By Ken Berry
Republicans are continuing their efforts to dig up dirt on Obamacare. On November 6, Representative Dave Camp (R-MI), powerful chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee, sent a strongly worded letter to IRS Acting Commissioner Daniel Werfel. In the letter, Camp asked Werfel to disclose all the information the agency has about eligibility determinations for the premium tax credits available under the new health care law.
At a recent AICPA tax conference, to which Camp referred, Werfel said the IRS has already received 1.3 million inquiries and acted on more than 300,000 requests to determine eligibility for the premium tax credits. "While these statistics demonstrate that you have data, they do not provide relevant metrics that would help policy makers determine the extent of the problems facing the health care system", wrote Camp.
Camp and other critics of Obamacare want to see breakdowns on the number of people receiving discounts on their coverage based on their age and income. He said in the letter that this information is vital to understanding the evolving risk pools resulting from Obamacare. "The failure to sign up enough people, especially young Americans, will lead to an even greater increase in premiums, pushing health care out of reach for millions of Americans", wrote Camp. He asked Werfel to deliver the goods by November 12.
Specifically, Camp asked the IRS to provide the following information for individuals in each state:
- The number of health insurance exchange applicants the IRS has reviewed and determined, based on the applicants' income, is eligible to receive premium tax credits that may be used toward the purchase of health insurance coverage.
- The number of exchange applicants that the IRS has reviewed and determined has income below the threshold that would entitle them to claim premium tax credits.
- The number of exchange applicants that the IRS has reviewed and determined has income above the threshold that would entitle them for premium tax credits.
- The average age of the exchange applicants for whom the IRS has been asked to make an eligibility determination.
This isn't the only letter Camp has written to the IRS this fall. Back on October 23, he fired off a missive to Werfel objecting to the IRS imposing a delay in tax filing season. The agency said it needed time to gear up for the onslaught of returns after the government shut down for a little over two weeks. Camp protested that the IRS already had ample time to get its house in order and any delay would adversely affect taxpayers.