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Rick Moran


August 2, 2013 - 2:52 pm

The House voted 232-185 to prevent the IRS from enforcing any aspect of Obamacare. Four Democrats joined every Republican in passing the measure.

The Hill:

The House voted Friday to prevent the IRS from enforcing any aspect of ObamaCare, a bill meant to exact revenge against an agency that Republicans say is incapable of neutral enforcement of the law.

Members approved the Keep the IRS Off Your Health Care Act in a 232-185 vote. Four Democrats supported the bill along with every Republican.

The vote capped off several days of work in the House on bills aimed at reining in government regulation and government overreach.

House Democrats cast the votes as merely for show, given opposition from the White House and the Senate majority. The Obama administration threatened to veto the IRS enforcement bill and said it would undermine the 2010 healthcare law that is aimed at expanding healthcare coverage.

Some of these healthcare votes have created awkward moments for Democrats. Earlier this month, 22 Democrats voted with Republicans to delay the individual insurance mandate, and 35 voted to delay the employer mandate.

But Democrats mostly stuck together on Friday, as only four voted to pass the IRS bill: Reps. John Barrow (Ga.), Jim Matheson (Utah), Mike McIntyre (N.C.), and Collin Peterson (Minn.).

Friday’s vote was the 40th time the House has tried to fully or partially repeal ObamaCare. But it was also a chance to slam the IRS, which Republicans say has shown itself unworthy of neutrally enforcing the controversial law.

“The IRS is already out of control, abusing its power to tax and audit the activities of honest, hardworking Americans,” House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Dave Camp (R-Mich.) said. “The IRS has betrayed the trust of the American people.

“Democrats want to give this agency more power and authority?” he asked. “They want this agency involved in Americans’ healthcare? No way.”

Ways and Means Committee ranking member Sandy Levin (D-Mich.) said the bill is a continuation of the GOP’s “blind obsession” with repealing the healthcare law. He also said Republicans are incorrectly arguing that the IRS will have access to people’s medical records.

“This should be said categorically: Neither the IRS nor the Department of Health and Human Services will have access to medical records or other personal history, no access whatsoever,” Levin said.

That last statement by Rep. Levin may be true in the abstract. But here’s an explanation of how the exchanges are supposed to work:

In an ideal world, the exchange websites need to be able to talk to several federal agencies—IRS to verify an applicant’s income and employment status, the Department of Homeland Security to determine her citizenship, and the state government to see if she qualifies for Medicaid, to name a few—all in real time, so a person could fill out a form and purchase insurance in one sitting.

Each of those departments has its own computer system and its own means of tracking information. Creating a “data hub” to share them has been a challenge, as a recent Government Accountability Office report highlighted. It is increasingly clear that the kind of, one-stop shopping that was once described – and that Obama himself referenced in a speech on Monday — will not be available in most parts of the country.

That “data hub” will have your medical records, employment and income history, and all sorts of juicy tidbits that — eventually — could be accessed by any government agency involved in Obamacare insurance. As we’ve seen with the NSA surveillance programs, it is impossible to guarantee that your information won’t be accessed by someone who has no business looking at it.

It should go without saying that the House vote was symbolic in nature, with no real world consequences whatsoever. Congress should be working on real IRS reforms that would prevent the kind of targeting experienced by conservatives in 2012.


Rick Moran is PJ Media's Chicago editor and Blog editor at The American Thinker. He is also host of the"RINO Hour of Power" on Blog Talk Radio. His own blog is Right Wing Nut House.

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All Comments   (4)
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They blew the one good chance they had to stop this.

When The One announced that he was delaying the employer mandate for a year, they should have held a press conference, and Boenher should have announced:

“We are grateful that the President has publicly recognized what we have been saying all along, that the rules are far too complex, and that a delay is needed. However, the President does not have the authority to unilaterally delay the program. The law has been passed, and no President can simply change the law by fiat. His pronouncement is a lawless gesture with no legal force, and betrays a profound ignorance of the most basic aspects of American government. This is either culpable ignorance for someone who once taught Constitutional law, or it is simply a willful disregard of that law.

However, we do agree that this delay is needed, and we look forward to working with the Senate to craft a bill that will LEGALLY delay the mandate, as the President has told us is necessary. Of course, since the rules are too complex for businesses to comply, it’s obvious that they are also too complex for individuals. Private citizens do not have the resources that businesses have to hire the experts that are needed to ensure compliance. Therefore we will pass and send to the Senate a bill which delays implementation of Obamacare for the one year that the President has requested.”

But instead, they whined, and then treated his lawless act as if it were a done deal, and came begging for an additional bill to delay the individual mandate, which has no chance of succeeding.

Stupid? Cowardly? Or treasonous?

It’s hard to say.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
It's all symbolic posturing, since the Republicans don't control the Senate and cannot override an Obama veto either. But it's nice to see them fighting back against this stuff. Even symbolically.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
It is useful symbolic posturing, unlike what Moran, the RNC, and Boehner seem to be fine with, which is what exactly?

Denying they ever used the Voting Rights act to create safe districts for their apparatchiks?
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
I'm I the only one wondering if there isn't some grand strategy to tie all of the meaningiless House votes into one big GOTCHA somewhere down the road? At this point it seems like children banging their spoons on their highchairs in protest, which is pretty much what I have been doing by popping up to DC to join various rallies, etc.

Is there a grand strategy that will reveal itself as brilliant coming?
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
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