• The Heritage Network
    • Resize:
    • A
    • A
    • A
  • Donate
  • Look Out! Obama Puts IRS to Work on Implementing Obamacare

    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.

    Posted in Featured, Obamacare [slideshow_deploy]

    11 Responses to Look Out! Obama Puts IRS to Work on Implementing Obamacare

    1. Not Likely says:

      You mean the Heritage that used to support an individual mandate? Saints alive!

    2. Mike says:

      From http://www.politicodiary.com

      Yeah, I know, the 3 days of arguments will lead you to say that Obamacare is in trouble.

      But is it?

      Over the entire history of the United States, only very RARELY has the supreme court EVER shut down a signature presidential achievement.

      We have to remember what the purpose of the supreme court is; that is, to review the CONSTITUTIONALITY of the law, and not legislate.

      We also have to remember that the justices on the Supreme Court are highly intelligent individuals, and surely they are aware of the repercussions of their actions of shutting down a signature legislative act by a president.

      Furthermore, we remember that when congressional acts have indeed been shut down, history tells us that the executie branch has the ability to increase the number of justices, to appoint justices on party lines, and to readmit an act that is stricken down.

      The justices KNOW this.

      We ALSO know that on the way to the Supreme Court, the Affordable Care Act has received very similar critisms from judges who were conservative and still upheld the act as constitutional.

      Furthermore, before conservatives go crazy over Obama questioning the Supreme Court, let us also remember that President Reagan has criticised Judicial Activism as well, and the criticism of the Supreme Court is historically a REPUBLICAN idea (as was the health care mandate, ironically).

      Let's look at the actual constitutionality of the act.
      Chief Justice Roberts himself is known (and I'm paraphrasing) to have the philosophy that anything that "considerably" affects interstate commerce is something that the government CAN regulate.

      All judges can reasonably conclude that LACK of health care insurance CONSIDERABLY affects the Health Care Market.

      While 4 judges are pretty much in the bag on supporting the Act, Kennedy and Roberts are who we look at to swing the decision to UPHOLDING Obamacare.

      Surely Justice Kennedy understands the argument of the government:

      On questioning the content of the argument, "The government's argument [is] this — and maybe I won't state it accurately. It is true that the noninsured young adult is, in fact, an actuarial reality insofar as our allocation of health services, insofar as the way health insurance companies figure risks. That person who is sitting at home in his or her living room doing nothing is an actuarial reality that can and must be measured for health service purposes."

      And he knows that individuals without insurance ARE in the market:
      "But they are in the market in the sense that they are creating a risk that the market must account for."

      AND surely he understands the jurisdiction of the government:
      "And the government tells us that's because the insurance market is unique. And in the next case, it'll say the next market is unique. But I think it is true that if most questions in life are matters of degree, in the insurance and health care world, both markets — stipulate two markets — the young person who is uninsured is uniquely proximately very close to affecting the rates of insurance and the costs of providing medical care in a way that is not true in other industries.
      That's my concern in the case."

      And even Justice Roberts understands the argument:
      On responding to WHAT the government is regulating,
      "I think you're just repeating the idea that this is the regulation of the method of payment. And I understand that argument. And it may be a good one."

      And Roberts understands that this is DIFFERENT from any other market:
      "Everybody is in this market, so that makes it very different than the market for cars or the other hypotheticals that you came up with, and all they're regulating is how you pay for it."

      And Roberts understands the power of the government:
      "Well, surely regulation includes the power to promote. Since the New Deal we've said that regulation in — there is a market in agricultural products; Congress has the power to subsidize, to limit production, all sorts of things."

      And Roberts further understands the differentiation of this health care market.
      "No, no, that's not — I don't think that's fair, because not everybody is going to enter the mortgage market. The government's position is that almost everybody is going to enter the health care market."

      Clearly we see that the two justices that are the only two that we think have the ability to side with the democrats understand and perhaps even lean towards the constitutionality of the act.

      If the Act is struck down, the Supreme Court KNOWS their reputation will be questioned (after Bush v. Gore and Citizens United).

      Put all this together, and the idea that SCOTUS has very RARELY ever struck down a major legislative signature piece of legislation, and we come to a conclusion.

      Obamacare is the future of health care in this country, and rightfully so.

      -Mike

    3. Bobbie says:

      Please stop this! It's criminal!!! He's doing everything to be impeached because he, louie, jeremiah, vannie, al and all the hate mongers and thousands of fellow minions of the world who have been easily and wrongfully influenced, are ready for the uprise! When georgie and micheal says the "word" in code (they think) of course.

    4. keithmullinss says:

      By learning from "Penny Health" When it comes to medical insurance, never use the words "experimental" or "investigational" or tell them that you want them to pay for a clinical trial.

    5. Todd says:

      More of our money that Obama is just flushing down the drain.

    6. Bobbie says:

      Americans don't need the control of government forces help us get anywhere! Doling our money here, there and everywhere to gain your control??? Get out of our lives and quit stealing our money! We don't want your help, we want you out of our way!!!!

    7. Ken Marx says:

      What a tangled web will ensue if the Supreme Court strikes down the entire law (which they must). So many rules, regulations and people will be in place. To throw them out will be a mess. What hath the Democrats wrought?

      • Roger S. says:

        Exactly what they wished to wreak: Chaos!
        Strategy: Cloward Piven, the Frankfurt School — via BO's alma mater, Columbia!
        Now you know why he went there from Occidental — and why his transcript and
        thesis were sealed and remain hidden! Any guess how and what he did at Harvard Law ?!
        Some day we'll know the truth, and my guess is, it will not be pretty! All the same,
        hasten that day!

    8. Hornman 2 says:

      NO Federal program has ever been successful; they are ALL a miserable failure. The ONLY reason that the U.S. is the most successful Country in the World; is mostly unregulated Capitolism. Without a free and open market society we would be just like the rest of the World; either totally or semi-socialist, or a Third World worthless Country. Every time I hear the words fundamential fairness; I cringe. The ONLY thing that a free and open society DOES, and SHOULD, guaranty; is UNLIMITED OPPORTUNITY.

    Comments are subject to approval and moderation. We remind everyone that The Heritage Foundation promotes a civil society where ideas and debate flourish. Please be respectful of each other and the subjects of any criticism. While we may not always agree on policy, we should all agree that being appropriately informed is everyone's intention visiting this site. Profanity, lewdness, personal attacks, and other forms of incivility will not be tolerated. Please keep your thoughts brief and avoid ALL CAPS. While we respect your first amendment rights, we are obligated to our readers to maintain these standards. Thanks for joining the conversation.

    Big Government Is NOT the Answer

    Your tax dollars are being spent on programs that we really don't need.

    I Agree I Disagree ×

    Get Heritage In Your Inbox — FREE!

    Heritage Foundation e-mails keep you updated on the ongoing policy battles in Washington and around the country.

    ×