Be Afraid: Obamacare Could Turn On Performance Of IRS

The headline of this Washington Post article should give everyone a huge case of the willies, and get worse while reading the article

For beleaguered IRS, a crucial test still awaits after troubled rollout of health-care law

The success of the Affordable Care Act could ultimately turn on the performance of an agency that has so far eluded the public spotlight amid the program’s tumultuous rollout.

Whether the new law can be enforced will be up to the Internal Revenue Service, an already beleaguered agency charged under the act with carrying out nearly four dozen new tasks in what represents the biggest increase in its responsibilities in decades. None is more crucial than enforcing the requirement that all citizens secure health insurance or pay a penalty. (snip)

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While failures in launching the federal insurance Web site and online exchanges have thrust the Department of Health and Human Services to the center of public attention, the IRS also has a huge role in carrying out the law, including helping to distribute trillions of dollars in insurance subsidies and penalizing people who do not comply.

It’s interesting that one of the true measures of success for the “Affordable” Care Act is the IRS confiscating and redistributing American citizen’s money, penalizing them, garnishing wages, and getting in people’s lives. Interestingly, the 100% elected Democrats who passed this travesty of a law made a big mistake

Besides lacking coverage information that would help the agency enforce the “individual mandate,” the IRS also is hamstrung in penalizing those who do not sign up. The lawmakers who drafted the health-care law intentionally barred the IRS from using its customary tools for collecting penalties – liens, foreclosures and criminal prosecution. The only means of collecting the fine is to essentially garnish tax refunds for people who overpaid their taxes.

Um, oops? A good oops, but an oops nonetheless. How can it be enforced if there is no money to collect?

“This carrot-and-stick approach was effective,” Jacobs said. “How far you go in assuring universal compliance is a sensitive political balancing act.”

And right there is part of the crux of the matter: why are “sticks” involved at all? If this was good legislation, people would be super thrilled to sign up for health insurance. They’d be psyched for it. If it actually provided affordable health insurance with great coverage, reducing premiums and deductibles while expanding coverage, we all might like it. Yet, the majority hate it. Hence, the IRS will wield a stick on the American taxpayer. Happy Monday.

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