under the disastrous House-passed Trumpcare bill.

"This bill does nothing to address the reality that more than 23 million Americans would lose health insurance under the Republican health care legislation. Nor does it address the harm caused by cutting $800 billion from Medicaid by eliminating the expansion for moderate-income workers and by imposing per capita caps on program spending. And it does nothing to address higher premiums for older workers and discrimination against Americans with pre-existing conditions that will occur under the TrumpCare bill that this legislation is amending.

"Instead, this bill takes that one step further by making it harder for children – including newborns, and survivors of domestic violence and sex trafficking, to obtain a tax credit for purchasing their own health coverage. Under the legislation, Social Security numbers would be required before receiving a tax credit, and it prohibits the use of an Individual Taxpayer Identification Number, which those without a Social Security number use to file their tax returns.

"Mr. Speaker, as has already been said, there are already protections built into the law to ensure that tax credits are issued to qualifying individuals. Under current law, eligibility for tax credits is verified when an individual applies to enroll in coverage. The eligibility is then subject to a secondary verification process that identifies ineligible individuals and terminates their coverage.This system strikes a balance between rigorously verifying eligibility while also ensuring that eligible individuals are not subject to financial hardship because of red tape.

"Mr. Speaker, this bill would make it more difficult for American families to access affordable health coverage. I oppose this bill and I urge my colleagues to do the same."