Over 300,000 Face Deadline to Prove Eligibility for ObamaCare Subsidies; Nets Omit

Tuesday marked the deadline for hundreds of thousands Americans with insurance through ObamaCare to provide proper verification of their income levels or risk losing their government subsidies used to purchase health care plans. When it came to marking this critical deadline for ObamaCare, the major broadcast networks dodged coverage of the story in both their morning and evening newscasts.

According to an article in Tuesday’s Wall Street Journal, the Obama administration “told more than 300,000 individuals who obtained coverage through the federal HealthCare.gov site that they may lose some or all of the subsidies if they don't provide additional income information” that matches what the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has on file. 

The article also pointed out that individual state health care exchanges are experiencing similar problems and “could potentially” result in people “getting subsidies they aren’t eligible for.” One example on the state level was in California, where that state sent out letters to over 290,000 families with plans on that state’s health insurance exchange, asking for income documentation

Further, an additional 115,000 stood to lose their coverage on Tuesday due to the fact that “they didn't provide requested documents verifying their citizenship or immigration status by a Sept. 5 federal deadline.”

Those awarded subsidies that refuse to provide proper documentation would also have to pay it back to the government and the Journal predicted that this “could become a headache during next year's tax season” for the federal government.

The news media ignoring Tuesday’s deadlines are nothing new as they have buried plenty of bad news surrounding the law (including plenty of events over the past month). According to my colleague Tom Blumer, the press largely ignored news from September 24 when a Bloomberg analysis revealed that the website HealthCare.gov’s cost had surpassed $2 billion. 

As the Media Research Center’s Kyle Drennen reported on September 16, the networks completely ignored the initial news that 115,000 individuals could possibly lose their coverage due to their inability to prove their legal status.

Instead of covering that story, ABC’s Good Morning America (GMA) spotlighted liberal feminist and HBO’s Girls star Lena Dunham, who referred to GMA co-host George Stephanopoulos as “a sexual icon.” Over on CBS This Morning and NBC Nightly News, both programs conducted fawning interviews on Tuesday with Hollywood actor and liberal activist Ben Affleck.

— Curtis Houck is News Analyst at the Media Research Center. Follow Curtis Houck on Twitter.