Republicans in Congress believe that implementing the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act will cost far more than President Barack Obama’s administration has claimed, and one influential Congressman has set his sights on the Internal Revenue Service to prove it.
Rep. Charles Boustany Jr. (R-La.), chairman of the House Ways and Means Subcommittee on Oversight, last week wrote IRS Acting Commissioner Stephen Miller fishing for an answer. In addition to be a congressman, Boustany is also a physician.
By April 3 Rep. Boustany wants to know how many IRS staff and contractors have been put on ACA implementation, how much the IRS has spent to date implementing the law, and how much the IRS estimates implementation and administration of ACA will cost over the next 10 years.
While Rep. Boustany’s letter is straightforward, it belies a deeper agenda, which can be found on the website of House Ways and Means Chairman Rep. Dave Camp (R-Texas). The purpose of Rep. Boustany’s letter is “to find out how much taxpayer money will be used to implement the Democrats’ health care law and how many IRS employees have been pulled away from the agency’s core mission to work on it,” according to Rep. Camp’s website. ”Previously, the IRS estimated that it would need to dedicate nearly 1,300 full-time employees to the effort by Sept. 30, 2012 and another 895 by the end of fiscal year 2013. However, according to previous reports from the Government Accountability Office (GAO) and Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration, these eye-popping numbers appear to have been significantly understated and called the IRS staffing estimate unreliable because it was not backed up by any meaningful analysis or documentation. The GAO report also found that the IRS did not have adequate processes in place to accurately review and account for the taxpayer dollars the IRS are spending to implement the controversial law.”