SCHIP bill *does* require proof of eligibility as a citizen or legal resident

There’s a whole lot of misinformation being thrown around by people like Jim Ogonowski, his spokesdude Barney Keller, and our own EaBo, about what the SCHIP bill actually does or does not do with respect to benefits for illegal aliens.  Personally, I would wager that none of them has actually read not only the bill (which amends existing statutes) but also the statutes already on the books, so that they understand the big picture.  They should feel free to prove me wrong on that.

In any event, I have done the work for them, and for anyone else interested in this.  My findings are after the flip.  Short answer: under the SCHIP bill, beneficiaries must prove that they are in the United States legally.  All the bill does is create an alternative way to do that from what’s required under current law.  Why is an alternative needed?  Because many of the poorest potential beneficiaries of this program will not have a driver’s license or other form of ID required under current law.

The Ogos and EaBos of the world would have you believe that, if the SCHIP bill becomes law, illegal aliens can just waltz into their local benefits office and sign up, perhaps just by saying “yes, I’m legal.”  That is false.  Read on to see why.


First, a word of warning: federal statutes in general, and statutes about programs like SCHIP in particular, are notoriously impenetrable.  Much legalese ahead.

OK, so what’s really going on here?  The part of the SCHIP bill causing all the trouble is section 211, entitled “VERIFICATION OF DECLARATION OF CITIZENSHIP OR NATIONALITY FOR PURPOSES OF ELIGIBILITY FOR MEDICAID AND CHIP.”  It is part of Subtitle B, entitled “Reducing Barriers to Enrollment.”

The current law on verification appears in section 1903(x) of the SCHIP law, 42 USC 1396b(x).  I can’t supply a link to the current text, because section (x) is new enough that it’s not yet in the online US Code compilations.  It was added here (section 6036), and amended here (section 405(c)).

Under s. 1903(x), all beneficiaries must prove eligibility by the familiar “either one from column (A), or one each from columns (B) and (C)” test.  Column (A) includes passports, driver’s licenses issued by states that check citizenship before issuing them, and green cards.  Column (B) is birth certificates of various kinds, and column (C) is, again, a driver’s license or other state-issued photo ID.  I’m simplifying the descriptions here a bit; the full version is, as noted above, in section 6036 of this statute.

Immediately, we see the problem for an American citizen who has no passport and no driver’s license: there’s no obvious way to prove eligibility.  That, presumably, is the motivation behind the amendment that creates an alternative mechanism.

Under s. 211 of the SCHIP bill, states must either require beneficiaries to satisfy the existing rules in s. 1903(x), or the new procedure set forth in a new section, called section 1902(ee) (42 USC 1392a(ee)).  In short, section (ee) requires the state to submit the name and social security number of the applicant to the Commissioner of Social Security; if the Commissioner informs the state that the name doesn’t match the number, the applicant has 90 days to explain the problem or supply other evidence of eligibility.  If the applicant can’t do that, the state must disenroll the applicant within 30 days of the end of the 90 day period.  Here’s the long version:

  `(ee)(1) For purposes of subsection (a)(46)(B)(ii), the requirements of this subsection with respect to an individual declaring to be a citizen or national of the United States for purposes of establishing eligibility under this title, are, in lieu of requiring the individual to present satisfactory documentary evidence of citizenship or nationality under section 1903(x) (if the individual is not described in paragraph (2) of that section), as follows:

  `(A) The State submits the name and social security number of the individual to the Commissioner of Social Security as part of the program established under paragraph (2).

  `(B) If the State receives notice from the Commissioner of Social Security that the name or social security number of the individual is invalid–

  `(i) the State makes a reasonable effort to identify and address the causes of such invalid match, including through typographical or other clerical errors, by contacting the individual to confirm the accuracy of the name or social security number, respectively, submitted, and by taking such additional actions as the Secretary, through regulation or other guidance, or the State may identify, and continues to provide the individual with medical assistance while making such effort; and

  `(ii) in the case that the name or social security number of the individual remains invalid after such reasonable efforts, the State–

  `(I) notifies the individual of such fact;

  `(II) provides the individual with a period of 90 days from the date on which the notice required under subclause (I) is received by the individual to either present satisfactory documentary evidence of citizenship or nationality (as defined in section 1903(x)(3)) or cure the invalid determination with the Commissioner of Social Security (and continues to provide the individual with medical assistance during such 90-day period); and

  `(III) disenrolls the individual from the State plan under this title within 30 days after the end of such 90-day period if no such documentary evidence is presented or if such invalid determination is not cured.

  `(2)(A) Each State electing to satisfy the requirements of this subsection for purposes of section 1902(a)(46)(B) shall establish a program under which the State submits each month to the Commissioner of Social Security for verification the name and social security number of each individual newly enrolled in the State plan under this title that month who is not described in section 1903(x)(2).

  `(B) In establishing the State program under this paragraph, the State may enter into an agreement with the Commissioner of Social Security–

  `(i) to provide for the electronic submission and verification, through an on-line system or otherwise, of the name and social security number of an individual enrolled in the State plan under this title;

  `(ii) to submit to the Commissioner the names and social security numbers of such individuals on a batch basis, provided that such batches are submitted at least on a monthly basis; or

  `(iii) to provide for the verification of the names and social security numbers of such individuals through such other method as agreed to by the State and the Commissioner and approved by the Secretary, provided that such method is no more burdensome for individuals to comply with than any burdens that may apply under a method described in clause (i) or (ii).

Oh, and one more thing — there is indeed a penalty for trying to game the system:

The Federal government and numerous states have passed laws prohibiting identity theft. Anyone who intentionally uses the Social Security number of another person to establish a new identity or defraud the government is breaking the law.

So: under the SCHIP bill, applicants have (basically) three options: passport, driver’s license, or valid social security number.  Falsifying any of those is a crime.  Personally, I don’t see the problem, and I don’t think the folks squawking about “giveaways” to illegal aliens, or illegal aliens “steal[ing] from poor children,” have a leg to stand on.

If someone would care to explain how I have misread the bill, or why the above is insufficient to establish eligibility, I’m all ears.

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Discuss

69 Comments . Leave a comment below.
  1. Not my argument

    The number of aliens on SCHIP in Massachusetts probably amounts to nothing more than a financial rounding error, BUT, it is quite easy for an illegal alien to get an SS number and drivers license in Massachusetts. (You can argue with that assertion 'til you're blue(er) but I know better and if confidentiality weren't my stock-in-trade I could easily prove it)

    Other states, it's more difficult.

    From your explanation, once you have those 2 bona fide documents and meet the other welfare requirements then you're sailing on the SCHIP. No?

    • so what??

      The number of aliens on SCHIP in Massachusetts probably amounts to nothing more than a financial rounding error, BUT, it is quite easy for an illegal alien to get an SS number and drivers license in Massachusetts. (You can argue with that assertion 'til you're blue(er) but I know better and if confidentiality weren't my stock-in-trade I could easily prove it)

      So what?  It is also quite easy for somebody to shoot a person in the head. That doesn't mean there aren't laws against shooting people in the head. duh. You're in the dubious position of arguing against a law based on the possibility of it being circumvented.  Wow.

      • So what

        David's post asserts that the person must prove he or she is in the US legally, and may do so by producing a valid SS number and a drivers license, which may be obtained easily and lawfully by an illegal alien in Massachusetts.

        The Ogos and EaBos of the world would have you believe that, if the SCHIP bill becomes law, illegal aliens can just waltz into their local benefits office and sign up, perhaps just by saying "yes, I'm legal."  That is false.

        Given my post, absent some rebuttal, that statement appears wrong.

        You analogize to shooting someone in the head.  I may be mistaken but believe there are no criminal penalties for an unauthorized alien accepting SCHIP welfare so the analogy is quite poor.

        Shooting people in the head has ciminal penalties you see, and perhaps as a result, we see few shootings in the head.

        Maybe a more appropriate analogy would be the law against illegal immigration which generally bears no criminal sanctions.  The result: the law is regularly circumvented.

        • Are you saying

          that an illegal alien can legally obtain a social security number?  If so, I'd like a link.

          • Uh huh. I thought not.

            • Here's the drill

              1:  Get an ss-4 2:  Complete for an FEIN application.  Apply electronically and not by mail. 3:  Receive FEIN; it takes 10 minutes.  i.e. 04-6298709 4:  Change the dashes to 046-29-8709 5:  Present to Medicaid/MassHealth 5:  FEIN is, at the present, indistinguishable from an SS-4 for the Medicaid system in Massachusetts and most states.

              Note, I'm not advocating it, in fact, I'll specifically (CYA) state "don't do this at home".  But, if you--an illegal--sought a bona fide SS, recognizable by IRS, then there it is. It's a well known hole in the current system.  This technique won't work for receiving SS benefits, but the Medicaid programs (which administer SCHIP) aren't sophisticated enough yet to catch it.

              Now, go to the DMV.  Smile.  Present your brand spanking new SS number and a credit card.  Take the test and receive your drivers license.  It's easy if you're white.  If you're Hispanic the clerks are more suspect (obvious commentary, no).  BTW, don't try it in NJ.  They're much more discerning for some reason.

              Go to employer.  Present your drivers license to complete the I-9.  Birth certificates are simply to forge and the most frequent 2nd form of ID.

              There you go.  One short day to citizenship.

              • drill away...

                1:  Get an ss-4 2:  Complete for an FEIN application.  Apply electronically and not by mail. 3:  Receive FEIN; it takes 10 minutes.  i.e. 04-6298709 4:  Change the dashes to 046-29-8709 5:  Present to Medicaid/MassHealth 5:  FEIN is, at the present, indistinguishable from an SS-4 for the Medicaid system in Massachusetts and most states.

                But it's still not a legitimate SS#. It's a false one that withstands cursory scrutiny. Yawn. Somebody still has to commit a crime here...  So, I repeat, you're in the dubious position of arguing against a law on the the proposition that somebody, somewhere is going to break it.

                • Exactly.

                  It's fraud.  You have to commit a crime to do it.  There are laws against fraud.

                  But thanks to gary for proving our point.

                  • You're welcome

                    Care to edit your assertion?

                    The Ogos and EaBos of the world would have you believe that, if the SCHIP bill becomes law, illegal aliens can just waltz into their local benefits office and sign up, perhaps just by fraudulently saying "yes, I'm legal."  That is false.
                    • Hmmm..this is more accurate

                      The Ogos and EaBos of the world would have you believe that, if the SCHIP bill becomes law, illegal aliens can just waltz into their local benefits office and sign up, perhaps just by saying "yes, I'm legal."  That is true, but their actions would constitute fraud.

                • The argument

                  Here's the statement:

                  The Ogos and EaBos of the world would have you believe that, if the SCHIP bill becomes law, illegal aliens can just waltz into their local benefits office and sign up, perhaps just by saying "yes, I'm legal."  That is false.

                  With the information I described, it's possible for an illegal alien to possess an SS number that withstands Medicaid scrutiny in minutes, literally 2 or 3 minutes if he can type fast. If the technique is bona fide, and I assure you as of right now, it is, then an illegal can 'waltz', foxtrot or shashay into an office armed with documentation to obtain benefits.

                  David's statement appears, to me, wrong.  That's my only and focused point.

                  Should you disagree, argue the facts, save the hyperbole and personal attacks and simply either a) attack the procedure I delineated as impossible or infeasible b) differentiate a "waltz" from a foxtrot or c) carve somee nuance from David's statement or d) admit you're probably being beligerant discussing a system of which, it appears you know little.

                  • Well that does it then..

                    With the information I described, it's possible for an illegal alien to possess an SS number that withstands Medicaid scrutiny in minutes,

                    Looks like we'll just hafta scrap Medicaid now, too...!

                    If your problem is the ease with which individuals can obtain a SS# (via fraud or even simple ignorance) why don't you A) say so and 2) leave the sick children out of it...

                    • Illiteracy

                      Read David's statement I quoted.  Was it accurate? I say no.

                      Expand my point into one of your illucid rants if you must, but will you first answer the question?

                    • Illucid? That even a word?

                      Read David's statement I quoted.  Was it accurate? I say no.

                      Expand my point into one of your illucid rants if you must, but will you first answer the question?

                      I beg your pardon... I wasn't aware we had descended to the trivial differences in quotations portion of the show.  I though you were still on the defense of warped assertions part.  So sorry for lagging behind.  Lessee, what's next (flip) defense of warped assertions (flip) making up insult words (flip) invocation of -

                      Oh, dear looks like you go directly to comparing me to Hitler.  Too bad. You lose.

                    • In other words

                      You refuse to answer the question.  Ok.

                    • The answer is..

                      In other words (0.00 / 0) You refuse to answer the question.  Ok.

                      The answer is...

                      Yes! 

                      No!

                      Roast Duck in Peanut Sauce!

                      42!

                      Iterative Machinations of Socio-Political Touts, Rebels, Ontological Laggards, and Lawyers!

                      Rinse lather and repeat.

                    • Step away from attempt at humor

                      You're embarrassing yourself.

                    • wouldn't be the first time..

                      Step away from attempt at humor (0.00 / 0) You're embarrassing yourself.

                      And most decidedly not the last! 

                  • gary,

                    as always, I appreciate the information you provide.

                    However, I am not at all persuaded by your argument, which seems to be "it's pretty easy to get a fake SSN."  No kidding.  But it's pretty easy to get a fake driver's license too -- as Joe reminds us downthread, college students have been doing that since the dawn of time.  EaBo seems to think that requiring a driver's license for SCHIP will solve the problem; I see no reason to think that's true.  If people are determined to commit fraud against the government and obtain benefits they are not legally qualified for, they may well be able to do it.  It's a crime, and they risk getting caught and going to prison, but maybe it's worth the risk to them.  That, IMHO, is no reason to shut thousands of people who are eligible for benefits from obtaining them by requiring documentation that it is well known that they may not have.

                    And I stand by my statement in the post.  You think I should edit it by acknowledging that it's possible to commit fraud.  I think that goes without saying, for the reasons given above.  It's always possible to break a law.  I do not consider "waltzing in" to include going to the trouble of first fraudulently obtaining a false SSN or driver's license.  And I hope you'll agree with me that Ogo's statements on this have not made clear that in order for an illegal immigrant to obtain SCHIP benefits, he or she would have to commit the crime of defrauding the government in one way or another.

                    • SCHIP

                      On philosophical ground, SCHIP expansion upwards to $83K families in NY; $72K families in NJ; and $60K families in MA is destructive, elitist legislation.

                      Whether SCHIP is legally available to illegal aliens, the answer, IMHO, is no.  Black-letter-law.

                      Is it practically available minor law infractions as the bar? Probably.

                      Is the loss of benefits to illegals financially material to MA? No.

                      Is your statement accurate?  I guess that depends on the definition of waltz.  Certainly, for me to "waltz" anywhere is an insurrmoundable task.  For illegals, maybe not so much. 

                    • Especially

                      if they came over here illegally from Vienna!

              • Your scenario makes no sense whatsoever

                The IRS issues a FEIN (Federal Employer Identification Number), not the Social Security Administration.  The proposed amendment to SCHIP adds a methodology by which a state can verify eligibility by making use of SS numbers, not FEIN numbers.  (Since the original SCHIP was passed by a Republican congress in 1997, presumably the Republicans had no objection to the original statute.)  Regardless of whether a series of digits, however separated by dashes, looks like an SS number, if the SSA rejects the identification, then there is no eligibility.

                BTW, just to remind you, the requirements to get an SS number are succinctly described here.  Scroll down to page 3.  It makes it very difficult for an illegal alien to get a valid SS number.  And, since the SSA would have to verify the association between an SS number and the person's name before proving elegibility for SCHIP, that provides yet another safeguard.

                You might want to consider stopping your floundering.

                • SCHIP

                  When you start your own tax practice, you can tell me that an alien can or can't get a SS or FEIN.  Until then, I've shown you the steps to first, get a FEIN, then how to use it as an SS number.  By your own description, there exists no means to distinquish one from the other at Medicaid:

                  "The proposed amendment to SCHIP adds a methodology..."

                  "Proposed" implies not yet in place.  Right?

                  As for SS rejecting the number, the SCHIP application isn't made through SS.  Right?

                  Your penultimate paragraph is irrelevant; your last paragraph is simply more of your ad hominen and ill considered condescension that is reflected in most of your posts.

                  • Those of us who aren't terminally stupid know that

                    ...you can tell me that an alien can or can't get a SS or FEIN...

                    Of course aliens can get SS numbers and FEINs.  I don't know how easy it is for an illegal alien to get an FEIN, but legal aliens can certainly get SS numbers.  Look at the last paragraph on page 3 of my cited SS page.

                    "Proposed" implies not yet in place.  Right?

                    Well, of course.  It was in the bill vetoed by GWBush a couple of days ago.  So it would not have been in place thentofore..

                    As for SS rejecting the number, the SCHIP application isn't made through SS.  Right?

                    Don't be silly.  The SCHIP application apparently is made through the relevant state authority.  It is the relevant state authority that, if the authority wants to make use of the proposed SS verification methodology, that would inquire of the SSA.  That should be obvious.

                    You really are floundering.

                    • So

                      This statement, is accurate? Or not?

                      The Ogos and EaBos of the world would have you believe that, if the SCHIP bill becomes law, illegal aliens can just waltz into their local benefits office and sign up, perhaps just by fraudulently saying "yes, I'm legal."  That is false.
                    • Just to point out...

                      ...that was not a statement made by me.  I accept responsibility only for statements that I make, not statements made by others.

                      I have given you the statement of the law regarding acquiring SS numbers, as promulgated by the SSA.  I have also noted that the SCHIP amendments would, if signed into law, have allowed for an alternative methology to verify eligibility using SS numbers and name identification.

                      You haven't countered any of those points.  If and when you do, I will sit up and listen.  Until you do so, no.  The only thing that you have done is raise, what they used to call in law school, the "parade of imaginary horribles."

        • ridiculous

          *[new]  So what  (0.00 / 0)
          David's post asserts that the person must prove he or she is in the US legally, and may do so by producing a valid SS number and a drivers license, which may be obtained easily and lawfully by an illegal alien in Massachusetts.

          You don't know when to give up do you?  Is it pathological?

          You can't be illegal and get a valid SS #: If you are illegal, then any social security number you have is not valid. The requirements for social security are proof of citizenship or proof of legal immigration status. 

          Seriously, you're losing this argument. Give it up.

        • Whew...

          Maybe a more appropriate analogy would be the law against illegal immigration which generally bears no criminal sanctions.  The result: the law is regularly circumvented.

          There now. That was easy, wasn't it? We're in agreement that the laws are circumvented.  Can we also now agree that possible (or even probable) circumvention of the law is no reason to nix the law in the first place?

    • Different issue.

      The post is in response to what Ogo has been saying.  His main objection to the bill seems to be the illegal alien thing.  My point is that that objection is crap -- it's a totally made-up issue.

      It's easy to get fake driver's licenses too.  The point is that, contrary to what Ogo & Co. would have you think, applicants do have to prove eligibility to obtain SCHIP benefits under the new bill, and if they do it by committing fraud (e.g. with a fake SSN), it's a crime.

      I'd respond to your concerns in similar detail, except that you're not running for Congress, so I don't care as much.  Sorry.  ;-)

      • Seems to me like you're shifting positions here

        Eabo:  Benefits are exceedingly easy for illegals to get.

        "No they aren't.  That is false."

        Gary:  Yes they are, with excruciating detail.

        "That's not important anyway."

        • Aliens on a sinking SCHIP

          Seems to me like you're shifting positions here

          Shifting positions to some is called a waltz.

        • who's shifting what...?

          Seems to me like you're shifting positions here (0.00 / 0)
          Eabo:  Benefits are exceedingly easy for illegals to get.

          "No they aren't.  That is false."

          Gary:  Yes they are, with excruciating detail.

          "That's not important anyway."

          Nice try. Close, though.

          Eabo: Benefits are exceedingly easy for illegals to get legally.

          "No they aren't. That is false."

          Gary:  ( insert excruciatingly detailed account of illegal methods of easily obtaining what looks like legit documentation )

          "we're not arguing about how to circumvent the system, your claim is that the benefits are easily obtained without circumvention..."

          • Is this argument really that ticky-tacky?

            Well, it is OK because even though illegals can easily get benefits, they can't do it legally.

            This is really starting to smell like one of those "health care" bills that transfers taxpayer dollars directly to BC/BS.  Later, the Democrats pushing it will be appalled by resulting BC/BS profits.

            • OUCH

              Well, it is OK because even though illegals can easily get benefits, they can't do it legally.

              Wow, that hurt!  It's like you reached into my mouth and re-arranged my vocal cords... musta done so, cause what you heard ain't what I said.

              Nobody said "it is OK".  What we're saying is that just because you can easily circumvent a law, is no reason not to have the law.  Breaking the law is bad. It shouldn't be done. But if we scrapped every law that was easily broken we'd be in a world o'hurt.

              • We're getting somewhere

                "What we're saying is that just because you can easily circumvent a law..."

                So, you now agree that it's a law that may be easily circumvented.  i.e.  waltz in and sign up.

                The Ogos and EaBos of the world would have you believe that, if the SCHIP bill becomes law, illegal aliens can just waltz into their local benefits office and sign up, perhaps just by fraudulently saying "yes, I'm legal."  That is false.

                • Once again...

                  I find myself philosophically at odds with Gary.  I don't understand the larger point.  That because it's somehow possible for an illegal immigrant to circumvent the law and get a social security number, a SCHIP expansion isn't worthwhile?

                  In a post-September 11 world, I find your assertion about illegally obtaining SS numbers disturbing, and obviously that practice needs to be curbed, and we government needs to be more vigilant.  But what's that got to do with this bill?  Are we going to veto any proposed legislation that requires its beneficiaries produce a social security number?

                  • Philosophy

                    Heck, all I did was take one of David's conclusion, quote it, then simply point out that it's dead wrong.  I sought for him to edit it; he declined.

                    My Alien SCHIP conclusions:

                    1: It's easy --currently-- to pretend to have a valid SS; 2: It's wrong to obtain government benefits fraudently; 3: The impact of this to SCHIP in Mass is specious; 4: The financial impact of aliens to SCHIP benefits is financially immaterial.

                    Everyone else is free to pursue the greater meaning.

    • easy to get, yes. but...

      Social security numbers are easy to get and they allow illegals to get and keep jobs. But much of that is due to the fact that the number is never used or, more accurately, checked. Employers--in the construction industry, for example, but also restaurants, hotels, etc.--take the ss # and say they've fulfilled the legal burden.

      But the worker is never put on payroll, never has taxes paid on them and is never covered by workers comp. No social security payments are ever made. So when the number is never passed on to be attached to payments, it never gets kicked back as bogus.

      And in temporary employment industries like construction, even when something is processed with the bogus number, the employee is gone before the number gets kicked back and properly addressed by the employer (who is always shocked by the situation, of course).

      Here, the number would be put through and sent back as bogus. So just having a number doesn't work as well.

      You know I'm sure, Gary, that the reason the bogus numbers work so well in construction is that those guys are all 1099s and working under multiple levers of subcontracting where accountability evaporates.

      • hold tight...

        *[new]  easy to get, yes. but...  (0.00 / 0)
        Social security numbers are easy to get and they allow illegals to get and keep jobs. But much of that is due to the fact that the number is never used or, more accurately, checked. Employers--in the construction industry, for example, but also restaurants, hotels, etc.--take the ss # and say they've fulfilled the legal burden.

        But the worker is never put on payroll, never has taxes paid on them and is never covered by workers comp. No social security payments are ever made. So when the number is never passed on to be attached to payments, it never gets kicked back as bogus.

        But it's still bogus.

        Nobody here argues that rules are broken. What you say above describes illegal activity.  What some here argue (to no avail) is that illegal aliens are getting valid SS# by some magically legal means.  Doesn't happen.

  2. Which version of the bill?

    From the report by the Congressional Research Service:

    Citizenship Documentation Rules. Both the House and Senate bills would make some similar modifications of existing Medicaid citizenship documentation rules (e.g., by requiring additional documentation options for federally recognized Indian tribes, specifying the reasonable opportunity period for individuals who are required to present documentation). However, the Senate bill would allow states to meet Medicaid citizenship documentation requirements through name and Social Security number validation, make citizenship documentation a requirement for SCHIP, provide an enhanced match for certain administrative costs, and require separate identification numbers for children born to women on emergency Medicaid. In contrast, the House bill would make Medicaid citizenship documentation for children under age 21 a state option, allow "Express Lane" agencies to determine eligibility without citizenship documentation, and require eligibility audits to ensure that federal funds are not spent on individuals who are not legal residents.

    Express Lane agencies are further described later in the report:

    Express Lane agencies would include public agencies determined by the State as capable of making eligibility determinations including public agencies that determine eligibility under the Food Stamp Act, the School Lunch Act, the Child Nutrition Act, or the Child Care Development Block Grant Act.

    I'm fairly certain that SS#s are not required to receive free or reduced lunch. I don't know about the others.

    As for the audits, I'm not sure their working. Recovery is only possible when a state's Medicaid Eligibility Quality Control agency discovers the error. According to the CRS report, states were reporting less than 3% eligibility errors in the 1990s. However, an audit by the feds revealed that, in the case of New York, about 7.5% of the sample was deemed ineligible and another 25% had insufficient documentation to determine eligibility.

    The feds found that rate of error in one 6-month audit of one state. Given the fact the states get to audit themselves, I believe we'd find this to be the rule, not the exception.

    • I'm only talking about SCHIP.

      I don't know or care about the other programs.  It was hard enough to figure out this one.

      I stand by what's in the post -- everything I quoted is from enacted statutes and from the enrolled bill that was sent to the president.

      • I am also talking about SCHIP

        There are two versions -- one from the House, one from the Senate. The CRS report does a side-by-side analysis of both.

        The reason other agencies come into play is because in both of the SCHIP ammendments, varying roles for Express Lane agencies are spelled out.

        Sorry to add yet another layer. Who writes this stuff anyway?! ;-)

        • CRS report is outdated

          because we now have the enrolled bill.  Read what's in the post.

          • Sorry, David... I did

            I did read your post, and your links. While I realize the CRS report does not address the bill that was vetoed, it does spell out clearly what the current law allows:

            Under current law, noncitizens who apply for full Medicaid benefits have been required since 1986 to present documentation that indicates a "satisfactory immigration status." Due to recent changes, citizens and nationals also must present documentation that proves citizenship and documents personal identity in order for states to receive federal Medicaid reimbursement for services provided to them. This citizenship documentation requirement was included in the Deficit Reduction Act of 2005 (DRA, P.L. 109-171) and modified by the Tax Relief and Health Care Act of 2006 (P.L.109-432). Before the DRA, states could accept self-declaration of citizenship for Medicaid,although some chose to require additional supporting evidence. The citizenship documentation requirement is outlined under section 1903(x) of the Social Security Act and applies to Medicaid eligibility determinations and redeterminations made on or after July 1, 2006. The law specifies documents that are acceptable for this purpose and exempts certain groups from the requirement. It does not apply to SCHIP. However, since some states use the same enrollment procedures for all Medicaid and SCHIP applicants, it is possible that some SCHIP enrollees would be asked to present evidence of citizenship.

            I'm not putting this here as an "ah-ha". I'm sensing you are taking this as a personal battle. All I really want to do is get the facts.

            So, the text of the enrolled bill is available? Where is it?  I thought the CRS would have been the most accurate info available because I assumed the chambers would compromise over on their actual proposals. You make it sound as if not many changes made it through at all.

            If that's the case, then I'm still concerned about the results of the Inspector General's audits. Not necessarily because of the immigration eligibility but about the other aspects, especially income limits. That's my biggest concern -- that the income eligibility limits are being raised with still much work to go to cover the most needy.

            • The enrolled bill

              is on Thomas, which unfortunately does not do permalinks.  So you'll have to search it out yourself.  Look for HR 976.ENR, which refers to the enrolled version.

              My frustration is that I have put a lot of time and energy into trying to explain what's really going on, and all I get from you, EaBo, and others of your ilk is this notion that I'm trying to put something over on someone.  I'm not.  I've tried hard to present the facts of what this bill actually does, in response to genuine distortion coming from the Ogo campaign.

  3. quite frankly David

    If you truly believe it is not easy to get fake social security documentation and not get caught as an illegal immigrant you are naive.  The only true documentation should be a birth certificate for the child or immigration papers for legal residents and a picture ID with birth certificate or a passport.  You can't buy a beer without picture ID or cash a check or many other things, I think that at a minimum it should be required to obtain government benefits.

    So all your fancy lawyer-speak aside, the bar has been lowered for verification of eligibility.  It is a loophole that a truck can be driven through.  You and I will never agree.  Let's let the voters decide.

    Oh and Niki's new October 18th I'll vote message is dishonest. There is no way the votes will be certified by the Secretary of State's office by then.  I believe that process normally takes a week.  That dog don't hunt.

    • Good premise for a sociological experiment! Try it EaBo!

      I would encourage you to get a fake license and a fake social security number and assume the identity of this new EaBo in every facet of your life.  Let's see how long it takes before you get caught.

      Just think of all the wonderful free services you can exploit before anyone catches on! 

      • Don't need to but I'm legal

        The New York Times has a nice article on how illegals are using Social Security.

        Last year, Mr. Martínez paid about $2,000 toward Social Security and $450 for Medicare through payroll taxes withheld from his wages. Yet unlike most Americans, who will receive some form of a public pension in retirement and will be eligible for Medicare as soon as they turn 65, Mr. Martínez is not entitled to benefits.

        He belongs to a big club. As the debate over Social Security heats up, the estimated seven million or so illegal immigrant workers in the United States are now providing the system with a subsidy of as much as $7 billion a year.

        While it has been evident for years that illegal immigrants pay a variety of taxes, the extent of their contributions to Social Security is striking: the money added up to about 10 percent of last year's surplus - the difference between what the system currently receives in payroll taxes and what it doles out in pension benefits. Moreover, the money paid by illegal workers and their employers is factored into all the Social Security Administration's projections.

        How do you pay in without a number?

        • Are you saying

          that you want illegal aliens to start collecting social security benefits?  Or are you saying that you want a bigger share of subsidizing the boomer's retirement?  Or are you saying that we need a national database with genetic fingerprints to track the 300 some-odd million citizens?

          It doesn't look so much like illegals are "using" social security as they are paying into it but not collecting.

           

          • but they need a social security number

            to pay in.  SCHIP now only requires a social security number.  Therefore the loophole remains.

            • What solution do you propose?

            • EaBo, did you even read the article you linked?

              The answer to your question is right in there.

              Starting in the late 1980's, the Social Security Administration received a flood of W-2 earnings reports with incorrect - sometimes simply fictitious - Social Security numbers. It stashed them in what it calls the "earnings suspense file" in the hope that someday it would figure out whom they belonged to.

              The file has been mushrooming ever since: $189 billion worth of wages ended up recorded in the suspense file over the 1990's, two and a half times the amount of the 1980's.

              In the current decade, the file is growing, on average, by more than $50 billion a year, generating $6 billion to $7 billion in Social Security tax revenue and about $1.5 billion in Medicare taxes.

              In 2002 alone, the last year with figures released by the Social Security Administration, nine million W-2's with incorrect Social Security numbers landed in the suspense file, accounting for $56 billion in earnings, or about 1.5 percent of total reported wages.

              Social Security officials do not know what fraction of the suspense file corresponds to the earnings of illegal immigrants. But they suspect that the portion is significant.

              It's very simple: the numbers are fake.  They don't match up with anyone; SSA doesn't know who they belong to, so they just take the money and run.

              The SCHIP plan is different -- it requires that SSA confirm that the person matches the number.  As I have explained at length above, using "fancy lawyer-speak" that I hope wasn't too tough for you.

              So once again, you are wrong, and you are creating a fake issue, because you know your candidate is in trouble on this.

              • It's not a fake issue

                Here goes I'm quoting Newt, so Let the flames begin, but it took the SSA until the 43rd person used a SS number to catch that it was being used 43 times.  The SSA does not have the ability to catch these people.  It just doesn't.

                • This is such a great Republican strategy.

                  1. Continually rail about how terrible government is and how all government employees are worthless hacks and bureaucrats.

                  2. Treat government agencies as a dumping ground for unqualified but loyal cronies.

                  3. Express astonishment and outrage when government agencies cannot carry out important and significant tasks, and use said failure as evidence for point 1.

                  Lather, rinse, and repeat.

                • Is Newt worried about the 200,000 guns...

                  ...and $10 billion dollars that we can't track in Iraq? The Iraq occupation: another example of how big government is failing the American people.

        • Simple...

          While it has been evident for years that illegal immigrants pay a variety of taxes, the extent of their contributions to Social Security is striking: the money added up to about 10 percent of last year's surplus - the difference between what the system currently receives in payroll taxes and what it doles out in pension benefits. Moreover, the money paid by illegal workers and their employers is factored into all the Social Security Administration's projections.

          How do you pay in without a number?

          Simple. You have an employer commit a crime.  Duh.

        • Using? By paying $7Billion/year into a system they can't use?

          This is a confusing-ass comment, eabo. Your comment shows how we are using illegal immigrants to subsidize and you blockquoted a selection that backs that up. Social Security is taking in $7 billion yearly it never has to pay out. Your comment illustrates no benefit for the immigrant at all.

          The article you site continues:

          Most immigration helps Social Security's finances, because new immigrants tend to be of working age and contribute more than they take from the system. A simulation by Social Security's actuaries found that if net immigration ran at 1.3 million a year instead of the 900,000 in their central assumption, the system's 75-year funding gap would narrow to 1.67 percent of total payroll, from 1.92 percent - savings that come out to half a trillion dollars, valued in today's money.

          This is actually a sweet deal for Social Security.

          To answer your other question, any person, legal, illegal or what ever can obtain a Individual Taxpayer Identification number from the IRS:

          TINs are issued regardless of immigration status because both resident and nonresident aliens may have U.S. tax return and payment responsibilities under the Internal Revenue Code.

          More from the Christian Science Monitor:

          These people aren't in a quandary over new tax laws or changes to the code. These are illegal immigrants who - up until today - have been using false social security numbers to work in the United States. Immigrants like them are flocking in record numbers to IRS offices and seminars such as this one to learn how to become legal US taxpayers.

          The IRS has been quietly supporting this activity since 1996 when it created an individual taxpayer identification number designed for anyone who doesn't have a social security number.

          This is the government tacitly endorsing illegal immigration. They're basically saying it's illegal for you to work, but if you do earn money, we'll gladly accept your taxes. It's just like the famous Claude Rains scene from Casablanca when he feigns shock (shock!) that there is gambling in Casablanca as man hands him his roulette table winnings. 

          Illegal immigrants oggityboogity oggity boogity

          • Excellent -

            so this is very easy.  If someone applies for SCHIP and their TIN starts with a 9 and has a 7 as the 4th digit, they're ineligible.  Seems pretty straightforward.

            The more we learn about this, the more sensible the alternative seems.  I love being reality-based.

    • Excellent.

      Glad to hear I've won on this one.  On to the next battle.

      "Fancy lawyer-speak."  That's really hilarious.  Guess what, EaBo, laws are sometimes complicated and can't be accurately boiled down to misleading soundbites.  Why don't you mention that to Barney.

    • By the way,

      if you really believe it's not easy to get a fake photo ID, you are naive.  Any college freshman could set you straight on that one.

    • Poor EaBo -- wrong again.

      The Lawrence Eagle-Tribune reports that in 2001 Steve Lynch was seated within two days of winning his special election.  Coincidentally, he won on Oct 16, and was seated on Oct 18, exactly the dates we're talking about here.

  4. Thanks for the digging David

    Hopefully the Globe, Herald or Lowell Sun will ask Ogonowski some hard questions about his stance.

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Mon 28 Jul 4:16 AM