Category Archives: the IRS

The IRS and the ACA – OMG


 
 

What role will the IRS play in the Affordable Care Act? Apparently the IRS is expected to play a very big role in implementing and governing the Affordable Care Act and apparently the reason so much of this will be done by the IRS is that the Supreme Court decision about Health Care made it so. (Health and Human Services will play a role and so will the Labor Department.)

1.  47 tax provisions will go into effect (including small business health care credit and the medical device tax.

2.  The IRS will determine whether people qualify for a health insurance premium tax credit as part of the minimum coverage requirement.

3.  Americans will have to report their insurance status on their taxes each year – the agency will review that and collect a $95 penalty on those not carrying insurance.

4.  The IRS will set these rules and collect the penalties when businesses aren’t in compliance.

This information is from an article published in the NationalJournal.com

Here’s another interesting part of what they had to say:

Republicans rushed to connect Obama’s health care law to the IRS scandal, especially after the news that Ingram would oversee the health law’s implementation at the IRS. “The recent deplorable actions at the IRS have shattered our trust that they can responsibly handle the people’s sensitive medical information,” said Rep. Phil Gingrey of Georgia. Rep. Michele Bachmann of Minnesota asked: “Does this means that some government plutocrat can look at my personal healthcare data? Could I be denied healthcare? Could it be delayed?” she asked. The law does not require the IRS to collect or view information about individuals’ health.”

I have always thought that we should go with a single payer system similar to England or Canada, but Obama’s plan does manage to cover almost everyone without completely scraping America’s dedication to capitalism. His plan not only allows millions of health care and insurance workers to keep their jobs, it adds jobs, especially in the ranks of the IRS (apparently about 2000 jobs). This gives it the advantage of being both a health care program and a jobs program. Criticisms that call the plan out for its complexity may prove to have some validity, but since we are almost geared up to implement the Affordable Care Act it seems best to go with it and see how it works. Of course, with so many Republican governors determined to sabotage the plan we may not get a true picture of whether the plan would work or not.

I do not like having health care tied to employment and I really don’t like having health care participation tied to the IRS, but single-payer insurance looks highly unlikely to happen since every time someone suggests it others start calling them “socialists”. I wish we could just stop being so contentious about this, since it is happening anyways, and try it on for size to see if it works. Stop the obstructionism in Congress. Elect Democrats in 2014.

This is the view from the cheap seats.

 

 

IRS, No IRS, the ACA and the flat tax – Sexy

 
 
While watching Bill O’Reilly on Tuesday evening, June 5, 2013, my ears were sort of quiescent as they were being assaulted with more of the usual Republican bile about the 157 times that Mr. Shulman of the IRS visited the White House during the past four years, and the sad tales of small-time Tea Party 501(C)(4) filers who got audited, and Bill O’Reilly opining that all this definitely gives powerful credence to Obama’s involvement in profiling and targeting right wing political groups. The problem is that the clues are not adding up the way the GOP would like. It turns out that Mr. Shulman of the IRS was cleared to attend meetings at the White House 157 times, but he only appeared at the White House 11 times over the past four years. Apparently people have to sign in when they actually enter the White House and its precincts. As to the tears of Tea Partiers we can all relate. Not one of us would enjoy being audited by the IRS, especially with the intensity of perusal these folks were subjected to. But most of us would not file a 501 (C)(4) either. Because of the nature of this tax form and tax classification and because of the huge number of these organizations that have filed since Obama took office, it makes perfect sense that the IRS would do an in-depth investigation of these groups. So, although this may look like something a person trying to win an election might do, no connection to the President has been found so far. As for Bill O’Reilly’s opinion and the footage he aired of Senator Issa convicting Obama because of what his gut tells him, neither of these things represents any empirical data nor even a concrete lead.

However, all of a sudden my ears perked up because I heard something new, something I hadn’t thought of. I heard a Senator say that given the chaos within the IRS it would be impossible for the IRS to perform the new duties connected to the Affordable Care Act. This brought me to a real ah-ha moment because I know how hard the Republicans have worked to get rid of Obama’s Health Care plan. I am astounded that I didn’t see this coming. If the GOP cannot connect the dots between the IRS and the oval office, they can still win by driving a huge IRS wedge in front of the ACA, hopefully postponing the ability of the IRS to add the people it needs to add in order to deal with the additional load that Health Care documentation will require. And so, for logistical reasons, the administration might have to postpone implementation of the Affordable Care Act and, if the GOP can stop this plan which they call Obama Care, then the Party will not need to vote for repeal for the 38thtime, and they will have succeeded in derailing Obama’s biggest accomplishment. They just keep pulling these rotten apples out of their pockets and displaying them as if they were fresh fruit. I’m still a bit astounded by this tactic which I did not see coming. If only all this Machiavellian strategy was at work to create jobs and invent clean energy solutions and better schools, then America would be winning instead of watching a bunch of old men turn Washington into a mud wrestling pit. Elect Democrats in 2014. It is our only hope.

Following fast on the heels of Tuesday night’s exercise in creative governance we see a movement to do away with the IRS completely! Yikes! First of all think about the soaring unemployment. A lot of people work for the IRS or in IRS related businesses. Second of all, we would still pay taxes, even in a same-flat-tax-for-all scenario. Who would we pay our taxes to? Who would make sure we paid our taxes correctly? Who would go after people who did not pay their taxes? If there were no IRS, taxes might seem optional. Despite these rather hefty disadvantages, this plan would have one great advantage, at least if you are a Republican, it would finally, once and for all, end Obama Care, aka the Affordable Care Act. Getting the drop on Obama obviously trumps continued employment for Americans. If we are going to have smaller government all these people need to find jobs elsewhere anyway, so let’s just dump them all into the job market at once and see if they sink or swim. It will be a real test if we also take away all the “taker” programs and see if these ex-IRS people can become “makers”. If you dread this extreme social experiment, then elect Democrats in 2014. It is our only hope.