H.R. 2009: Keep the IRS Off Your Health Care Act of 2013

H.R. 2009

Keep the IRS Off Your Health Care Act of 2013

Sponsor
Rep. Tom Price

Date
August 2, 2013 (113th Congress, 1st Session)

Staff Contact
Kimberly Betz

Floor Situation

On Friday, August 2, 2013, the House will consider H.R. 2009, Keep the IRS Off Your Health Care Act of 2013, under a rule.  H.R. 2009 was introduced by Representative Tom Price (R-GA) on May 16, 2013 and has 138 cosponsors.

Bill Summary

H.R. 2009 prohibits the Secretary of the Treasury, or any delegate of the Secretary, from implementing or enforcing any provisions of or amendments made by Public Law 111-148 or 111-152.

Background

On March 23, 2010, the Democratic House and Senate passed, and the President signed into law, the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.  The legislation passed by a vote of 219-212 (see Roll Call   #165).  Later on March 25, 2010, the Democratic House and Senate passed, and the President signed into law, H.R. 4872, the Health Care and Education Reconciliation Act of 2010, which passed by a vote of 220-207 (see Roll Call  #194).[1] 

According to the House Ways and Means Committee, “the President’s health care law resulted in the largest expansion of IRS authority in history.  According to the GAO the “IRS has responsibilities in the implementation of 47 PPACA provisions with effective dates through 2018.”  Many of these provisions are the administration of new tax increases imposed by the law. For example, the IRS collects and administers compliance with the $29 billion medical device tax; the $101 billion health insurance tax; and the restrictions on the use of Health Savings Accounts (HSAs) and Flexible Spending Accounts (FSAs) to purchase over-the counter medicines. These massive tax increases total over $1 trillion, and require significant resources to write regulations, administer compliance and collect the tax.

While the IRS has experience collecting taxes, it will have a new role in implementing three cornerstones of ObamaCare: the employer mandate, the individual mandate and the tax credits to purchase insurance in the Exchanges.  During his confirmation proceedings, then -Treasury Secretary nominee, Jack Lew, responded in questions for the record that the IRS had approximately 700 full-time equivalent staff [already] working on “ACA implementation.”[2]   According to the IRS’s own figures, over 80 percent of the funding and the additional 2,000 IRS agents needed for ObamaCare are devoted entirely to implementing these three provisions. In addition to the new resources and agents, the IRS is granted significant new powers to enforce these provisions.” 

On May 10, 2013, the Internal Revenue Service admitted that it singled out advocacy groups seeking tax-exempt status based on ideology -- raising additional concern about the Agency’s ability to fairly implement and enforce the health care law.  Since the IRS’s admission, the House has conducted extensive oversight specifically examining the patterns and practices of the IRS and the relationship to the implementation of Obamacare.



[1] The Health Care and Education Reconciliation Act of 2010 amended certain provisions of PPACA through the reconciliation process. 

Cost

No CBO/JCT score is available at this time. In a letter dated July 30, 2013, to House Committee Chairman Camp, CBO indicated that they haven’t completed a cost estimate but they expect “the legislation would significantly reduce both direct spending and revenues over the 2014-2023 period.”