Obamacare: IRS and Waivers (Contiuing series by Nancy Thorner and Jane Keill

August 15, 2012

By Nancy Thorner and Jane Keill – 

Now, that we’re familiar with all the new taxes that Obamacare is going to lay at our doorsteps, we must consider how the Federal government is going to collect them and enforce the new rules.

The enforcement arm of Obamacare will be the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). What better agency to gather the money? They already have the records of all tax-paying Americans, and the Obamacare bill authorizes the IRS to use those records to monitor and pursue anyone who does not buy health insurance as required by the law.

For those Obamacare taxes that have already gone into effect, one wonders how much has already been accumulated and who is watching over it?  Or, like all our other social programs (Medicare, Medicaid, Social Security, etc.), will this pile of money be too great a temptation to our overlords in Washington, DC, and they’ll dip into it with their sticky fingers? In other words, is this money already being spent?

A large number of Health and Human Services (HHS) and IRS employees are currently being hired to administer and enforce the new law while new regulations are being drawn up.

According to Rep. Denny Rehberg (R-MT), officials have already drafted 13,000 pages of these regulations and, “they’re not done yet.” IRS spokesperson Dean Patterson said that the 2012 budget only calls for about 1,200 employees for the IRS to implement Obamacare, but we do not know how many more IRS agents will be required to administer the program in the future. http://www.mtdemocrat.com/news/obamacare-enforcement-leads-to-irs-hires-less-money-for-medicare-patients/>

The American people will now be forced to carry health insurance, either through their own employers or through government exchanges. They will have to report this to the IRS and if they don’t, the IRS will have the right to ‘determine’ what health coverage they do have. Tracking the health care coverage for 300,000,000 Americans will be one of the IRS’ new responsibilities.

Here are some more of the powers we anticipate the IRS will have under the new Obamacare rules. These can, and will, no doubt be altered as time passes, but the law now allows:

1. IRS agents would be tasked with determining whether Americans had obtained the insurance coverage required under the individual mandate and whether that coverage is ‘acceptable’.

2. Individuals could be fined $2,250 or 2 percent of income, whichever is greater, if you are unable to prove you have “minimum essential coverage”.

3. The IRS would be empowered to confiscate tax refunds if necessary.

4. Audits probably would increase as a result of the legislation’s new requirements.

5. The budget for IRS operations will balloon by $10 billion in the next decade in order to administer the new program.

6. Nearly half of the new individual mandate taxes will be paid “by Americans earning less than 300 percent of poverty, $66,150 for a family of four”.

At this time, there are two groups who are exempt from IRS measures: illegal immigrants who aren’t supposed to be covered by the government exchanges and people who are in prison.  <http://www.newsmax.com/InsideCover/Obamacare…IRS/…/18/id/353209>
 
The IRS can also be allowed to expand staff to include criminal investigators who may be ‘contracted’ businesses outside the IRS itself. Imagine ‘health collectors’ calling you by phone or knocking on your door to find out if you have complied with the medical coverage required by Obamacare.

It’s also possible that businesses will have to provide proof of government coverage by providing private business records and revealing medical information about their employees. <http://www.aim.org/guest-column/irs-geared-up-for-the-obamacare>

And let’s not forget about Obamacare waivers that the Department of Health and Human Services, headed by Kathleen Sebelius, have issued.

Roughly 1,200 companies have received waivers for parts of Obamacare. Companies that have been issued waivers can keep their annual benefit caps in place until 2014, despite the law’s requirement to gradually raise their benefit limits.

According to the HHS, the waivers cover slightly less than 4 million people, or about 3 percent of the population.

Friday, January 6, 2012, was the last time HHS was required to update the waiver totals every month. Faced with monthly cycles of criticism, HHS announced last summer that it would stop accepting applications for one-year waivers and would simply grant or deny waivers all the way through the end of 2013. http://townhall.com/tipsheet/katiepavlich/2012/01/06/final_obamacare_waiver_count_1231 

What about members of Congress? Will they have to live under the same plan that most citizens will be forced to live under?  

Initially, in an overview of the ObamaCare health care bill (HR 3200), members of Congress were exempt from being forced into the Obamacare plan.  http://www.americanconservativedaily.com/2009/07/here-is-a-copy-of-the-obamacare-health-plan-you-better-read-it-because-you-will-be-forced-to-live-with-it/

The Affordable Care Act passed by Congress and signed into law by the President on March 23, 2012, www.healthcare.ogv/law/full/index.html according to an article by Rick Ungar, Congress Exempted From Obamacare?, relates how federal employees will have to live under Obamacare.  http://www.forbes.com/sites/rickungar/2011/12/08/congress-exempted-from-obamacare/2/

Even so, will Congressmen ever feel the full impact of Obamacare? Aren’t they always served first? Surely rationing will not apply to the many who have reached senior citizen status and are well over the age of 70. If certain procedures are considered too costly to provide given the age and the lifetime expectancy of senior citizens, will that also apply to our congressional representatives? Actually don’t all members of Congress receive free health care for life just for having served in congress?

President Obama is already ignoring the laws, the Constitution and ethical rules. How long do you think it will take before he begins to use the IRS for other purposes? How much money do you think will be thrown at the IRS and outside collectors for which there will be no accounting?

And do you really believe Congressmen will tolerate standing in line to receive their immediate healthcare needs or being told that they are being put out to pasture given that the duration of their expected live span does not warrant receiving a costly procedure? We don’t think so.

If you do, you are ignorant of the fact that Obamacare is a big step toward Obama’s goal of Socialism for this nation. He wants all people to reap the same benefits in life – despising the rich — but, like all countries where Socialism reigns, the peons suffer while the elite live high off the hog!

Other articles in Obamacare series by Nancy Thorner and Jane Keill:
 
Obamacare:  In the Beginning – Nancy Thorner and Jane Keill, Tuesday, July 17, 2212  2012 http://illinoisreview.typepad.com/illinoisreview/2012/07/obamacare-in-the-beginning.html

Obamacare:  Death Panels  –  Nancy Thorner and Jane Keill, Friday, July 20, 2012
http://illinoisreview.typepad.com/illinoisreview/2012/07/obamacare-1-death-panels.html>

Obamacare:  You can keep your doctor – Nancy Thorner and Jane Keill, Tuesday, July 24http://illinoisreview.typepad.com/illinoisreview/2012/07/obamacare-you-can-keep-your-doctor.html

Obamacare:  The Popular Benefits –  Nancy Thorner and Jane Keill, Friday, July 27, 2012
http://illinoisreview.typepad.com/illinoisreview/2012/07/obamacare-the-popular-benefits.html>

Obamacare:  Insurance Plans and Government Exchanges – Nancy Thorner and Jane Keill, Thursday, August 1, 2012
http://illinoisreview.typepad.com/illinoisreview/2012/08/obamacare-insurance-plans-and-government-exchanges.html

Obamacare:  Medicare  – Nancy Thorner and Jane Keill, Friday, August 3, 2012
http://illinoisreview.typepad.com/illinoisreview/2012/08/obamacare-medicare.html#more

Obamacare:  Medicaid  – Nancy Thorner and Jane Keill  Tuesday, August 7, 2012
http://illinoisreview.typepad.com/illinoisreview/2012/08/obamacare-medicaid.html>

Obamacare:  20 New Taxes   – Nancy Thorner and Jane Keill, Friday, August 10, 2012
http://illinoisreview.typepad.com/illinoisreview/2012/08/obamacare-20-new-taxes.html>

 

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