Republicans Focus Fire on IRS Involvement in Obamacare

After the Supreme Court’s decision labeling Obamacare’s mandate a tax, the IRS has become the crucial centerpiece of President Obama’s health care rollout. But with the IRS’ targeting of conservative non-profits, Republicans are calling into question the agency’s involvement in the application of Obamacare.

On May 23, Senator Mitch McConnell (R-KY) specifically targeted IRS involvement in Obamacare as a rationale for fighting the program:

And here’s another thing we shouldn’t be doing: handing over the administration of Obamacare to these folks. I mean, think about it. A deeply unpopular law being administered by an agency that’s so betrayed the public trust. Even the IRS’ staunchest defenders in this scandal describe their actions as a case of ‘horrible customer service.’ That’s the best they can say: ‘Horrible customer service.’ And now they’re going to be put in charge of a new trillion-dollar program? One that will give them access to all sorts of sensitive, deeply personal information? Well, that’s just what the Administration and congressional Democrats are about to let happen.

McConnell specifically pointed out that the IRS official charged with managing Obamacare was the “very same person who led the division of the IRS now embroiled in scandal – who oversaw the very office now under fire for the discriminatory and harassing behavior.”

McConnell is hardly the only Senator pointing out the nefarious connection between the IRS and Obamacare. Senator Mike Lee (R-UT) told Breitbart News, “The president’s entire agenda is based on giving more and more power to the same executive branch agencies that have recently demonstrated themselves to either be criminally incompetent or tyrannically corrupt. Obamacare? Expanded gun background checks? Comprehensive immigration reform? They’re all based on competent collection and ethical use of personal information coerced from the American people by the federal bureaucracy."

Catherine Frazier, press secretary for Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX), agreed: “Everyone should be taken out of the Obamacare business because Obamacare needs to be repealed. The IRS is the very last agency that should be administering any of our laws. Americans have no reason to trust an administration that would engage in, then lie about its partisan, political targeting of Americans based on their personal beliefs.”

"The IRS has acted in this bigoted and un-American a fashion when it was just administering the tax code," said Ben Sasse, President of Midland University in Nebraska and a person widely perceived to be a possible Senate candidate. "Imagine the range of discrimination possible when it becomes the most important regulatory agency for healthcare, the largest sector of the US economy. Which health offenses become crimes? If a citizen prefers a high-deductible plan, and the bureaucrats object – or if an employer makes paperwork errors – what happens? We are crossing a big threshold here. All defenders of freedom should be in favor of a bright line that prohibits the criminalization of anything related to the purchase of health insurance. The IRS needs to be fixed, not expanded."

In the House, the opposition is no less pointed. House Majority Whip Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) said to Breitbart News, “The IRS’s future role in ObamaCare is just one of many reasons why this law must be fully repealed. After their outrageous actions and the lack of any accountability – why should any American trust them to involved in their healthcare.”

With a new Gallup poll showing that a full 58 percent of Americans disapprove of the Obama administration’s handling of the IRS scandal, and that 77 percent of Americans think the IRS scandal is either very or somewhat serious, it’s clear that the pushback against Obamacare will center on IRS involvement. And that, in turn, will force President Obama to defend the embattled agency in order to save his flagship program.

Ben Shapiro is Editor-At-Large of Breitbart News and author of the New York Times bestseller “Bullies: How the Left’s Culture of Fear and Intimidation Silences America” (Threshold Editions, January 8, 2013).


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