House Republicans are trying to draw attention to the role of the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) in implementing the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA). Members of the House Appropriations Committee today voted 28-21 to approve the fiscal year 2015 Financial Services and General Government Appropriations bill.
The federal government’s fiscal year 2015 starts Oct. 1.
The bill, which does not yet have a bill number, would provide funding for the U.S. Treasury Department, the Judiciary, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), and several other agencies. In the bill, one section would forbid the White House from using any funding from the bill to pay the salary or expenses for “director, White House Office of Health Reform, or any substantially similar position.”
In another section, drafters forbid the IRS — an arm of the Treasury Department — from using any appropriations act funds to “pay the salaries or expenses of any individual to carry out any transfer of funds to the Internal Revenue Service” under PPACA or a sister law, the Health Care and Education Reconciliation Act.
Another section forbids the IRS from using money from the act to implement the PPACA individual coverage or employer coverage mandates. In a report on the bill, the committee says it’s concerned about the role of the IRS in PPACA implementation.
The committee has accused the IRS of breaking the law by using the laws governing tax-exempt status to harass political opponents. ”At a time when the IRS has demonstrated little ability to either self-police or self-correct, the IRS has even more authority over Americans’ health coverage,” the committee says in an explanation of the provision prohibiting the IRS from using bill funding to implement PPACA.
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Still another section would require the Treasury to report monthly on a much-discussed question: The number of people who have selected PPACA private exchange plan coverage but have not yet paid any premiums.