California Healthline Daily Edition

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations

Lawmakers Ask IRS To Explain Plans for Using Reform Law Funding

On Wednesday, two House Republicans sent a letter to the Internal Revenue Service asking the agency to explain how it is using the $500 million it is set to receive for the implementation of the federal health reform law, The Hill's "Healthwatch" reports (Baker, "Healthwatch," The Hill, 4/11).

The Obama administration over the past two years "quietly" has provided IRS with about $200 million, and plans to provide more than $300 million this year, for the implementation of the federal health reform law, according to data provided by a congressional aide.

Under the overhaul, IRS is responsible for overseeing a series of tax changes and new fees on drugmakers and health insurance policies. IRS also will be charged with monitoring the implementation of the law's individual mandate and offering subsidies to help low-income individuals purchase coverage (Baker, "Healthwatch," The Hill, 4/9).

House Ways and Means Committee Chair Dave Camp (R-Mich.) and Oversight subcommittee Chair Charles Boustany (R-La.) in the letter set a deadline of April 27 for IRS to explain how the agency plans to use the funding and how many employees are working on implementing the overhaul (Winfield Cunningham, Washington Times, 4/11). The letter also asks for details on which provisions of the law those staffers are working ("Healthwatch," The Hill, 4/11).

Camp said, "The American people deserve to know how and why this one-half billion in taxpayer dollars are being spent, and how many additional IRS agents, auditors and other workers are being hired to enforce all the hundreds of billions of dollars in new taxes and penalties in the Democrats' health care law" (Washington Times, 4/11).

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