Republican lawmaker: Health care application improperly prompts voter registration

The online draft application for universal health care coverage includes asking the applicant if he or she wants to register to vote, raising speculation that Obama groups being tapped to assist applicants may sway them to register as Democrats, the Washington Examiner reports.

Toward the end of the 61-page document, and after a slew of questions regarding the applicant’s qualifications for Obamacare, the questionnaire asks if they would like to register to vote. Paul Bedard of the Examiner poses that the placing of the question could lead applicants to believe they have to register in order to receive coverage.

“This document-the ‘questionnaire’-represents each possible item that may need to be asked for successful eligibility determinations,” the introduction to the draft application states.

Rep. Charles Boustany Jr., Louisiana Republican and chair of the House Ways and Means Oversight subcommittee, wrote a letter to Health and Human Services Secretary (HHS) Kathleen Sebelius Monday, saying the department has exceeded its authority.

“The draft documents wander into areas outside the department’s purview and links applications for health insurance subsidies to voter registration,” he wrote in the letter. “The position of the question could lead some to think voter registration is somehow tied to subsidy eligibility.”

“While the health care law requires that government agencies collect vast information about Americans’ personal lives, it does not give your department an interest in whether individual Americans choose to vote,” he wrote.

Mr. Boustany has given HHS until April 8 to issue a response.

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