Look Out! Obama Puts IRS to Work on Implementing Obamacare
Mike Brownfield /
While the Supreme Court deliberates whether the Affordable Care Act should stand, the Obama Administration is busy at work ensuring that the President’s health care law is implemented. The Hill reports that the White House has allocated half a billion dollars to the IRS to put Obamacare in place:
The Obama administration is quietly diverting roughly $500 million to the IRS to help implement the president’s healthcare law.
The money is only part of the IRS’s total implementation spending, and it is being provided outside the normal appropriations process. The tax agency is responsible for several key provisions of the new law, including the unpopular individual mandate.
The Hill also reports that the White House is also spending other funding allocated under Obamacare:
The law contains dozens of targeted appropriations to implement specific provisions. It also gave the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) a $1 billion implementation fund, to use as it sees fit. Republicans have called it a “slush fund.”
HHS plans to drain the entire fund by September — before the presidential election, and more than a year before most of the healthcare law takes effect. Roughly half of that money will ultimately go to the IRS.
HHS has transferred almost $200 million to the IRS over the past two years and plans to transfer more than $300 million this year, according to figures provided by a congressional aide.
How will the IRS spend the money? In addition to enforcing the individual mandate, the IRS is responsible for collecting new taxes and fees — and The Hill reports that the agency wants to hire 300 new employees next year, and it requested funding for another 537 new employees to administer Obamacare’s new subsidies for low- and middle-income individuals to purchase insurance.
This, of course, is but a glimpse of the web of bureaucracy that Obamacare will spawn. Heritage’s James Gattuso and Diane Katz detail in their 2012 Red Tape Rising report that HHS plans 133 new Obamacare-related rules (as of fall 2011). But Obamacare’s rules aren’t just spewing forth from HHS. Gattuso and Katz explain:
Rulemaking related to Obama’s health care legislation encompasses more than 150 federal agencies, bureaus, and commissions. And, it appears that the rules are changing faster than regulators can write them. Administrators have granted nearly 2,000 waivers to the new health care regulations, for instance, while the long-term-care insurance plan called for in the legislation has been dropped as completely unworkable.
So as the Supreme Court decides Obamacare’s constitutionality, the Obama Administration is moving full-speed ahead to implement the law, both with regulations and enforcement. There’s one thing that can be done to stop it: Congress can and should repeal Obamacare today.