Senator Ron Johnson (WI) today introduced a resolution pursuant to the Congressional Review Act to overturn a tax rule promulgated by the Internal Revenue Service. In an effort to create a large national health insurance exchange as a precursor to an eventual take-over of health care by the federal government, the Obama Administration has granted a tax credit reserved only to state level exchanges. This is not authorized under the law.
Section 1401 of the law provides a tax credit for those who purchase insurance "through an Exchange established by the State." While the law authorizes the federal government to establish an exchange, it does not include any provision to create a credit for individuals to purchase insurance through that federal exchange. Johnson's resolution clarifies that the Obama Administration may not add a tax credit without statutory authority to do so.
"In the face of the widespread rejection of Obamacare by the states, the White House is again trying to go beyond the law to implement its policies. There is no provision in Obamacare that allows the White House to extend costly tax credits to anyone other than those who buy care in the state-level exchanges. Nevertheless, the IRS is proposing to create a tax credit that may ultimately be ruled illegal.
"When the Democratic leadership pushed through Obamacare, Speaker Pelosi famously said Congress had to "pass the bill so you can find out what is in it.' Democrats flatly denied that this was a federal takeover of health care. But now that it has been signed into law and the states are rejecting it, the White House is pushing through a regulation that has no legal basis, and which takes us down the path of a federal single-payer health care system run by bureaucrats in Washington, D.C.
"Congress needs to step up to the plate and demand accountability. The resolution I introduced today would strike down this IRS regulation and prevent the White House from adding millions of more Americans to plans managed in Washington. The American people deserve certainty about the tax rules they are forced to comply with, as well as an honest estimate of the cost of Obamacare. And Democrats need to come clean about a law that they promised would improve the existing system, but which now seems intended to create a vast and powerful new federal health care bureaucracy."