Yet unless Obamacare is repealed, IRS's destructive potential will grow exponentially. Writes Byron York:
A look at the text of the health care law reveals that much of it consists of amending the Internal Revenue Code to give the IRS more power. When Obamacare goes fully into effect in January, every American will have to prove to the IRS that he or she has "qualifying" health coverage...At least with cancer, we have the assurance that our health professionals are working in our best interests. Not so with the IRS.
The IRS will also decide who is, and who is not, eligible for Obamacare's subsidies. The law authorizes the IRS to share confidential taxpayer information with the Department of Health and Human Services for the purpose of determining those subsidies. And since subsidies don't just apply to a relatively small number of the nation's poorest citizens — under the law, they can go to a family of four with a household income of nearly $90,000 — they will affect a huge segment of the population.
In addition, the IRS will keep track of even the smallest changes in Americans' financial condition. Did you get a raise recently? You'll need to notify the IRS; it might affect your subsidy status. Have your hours been reduced at work? Notify the IRS. Change jobs? Same . ... If Americans don't keep the IRS up to date on their financial status, they might incur penalties, which the IRS will collect by withholding income tax refunds.
In the next few weeks, the details of the IRS' apparent misconduct will be spelled out in a series of hastily arranged congressional hearings. Most of the discussion will focus on political nonprofits and the selective treatment they received from the IRS. For millions of Americans, the hearings will do what [Senator] Charles Grassley noticed at those town meetings in Iowa: reduce their faith that the federal government will treat them fairly.
And that will mean even more anxieties about the coming of Obamacare. "Now every American understands there are elements of the IRS that go off on their own," former House Speaker Newt Gingrich told MSNBC Monday morning. "Why would you trust the bureaucracy with your health if you can't trust the bureaucracy with your politics?"