Tennessee Republican Rep. Phil Roe warned that the Internal Revenue Service is going to “delve” into Americans’ personal “medical information” as part of President Obama’s healthcare law. Addressing the current IRS scandal, Roe said Congress should ensure that federal officials who “abuse power” face a “criminal penalty.”
PJ Media asked Roe how Congress should respond to the IRS targeting Tea Party and other conservative groups with audits and special requirements for tax exempt status.
“We need to investigate this and find out what the facts are. Number one, we know what we’ve heard in the news media about it. On its first blush, it smells to high heaven. I mean, it truly does and we all feared it,” Roe, an obstetrician, said on Capitol Hill.
“I mean, look, we just got through doing our taxes, we all are worried about somebody reviewing that, it’s all of your personal financial information that you have on there. My concern is that you’ve got an overreached IRS that’s now going to delve into your medical information with the Affordable Care Act.”
According to CNBC, the IRS has to “administer 47 tax provisions under Obamacare.” The agency also must distribute federal health insurance subsidies to roughly 18 million people who qualify under the law by making under $45,000 per year.
Roe, a member of the House Education and Workforce Committee, said it is “bad” policy to put the agency in charge of enforcing the healthcare law after the current IRS controversy.
“I mean, we’ve got people now that abused, apparently, abused their power and we’re going to put them in charge of the most personal decisions we make and that’s the healthcare we get. I think it’s bad. I think we need to peel the onion back,” Roe said.
“I would implore people to come out and be forthright, tell the truth and let’s move on with this and then let’s put safeguards and penalties in there so when someone does abuse power, there’s a criminal penalty for it.”
PJ Media also asked Roe if he thinks Obama was aware the IRS was singling out conservative organizations with special reviews for nonprofit status.
“If you do not know those things then you’re not hiring the right people to inform you of those things. I would think that the president would know that,” Roe said.
“If you’ve got something that’s going to smear your administration like this, you better know and if you don’t, you need to fire the people that are not telling you.”
Roe connected the IRS scandal to the Benghazi terror attack controversy, telling PJ Media that “there’s no way” Obama was not aware of the situation as it unfolded.
Roe compared White House Press Secretary Jay Carey to “Baghdad Bob,” a Saddam loyalist known for his propaganda press briefings during the war in Iraq.
“That’s who Jay Carney looks like, trying to defend the indefensible,” Roe said regarding Benghazi.