IRS will police health care
POSTED: Tuesday, March 23, 2010 - 4:51pm
UPDATED: Thursday, April 22, 2010 - 2:35am
TYLER-The Internal Revenue Service will be the government's chief enforcer for health care reform. They'll be responsible for watching both business and individuals to make sure they have the insurance coverage the government requires. But the questions is, will the IRS really be able to enforce this?
According to the new bill, the purpose of the mandates is to regulate economic and financial decisions about how and when health care is paid for, and when health insurance is bought. But many worry if the IRS is up for the challenge.
In 2014, every person and most businesses will be required to certify on their tax returns if they have bought the level of insurance they're required to have. If not, then that person or business will have to pay a separate tax to the IRS. For individuals it could be up to $750 a person or $2,250 a household. And for a business, $750 per uncovered employee.
To make this work, the Congressional Budget Office has estimated that the IRS will need $10 billion in additional funds, funds which were not made available under the health reform bill.
Republicans in the House Ways and Means Committee estimated that this $10 billion could go to fund an additional 17,000 new IRS agents and other personnel to monitor and enforce the new mandates.
Some believe this will be tough to enforce because of how complicated the bill is.
"They're going to have to beer the branch up in order to enforce it," Peter Milne of Healy, Milne & Associates. "It will actually be cheaper to pay the fines than it will be to pay the premiums."