Breaking the Blackout

Posted in Weekly Newsletter on by .

approvedWe try to write about things our readers won’t see in a dozen other places. But it’s important to pitch in when local and statewide media serve their own interests by pretending not to notice a major story right under their noses.

The story would reflect credit on Wisconsin Senator Ron Johnson, and we’ll go out on a limb and suggest that’s why it’s ignored.  Johnson’s uncovered almost a billion dollars in ObamaCare subsidies improperly paid to illegal immigrants.  (Click on 2nd Feb. 8 item, “Affordable…”)

The link is to a staff report from the Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Government Affairs, which Johnson chairs. It’s important to read the footnotes. In footnote 2 of the executive summary we first find these words:

“The term “improperly awarded” tax credits refers to tax credits that were awarded on behalf of individuals who were later unable to verify their citizenship, status as a national, or legal presence.”

That seems like a problem. Then we find this:

“Although the ACA [Affordable Care Act] permits the distribution of coverage and cost assistance before verifying an individual’s eligibility…”  Whoa!!!

Money gets handed out to ineligible people because the law lets applicants collect before anybody checks whether they qualify?  Maybe we’re just paranoid but we’re still going to ask: Could the purpose be not to get more people covered by health insurance, but to get more people hooked on government giveaways of other people’s money?  If so, not checking eligibility makes perfect sense.

Conservative talk radio and national networks have aired this story but as far as we know, Wisconsin’s mainstream media are maintaining strict silent-running discipline. Consider: 1) Ron Johnson, with shaky approval ratings, is running for re-election against Russ Feingold; 2) Johnson looks mighty good in this story that lots of voters will never hear.

Media partisanship or our paranoia? Your call.

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