Politics

IRS To Target Citizens Who Aren’t Buying ObamaCare Insurance

irsAs many as 20 million Americans soon will be getting a letter from the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) “suggesting” they sign up for ObamaCare insurance.

Getting a letter from the IRS can be a threatening and nerve-racking experience; it seldom is seen as a suggestion and more of a threat. But at President Obama’s direction, the IRS is “reaching out” to people who paid the tax penalty for not buying mandatory health insurance or who claimed an exemption in hopes of “attracting” more people to sign up for ObamaCare insurance. The government is particularly interested in compliance from healthy young people.

Congress is not happy. “We strongly object to any action by the Administration to improperly use sensitive taxpayer information to identify and harass individuals who have rejected the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) by choosing to pay a tax rather than be forced into a health care plan they don’t need and don’t want,” House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy, Majority Whip Steve Scalise, and Ways & Means Chairman Kevin Brady said in a letter today to IRS Commissioner John Koskinen.

They warned the IRS about the use of “protected taxpayer information” and sent Koskinen a list of sharp questions demanding more details about how the IRS plans to “reach out directly to individuals” and how the Department of Health and Human Services will be involved in encouraging “their compliance with the individual mandate.”

They refer to an HHS fact sheet that says, “[F]or the first time this fall, we will conduct outreach to individuals and families who paid the fee for being uninsured, or claimed an exemption from that fee, for 2015.”

“The ACA has caused great disruption in the individual health insurance market,” the House leaders said in their letter. “We do not believe it to be an appropriate tax administration activity, or a good use of scarce taxpayer resources, to use protected return data to direct taxpayers on their personal coverage decisions.” IRS involvement is particularly worrisome given its targeting of individuals and groups unfavorable to the Obama administration’s policy agenda.

Anyone who has received any letter from the IRS knows what a knee-knocking experience it is. Tax policy expert Chris Condeluci sent a note to clients this summer about administration’s plans, saying, “As Ronald Reagan so famously said, ‘The nine most terrifying words in the English language are: I’m from the government and I’m here to help.’ It just strikes me that the recipients of the HHS letter will react negatively to hearing from the government. Just knowing that the HHS knows that the recipient paid the penalty tax in 2014 may be enough to freak them out.”

About 45% of people who paid a penalty or claimed an exemption for 2014 were under the age of 35, compared to just 30% of all taxpayers that year. Health insurers have made it very clear to the White House that they need more healthy young people to enroll in the exchanges to stabilize the pools, which are too old and sick. People who paid the penalty are a ripe target TGT -1.05%.

Condeluci says nearly 8 million people paid the individual mandate tax penalty in 2014. In addition, more than 12 million people claimed an “exemption” from the penalty tax. “That is a lot of people that HHS will be contacting – 20.3 million people.”

Is it legal for the IRS to do this? The leaders warn the IRS that “As you are aware, the confidentiality of tax returns and return information is protected by law.” The “sole permitted use of this confidential data” is to determine whether people are eligible for ACA subsidies.

Will getting a dreaded letter from the IRS work with millennials? Or will it further anger them about the reach of “big brother” into their lives and decisions?

One final thing: Chief Justice Roberts, are you listening? Perhaps you can now see why so many of us were worried about the individual mandate and the power that it would give government to exert its will over what should be our personal choices and decisions.

from - Galen Institute - by Grace-Marie Turner

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D.T.
5 years ago

If you like your doctor, you can keep your doctor. This huge lie to the American people keeps getting worse and worse. Make America great again Donald!

Barbara Fenner
5 years ago

We are rapidly moving towards total federal government control of our lives. It is frightening to watch. This is, or should I say was, a country where the people were free to make their own choices. How can we work to get the federal government off our backs?

William Wood
5 years ago

As much as I disagree with Obamacare, I feel that the millennials who chose to pay the fee and not purchase the insurance should be forced, by the IRS to purchase this insurance for themselves and their families. Every hard working American has either lost their personal physician, or their self paid or workplace group insurance premiums have drastically skyrocketed because of this law. Not one drug, medical device, procedure or medical specialty has not experienced cost increases. If not for the millennials and large insurance companies, this law never would have been passed.

Now the law is here and we must deal with it, until it is repealed (if ever). Those of us who had insurance before the law have no choice but to pay higher premiums to keep our insurance in force, meaning a lower standard of living for our families. The healthy millennials don’t want to pay the steep premiums since they’re healthy and most figure they don’t need insurance anyway. The insurance companies are dropping out of the exchanges like flies because not enough people have enrolled and they’re bleeding cash. These companies campaigned for Obamacare because they anticipated huge profit margins from government mandated purchases, once it became the law. They should be forced to stay in the exchanges, since they were willingly complicit in the passage of the law. The companies will eventually go bankrupt because of their choices, and new companies will be formed that provide a better service at a less expensive cost.

Elizabeth Bennet
5 years ago
Reply to  William Wood

Millennials are not breaking the law. The choices are clear – purchase Obamacare or opt out and pay a penalty. Many cannot afford the excessively high premiums and paying the penalty is the best they can do. I feel sure they would rather have insurance if they could afford it. It is not the job of the Internal Revenue Service to police the people. It, also, is not the job of the President to police the people – or to sell insurance. Almost everyone in America has been financially harmed by Obamacare – not to mention the good insurance companies that have gone under because of it. I believe Americans should resist compliance in any way we can. The federal government must get out of our private lives.

William Wood
5 years ago

I totally agree with what you’re saying on both counts. The Internal Revenue Service has no business being used by the feds as an enforcement tool to collect insurance premiums/fines, but thats exactly what’s happening. This whole scam is nothing more than legalized extortion concocted by insurance companies (some, but not all) and politicians who conveniently exempted themselves from compliance. Personally I’d like to see the IRS and Obamacare abolished entirely, but I think we both know that’s not going to happen. I understand the millennials aren’t breaking any laws, but they are in large part responsible for this laws passage. Now they are taking the least costly option, which most sensible people would do. Many average working Americans that didn’t want Obamacare are now forced to pay increasingly higher premiums for the same amount of insurance (or less). My group premiums have quadrupled in the last two years. Certain drugs are no longer covered and it’s all but impossible to see my own doctor. The biggest issue I have with the whole mess is that everyone who wanted this bill, either never participated in it from the beginning or they’re bailing out in droves. The rest of us are stuck dealing with the aftermath whether we want to or not.

eaa
5 years ago
Reply to  William Wood

The purpose of obamacare was to eventually force insurance companies out of business and then people would clamor for single payer or total government control of medical care. It was not designed to work.

Brian
5 years ago
Reply to  William Wood

I voted down on this comment because of the last part where you said new companies will be formed with better coverage n less cost. ARE YOU NUTS??? WHAT WILL HAPPEN IS COVERAGES ,ESPECIALLY EXPENSIVE ONES THAT GIVE US A NEW HIP OR SAVE OUR OLD LIVES WILL BE DENIED AND COSTS WILL DROP SO THAT YOUNGER, NO NEED FOR SERVICES YOUNG PEOPLE, WILL SIGN UP. PROFIT COMES FROM MORE MONEY COMING IN THAN GO IN OUT!! US OLDER ONES N POORER ONES ARE RAISING COSTS BECAUSE WE HAVE MORE EXOENSIVE THINGS WRONG N LOW ENOUGH DEDUCTABLES THAT WE CAN AFFORD TO SAY YES TO THE FIX. Both those things will change. The deductibles for hip replavements, etc., will be so high we can’t get them or life saving heart operations just won’t be O.Ked. We will be on waiting lists till we die!

Glennis Hogan
5 years ago

Again stupid is as stupid does.

eagle-eye
5 years ago
Reply to  Glennis Hogan

Don’t insult Forrest Gump like that…

Irv C
5 years ago

Best pray Trump wins! What’s next? Arrest you if your not a Muslim? Reminds me of a dictatorship.

GaryT
5 years ago

This is just a hint of more things to come, especially if Clinton is elected president! This is Soviet style government in the making!

BobA
5 years ago

BTW, I hope they do this before election day. That should be about 20 million more votes for Trump.

BobA
5 years ago

I feel it’s about time he and Nancy got the message! We read it and we hate it.

Lloyd Barnett
5 years ago

Just another reason the IRS should be abolished folks. We can change things, but only with our voices and our votes!

Irv C
5 years ago
Reply to  Lloyd Barnett

It didn’t do any good when this BS regime implemented Obamacare. It will get worse for Americans. Our voices are ignored by Washington.

Aardvark
5 years ago

The IRS is going to “reach out” to tax payers. That term came from the same dictionary as the “Affordable Care Act”.

Dudley
5 years ago

This government under Obama and Democommunists is going to hell and how many citizens “DONT KNOW DONT GIVE A CRAP JUST AS LONG AS THE DEMOCOMMUNISTS GET ELECTED” DEMOCOMMUNISTS is the new name for the democratic party. I guess if you are a democrat you and everyone else. are part of the new communist party. Hold on,Obama is not through with us yet. Big things are about to happen. AMERICA, What was a great nation has kiss the posterior maximus of everyone else. Guns,who needs guns.????

eaa
5 years ago
Reply to  Dudley

DemocRAT is easier to spell and gets the point across.

Bert Rybaczuk
5 years ago

Various committees of Congressmen hold hearings, issue subpoenas, warnings and it ends right there. The opposing team thumbs their noses at them. or plainly does not show up, and when they do show up they lie. There is no follow-up. Instead of criminal pursuit we get to witness powerless United States of America Congress.

Brian
5 years ago
Reply to  Bert Rybaczuk

That’s why vote for Trump n some others in the Senate n house. Then they issue subpoenas n the new Trump appointed head of the IRS investigates n the bew Trump appointed attorney general prosecutes them n they go to jail. Also, others get impeached. Hillary gets tried n convicted!! And jailed n fined And has to pay millions to families where she let people die to cover up the obumma/killary illegal gun running to terrorists.

ben gremminger
5 years ago

aarp is one of many orgs. that backed this failed , peace of junk ,as the person who designed this a,h,care ,said the voters are stupid, not once but twice , if you voted for this crap ,who is in the white house ,and you fall in the sight of the collector of taxes ,get ready to pay interest, & fines to the i.r.s. oh lets not forget the –all-of the democrats ,who is the only ones who voted for a.h.care , so when vote in nov. if you have not learn from the past,— blame yourselves j. Gruber, was –r–I–g–h–t–

Chuck
5 years ago
Reply to  ben gremminger

Sadly the tax bills won’t be sent until after the election…and for what reason do you suppose?? Can’t possibly get them out this month or October, right? Not enough manpower, need to wait for next year’s budget appropriation, blah, blah…

Joe McHugh
5 years ago
Reply to  ben gremminger

ben gremminger, The I.R.S. cannot take any other action to collect the fine imposed for not enrolling in the A.C.A. program. No extra fines, no penalties, and most importantly, none of the normal draconian methods to collect on this outrageous abuse by the Federal Government against the people. This loop-hole is because the Democrats tried to be cute and call the punishment a fine and not a tax. Yup, the law still reads “fine”, not “tax”, despite Chief Justice Roberts decision.

The I.R.S. can audit one’s tax return, but the overwhelming majority of the taxpayers do not try to make money by cheating the tax man. They know that the I.R.S. is not very lenient in this respect.

So younger American taxpayers, feel free to tell the I.R.S. to stick the obama care program in their collective ears. There is nothing, beyond seizing your tax refund, that it can do to force you to enroll in the Obama Care fiasco.

al buchman
5 years ago

There is quite a loophole in the law for people whose healthcare cost is more than a certain percentage of their income. This includes people earning up to $40,000.
Before quaking in your shoes and dashing around in fear of the IRS check out your rights with a friend who knows enough about accounting and taxes.
Obama left nearly 100,000,000 million people too poor for health insurance, but with a shade too much income to qualify for Medicaid.
How? By calling Obamacare supplements income. That is how his phony little ploy of insisting people’s incomes rose came about. Once a family accepts the supplementary health care money they no longer qualify for welfare programs.
What a jerk..

H. MacFadden
5 years ago

We NEED: A president who knows Congress makes or changes laws; Members of Congress with guts enough to legislate with principles not emotion and politics; a collective press with the guts to INFORM the public rather than influencing public opinion politically; and an electorate smart enough to chose the leaders we NEED rather than those who want to ‘give’ us ‘benefits’ Wake up, America, before we destroy the best thing ever in the history of governments

Jeffrey Jaded
5 years ago

The Congress is impotent, either by choice or otherwise. How many times has the leadership of this and that government agency appeared in hearings only to pretty much snub their nose at Congress? Many…way too many.

Michael
5 years ago

Why not impeach ’em all? It’s high time for cessation of the “church of taxes.”

Irv C
5 years ago
Reply to  Michael

How do we impeach the Obama mafia? They imprison, Hillary murders her enemies. Obam reminds me of Stalin, Mao, or even Hitler.

Joe McHugh
5 years ago

Let the games begin! This is going to be fun. I encourage all American citizens under the age of 40 to send a reply to any “official” notice from the I.R.S., stating something like the following. “Thank you for bringing this issue to my attention. Please be advised that I declined to participate in the Obama Care offer because it was not financially prudent to do so. That’s why I adjusted my income withholding to result in a very slight over withholding total amount. Please feel free to seize my $11.54 tax refund due for the tax year 2015. I’ll miss it less that the $30,000.00 that the health Insurance company required for my family of four. By the way, I have all of my tax filing documentation for the last seven years available for verification. Have a nice day.”

The odds are that a young middle class family can well afford the medical bills that it will normally encounter.
You know, like families did in the 1950’s.

Charles Robertson
5 years ago

You really should read then documents from the IRS and how to handle them. A person in Kansas told me this was a place to get a good insurance policy to go along with my Medicare. It appears to be more of a “conservative” rumor, half truth mill>

Jay Noone
5 years ago

Do you realise that some US expats are also required to pay this ‘ObamaCare’ tax surcharge as well? For some reason, no exemption is made by Congress for the 9 million US expats, many of whom live in high tax countries with healthcare for all. Indeed, citizenship-based taxation makes little sense, and besides Eritrea, the US is the only country in the world to enforce this.

Chuck
5 years ago
Reply to  Jay Noone

Ex-Pats should pay their “fair share” too – isn’t that what the libtardas are all about, “fairness”?? How many of those Ex-Pats voted for Obama, voted twice even – should make them proud, very proud.

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