Health Care Reform updates

Health Care Reform updates

 

HHS To Transfer $500 Million To IRS To Implement ACA.

The Hill Share to FacebookShare to Twitter (4/10, Baker) reports in its “Healthwatch” blog, “The Obama administration is quietly diverting roughly $500 million to the IRS to help implement the president’s healthcare law.” While, “Republican lawmakers have tried to cut off funding to implement the healthcare law,” the Administration “has moved aggressively to get important policies in place” and to do so is making use of a Department of Health and Human Services “$1 billion implementation fund,” which “HHS plans to drain…by September” with “roughly half” going “to the IRS.” That will “leave less money for HHS,” but allows the IRS “to make the healthcare law a smaller part of its public budget” so that it has claimed that it will not use requested implementation funds to “pay for any new employees” while it intends to “hire more than 300 new employees next year” to help it implement the ACA.

        The Washington Post Share to FacebookShare to Twitter (4/10, Kliff) in “Ezra Klein’s Wonkblog” cites the Hill story above in reporting that the move, “is unlikely to score many political points,” though “policy wise, it probably makes a lot of sense,” because “Treasury is probably on equal footing with Health and Human Services in making the Affordable Care Act work.” The IRS will enforce “a tax penalty, as part of the individual mandate” and will “administer subsidies to low and middle-income Americans, to assist with the purchase of health insurance.”

        According to Fox News’ Special Report (4/9, Baier), the President is “quietly diverting a lot of” federal funds “to help enforce his healthcare law.” Fox’s Mike Emanuel went on to report that the Administration is “in the process of sending more than a half billion dollars to the IRS to implement the healthcare law even as the Supreme Court is deciding its constitutionality, and some House Republicans say that is outrageous.” Emanuel noted that the IRS is “responsible for some key aspects of the law, including the controversial individual mandate.” White House press secretary Jay Carney: “This about enabling the IRS to provide tax breaks to…individuals to assist them in acquiring health insurance, or, in the case of small businesses, providing health insurance.”

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