By Jim Kouri
President Barack Obama’s health care law, although thousands of pages, was hastily created and frantically pushed through the House and Senate by Democratic majorities before many even had a chance to read its contents. That law is now being implemented — and has raised serious concerns about big government intrusion into American’s private lives, said Rep. Darrell Issa (R-CA), chairman of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, yesterday.
The Committee examined how the IRS is implementing the Affordable Health Care Act, a/k/a Obamacare, and the consequences for Americans. The Oversight Committee addressed concerns about the “big brother process” it will create, the legality of rules it will enforce and question about the sacrosanct privacy of personal information once held only by the IRS but now share with state exchanges.
The committee also reviewed the biggest spending item within Obamacare — its complicated subsidy scheme and the assessment of the challenges the IRS faces with implementation.
“Under Obamacare, taxpayers will have to provide within 30 days, notification to a government agency about key information in their lives: did they get a raise or take another job; did a family member move into the household; were they married or divorced; what is the nature of their employer-paid health care coverage. The IRS is ill equipped to deliver customer satisfaction in addressing disputes or questions with the public, according to key metrics and government surveys. The IRS is also ill equipped to handle the massive staffing and technology ramp-ups required to handle this data,” Chairman Issa told the panel.
According to Issa, under Obamacare, taxpayers will have to provide within 30 days, notification to a government agency about key information in their lives: did they get a raise or take another job; did a family member move into the household; were they married or divorced; what is the nature of their employer-paid health care coverage.
“The IRS is ill equipped to deliver customer satisfaction in addressing disputes or questions with the public, according to key metrics and government surveys. The IRS is also ill equipped to handle the massive staffing and technology ramp-ups required to handle this data,” said Issa.
The IRS executives are witnessing the largest manpower expansion — at least since withholding taxes were first introduced by President Franklin D. Roosevelt during World War II — to enforce the new tax mandates and penalties included in the health care law, according to Rep. Kevin Brady (R-TX).
According to an analysis by the Joint Economic Committee and the House Ways & Means Committee staff, up to 6,500 new IRS personnel will be necessary to collect, examine and audit new tax information mandated on families and small businesses as a result of the Affordable Care Act.
“When most people think of health care reform they think of more doctors exams, not more IRS exams,” said Congressman Brady, a top House Republican on the Joint Economic Committee. “Isn’t the federal government already intruding enough into our lives? We need thousands of new doctors and nurses in America, not thousands more IRS agents.”
Included within the expanded staff is an increase in the number of criminal investigators whose job will be to “make cases” whenever possible in order to increase financial penalties, according to tax lawyer John Kubisty.
Scores of new federal mandates and about 21 different tax increases totaling $400 billion are imposed under Obamacare, many of the increases hidden from voters, according to finance experts such as Fox Business Channel’s Stuart Varney.
In addition to more complicated tax returns, families and small businesses will be forced to reveal further tax information to the IRS, provide proof of government approved health care and submit detailed sales information to comply with new excise taxes.
Unfortunately, according to the liberal-left Center for American Progress, the structure of the IRS’ use of private agencies to collect “debts” encourages abuse. Under the current program, collectors are awarded as much as 25 cents of every dollar they collect, in addition to a $100 bonus for every account they close.