Posted April 9th, 2012
About $500 million is being diverted — outside the normal appropriations process — to the Internal Revenue Service to help implement President Barack Obama’s healthcare law, The Hill reports.
The IRS is responsible for several key provisions of the new law, including the unpopular individual mandate, which calls for the IRS to administer subsidies to help low-income people pay for insurance, which are set up as tax credits. The healthcare law also includes a slew of new taxes and fees, some of which are already in effect, including fees on drug companies and insurance policies, The Hill reports.
Republican lawmakers have tried to cut off funding for the healthcare law, at least until after the Supreme Court decides on the issue, expected in June.
“While President Obama and his Senate allies continue to spend more tax dollars implementing an unpopular and unworkable law that may very well be struck down as unconstitutional in a matter of months, I’ll continue to stand with the American people who want to repeal this law and replace it with something that will actually address the cost of healthcare,” said Rep. Denny Rehberg, R-Mont., chairman of the House Appropriations subcommittee for healthcare.
The law gives the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) a $1 billion implementation fund to use at its discretion. Republicans have called it a “slush fund.” About half half will go to the IRS; almost $200 million has been transferred to the tax agency in the past two years, with more than $300 million expected this year, according to figures provided to The Hill by a congressional aide.
The Government Accountability Office has said the transfers are legal and consistent with how agencies have used general implementation funds in the past.
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