Both Republicans and Democrats want to know why there wasn't there better oversight of the Treasury Department, and why Congress was repeatedly misinformed even after asking direct questions. "Meet the Press" moderator David Gregory reports.
As the House Ways and Means Committee conducted a hearing Friday on targeted scrutiny of conservative advocacy groups by the Internal Revenue Service, Republicans reacted with dismay to news that the IRS official in charge of the conservative targeting is now leading the IRS office responsible for administering the tax provisions in the Affordable Care Act.
“Absolutely outrageous,” said Sen. Roy Blunt, R- Mo. in his Twitter account.
The IRS official, Sarah Hall Ingram, served as head of the office that determined whether certain groups would be eligible for tax-exempt status between 2009 and 2012 and is now director of the IRS Affordable Care Act office.
According to an estimate last year from the Government Accountability Office, total IRS implementation costs for the health care law would reach $881 million through September of this year, with most of that money coming from a fund in the Department of Health and Human Services.
In his budget proposal for the new fiscal year, President Barack Obama requested $44 million in new funding for the IRS to implement the health care law.
While the Department of Health and Human Services is the lead agency for issuing regulations under the new law, the IRS and the Department of Labor have key roles in carrying the law.
Obama’s budget proposal said, “Tax provisions play an important role in the health care law’s implementation, and many of its provisions are scheduled to take effect in 2014. The Budget provides funding for the IRS to implement these tax provisions and to respond effectively to public inquiries about the Affordable Care Act’s new benefits and standards.”
Starting next year, the Affordable Care Act will impose penalties for noncompliance on those uninsured people who do not purchase health insurance. It will be the job to of the IRS to determine and collect those penalties.
Also certain individuals, who purchase coverage through the new insurance marketplaces, or exchanges, will be eligible for subsidies or premium assistance in the form of federal tax credits. According to the Congressional Budget Office (CBO), 19 million people will receive premium tax credits.
This story was originally published on Fri May 17, 2013 10:31 AM EDT