Diane Black

Diane Black

TENNESSEE's 6th DISTRICT

Op-Ed: Inspector General’s Report Highlights The IRS’s Ongoing Circus

2014/08/18


Black: IRS Behavior ‘Inexcusable’

2014/08/14

Washington, D.C. – Today, Congressman Diane Black (R-TN-06), member of the House Ways and Means Committee, issued the following statement in response to the Treasury Inspector General’s report that found that the Internal Revenue Service failed to conduct required background checks on contractors:

“Americans deserve to have their personal information treated securely and with discretion, and the IRS should follow the policies that are there to protect tax payers from fraud and identity theft,” said Congressman Black. “The pattern of inexcusable behavior at the IRS is unacceptable and why we need to press for reform of this agency, especially in light of their new responsibilities overseeing Americans health care decisions. I will continue to work with my colleagues on the Ways and Means Committee to conduct necessary oversight of the IRS and to hold them accountable to the American people for their actions.”

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Congressman Diane Black represents Tennessee’s 6th Congressional District. She has been a registered nurse for more than 40 years and serves on the House Ways and Means and Budget Committees.

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CMS unveils plan to address citizenship discrepancies among ACA enrollees

2014/08/14


Report: Companies desperate to avoid ObamaCare 'Cadillac tax' shifting costs to workers

2014/08/13


Rep. Black: Inability to Verify Obamacare Applicants’ Immigration Status Could Cost Billions

2014/08/13


GOP lawmaker wants details on ObamaCare verification plan

2014/08/13


Op-Ed: The Governing Party

2014/08/13


Black Sends Letter to HHS on Obamacare Income Inconsistencies

2014/08/13

Washington, D.C. – Today, Congressman Diane Black (R-TN-06), member of the House Ways and Means and Budget Committees, sent a letter to the Department of Health and Human Services’ (HHS) in response to their announced plan that addresses citizenship and immigration status inconsistencies in the Obamacare Federal Health Insurance Marketplace, but fails to address income inconsistencies. Congressman Black is the author of the No Subsidies Without Verification Act of 2014.

“The tax credits being issued for Obamacare plans represent the largest area of new entitlement spending in the federal budget and taxpayers deserve to know that only those who are qualified for the subsidies receive them,” said Congressman Black. “It is troubling that HHS continues to put tax payers at risk for waste, fraud and abuse by not taking the steps necessary to ensure no fraudulent payments are doled out.”

Below is the text of Congressman Black’s letter to HHS, or for a digital file, click here.

August 13, 2014

 

The Honorable Sylvia Burwell Secretary, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services 200 Independence Avenue SW Washington, D.C. 20201

Dear Secretary Burwell:

Yesterday, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) announced a new plan to address citizenship or immigration status inconsistencies found for 310,000 applicants of the Federal Health Insurance Marketplace.  While I am pleased the Department is taking steps toward reconciliation of these inconsistencies to ensure that taxpayer funded credits are provided to those who are truly in need, this step is long overdue.  Furthermore, many questions still remain for Congress and the American people on what plan there is to address this issue as the next open enrollment cycle approaches while other pending inconsistencies remain unresolved, particularly income inconsistencies.

The numerous delays by HHS and the inability to resolve inconsistencies within the 90-day window required in statute has created doubt on the Administration’s commitment to ensure proper protections are in place to ensure tax payer funded credits are not vulnerable to fraud, waste, or abuse.  These credits represent the largest area of new entitlement spending in the federal budget and are estimated by the Congressional Budget Office to cost tax payers over $1 trillion over the next ten years, including an estimated $17 billion in 2014.

The Department has required that all applicants must return the documents verifying citizenship or immigration status by September 5th, or face coverage termination on September 30th.  To better understand this process and the intentions of the Department moving forward, please respond to the following questions:

1. What is the internal verification process the Department will use to validate these returned applications?

2. How long does the Department estimate it will take to complete a thorough review of all 310,000 applications?

3. Will the Department store this documentation?  If so, where and under what security controls?

4. How will the Department use this data to better process applications for the next plan year?

5. The Department has stated that coverage shall be terminated for those who fail to respond to the requirement to provide citizens or immigration status information.  Why has the Department prioritized coverage termination for this particular subsector over other types of inconsistencies? 

6. Will the Department issue other plan termination notices to all remaining applicants with inconsistencies?  If so, when?

7. Does the Department intend to review applicants with past coverage? 

8. How will the Department address the case of applicants who were never eligible for coverage under the Exchange or for the cost sharing subsidies?

According to the HHS Office of the Inspector General (OIG), 1.2 million applicants have unresolved inconsistencies related to income verification.  Given the enormity of the taxpayer liability of this program, please respond to the following questions:

1. Has an action plan been developed by HHS, as recommended by the OIG, to respond to these income inconsistencies?  If so, please provide a copy.

2. To date, how many income related inconsistencies are outstanding?  How many, if any, have been resolved?

3. What is the estimated deadline to resolve all income related inconsistencies?

4. Does the Department expect to have resolved all income and other inconsistencies prior to the beginning of the 2015 open enrollment period?

The notice to Congress further states, “(i)n addition, States that are running their own Marketplaces are reconciling any data matching issues separately – as such, only enrollees who have not submitted any necessary citizenship or immigration documents to the Federally-facilitated Marketplace will receive these notices.”  Can the Department provide an update on these efforts to Congress?  Additionally, please provide the timeframe or deadline that was given by HHS to each respective state.

Please provide a response to my office no later than 30 days from the date of this letter.  Your prompt responses to these important questions will help lawmakers and the public better understand the expectations from the Department.  Furthermore, it is imperative to provide as much time as possible to inform the public on the actions that shall be taken by the Department that would impact the health care coverage options of millions of individuals and families.

Thank you for your attention to this important matter.  Should you have any questions pertaining to this request, do not hesitate to contact Ellen Cain in my office at 202-225-4231.

Sincerely,

Diane Black Member of Congress

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Congressman Diane Black represents Tennessee’s 6th Congressional District. She has been a registered nurse for more than 40 years and serves on the House Ways and Means and Budget Committees.

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Black: TN Employee Data Breach Underscores Need for Obamacare Breach Notification Law

2014/08/13

Washington, D.C. – Today, Congressman Diane Black (R-TN-06) issued the following statement in reaction to the news that some Tennessee State Employees had their sensitive personal information breached when accessing healthcare:

“Data security is something we must take very seriously in the internet age, and I am glad that these employees are reportedly being notified that their personal information has been breached so that they can take the steps necessary to ensure their privacy,” said Congressman Black. “This is one of the reasons I have been so outspoken and concerned with the lack of data security surrounding the federal Obamacare exchange that Tennesseans are using to sign up for health insurance. Under current laws, the federal government is under no obligation to notify Tennesseans if their personal information is stolen because of a data breach on healthcare.gov. This is unacceptable and why I worked with my colleagues in the House to pass legislation to address this that sadly is waiting for a vote in the Democrat controlled Senate.”

1/10/14: Black Calls for House Passage of the Health Exchange Security and Transparency Act

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Congressman Diane Black represents Tennessee’s 6th Congressional District. She has been a registered nurse for more than 40 years and serves on the House Ways and Means and Budget Committees.

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Black says missing emails demonstrate administration’s lack of transparency

2014/08/12


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Contact Information

1531 Longworth HOB
Washington, DC 20515
Phone 202-225-4231
Fax 202-225-6887
black.house.gov

Committee Assignments

Budget

Ways and Means

As a nurse, small businesswoman and former educator, Congressman Diane Black brings a unique and dynamic perspective to her work in Congress. Diane’s faith in America’s promise was shaped from an early age. The middle daughter of working-class, Great Depression era parents, Diane saw firsthand their efforts to create a better life for their children through their pursuit of the American Dream.

First elected to Congress in 2010, Black represents Tennessee’s 6th Congressional District, which includes 19 counties in middle Tennessee. Black is driven by her Christian faith and an unwavering commitment to restore fiscal sanity in Washington, enact market-based health care reform, and return America to its founding principles of limited government and a strong free enterprise system.

Black serves on the House Ways and Means Committee and has quickly established herself as a leader in the efforts to fundamentally reform the U.S. tax code for the first time in over 25 years. Black is fighting for a flatter, fairer and simpler tax code to help create the conditions for economic growth, job creation, and higher wages for American workers. In the 113th Congress, Black was selected to chair the Ways and Means Education and Family Benefits Tax Reform Working Group.

Through her over 40 years of experience working in the health care field, Black learned first-hand about the importance of high-quality care and the obstacles faced by patients, health care providers and employers. Black’s real world experiences as a nurse have uniquely positioned her as a credible and effective leader on health care policy in Congress. She is focused on dismantling the president’s health care law and advancing true market-based, patient-centered reforms that will bring down the rising cost of care by increasing private sector competition and consumer choice. In the 112th Congress, Black was the first member of Congress to have legislation signed into law that repeals a health care provision in Obamacare, which saved taxpayers $13 billion dollars.

Black is also a member of the House Budget Committee, and a co-author of the 2014 Path to Prosperity budget, which balances the federal budget within ten years, reduces federal spending by $4.6 trillion, saves Medicare for future generations and promotes private sector economic growth. Black is a firm believer that getting America’s fiscal house in order also requires serious reforms of the broken Congressional Budget process. That is why she introduced the Legally Binding Budget Act, H.R. 1868, and has been a leading advocate for initiatives such as the Balanced Budget Amendment to the Constitution and the No Budget, No Pay Act, H.R. 325, which withholds pay from Congress if an annual budget is not passed by the legal deadline.

Building off her work in the Tennessee legislature as a pro-life leader, Black has continued to fight for the rights of the unborn. Her first piece of legislation in the 113th Congress, H.R. 217, would block any Title X federal funding from going to organizations that perform abortions, such as Planned Parenthood. Black is also the sponsor of the Health Care Conscience Rights Act, H.R. 940, legislation that would protect the religious freedom of health care providers who refuse to perform abortions and offers full exemption from the Health and Human Services (HHS) employee healthcare mandate that requires coverage for abortion inducing drugs.

Black and her husband of over 30 years, Dr. David Black have three grown children and six grandchildren.  They live in Gallatin and attend Community Church in Hendersonville.


Serving With

Phil Roe

TENNESSEE's 1st DISTRICT

John Duncan

TENNESSEE's 2nd DISTRICT

Chuck Fleischmann

TENNESSEE's 3rd DISTRICT

Scott DesJarlais

TENNESSEE's 4th DISTRICT

Marsha Blackburn

TENNESSEE's 7th DISTRICT

Stephen Fincher

TENNESSEE's 8th DISTRICT

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