Sen. Ron Wyden (D-OR) on Tuesday floated a push for increased IRS audits to fund enhanced Obamacare subsidies.
Wyden, the Senate Finance Committee chairman, told reporters that Senate Democrats could pursue increased IRS audits on “wealthy tax cheats” to fund increased Affordable Care Act (ACA), or Obamacare, subsidies. The Oregon Democrat contended that it would raise $120 billion over the next ten years:
.@RonWyden raises the issue of increased IRS enforcement “on wealthy tax cheats,” says it will bring in $120B over a decade. But Wyden stops short of saying he wants to add it to reconciliation
— John Bresnahan (@bresreports) July 26, 2022
Asked if the enhanced IRS audits would be included in a reconciliation bill, Wyden said, “We’ll see what happens.”
But also when I asked specifically just now if IRS $ was in the reconciliation bill, Wyden offered a “we’ll see what happens.” https://t.co/7IznrTYfj1
— Richard Rubin (@RichardRubinDC) July 26, 2022
The enhanced Obamacare subsidies would be included in a reconciliation package that Democrats continue to craft ahead of the 2022 midterms. Democrats hope to include the subsidies along with a provision that would allow Medicare to negotiate drug prices.
President Joe Biden and his congressional majority expanded subsidies under the $1.9 trillion American Rescue Plan, or Biden’s coronavirus relief plan. However, the subsidies will soon expire before the November midterm elections.
If Congress fails to extend the subsidies, ACA plans could rise as much as 50 percent.
Heritage Action Executive Director Jessica Anderson told Breitbart News that Democrats continue to play with Americans’ lives by hiding the true cost of the Affordable Care Act.
“The Left is once again playing politics with Americans’ health care and livelihoods in an election year. This time, they are trying to buy off voters right before midterms and cover up the true cost of their failed health care policies. The American people are already suffering from historic inflation, and the Left’s answer is to just keep pumping money into the economy,” She said.
Brian Blase, a former Donald Trump healthcare expert, detailed many of the reasons why Congress should not extend the enhanced subsidies:
- The expanded subsidies were meant to be a temporary relief for the coronavirus pandemic, not a permanent extension of the ACA
- Continuing the expanded subsidies would lead to higher healthcare care prices and premiums
- The expanded subsidies would lead to loss of employer health insurance coverage
- The federal budget cost of the subsidies would only continue as employers drop employees’ coverage
- The subsidies are an inefficient way of spending taxpayer dollars
- Current healthcare obligations such as Medicare, Medicaid, and Obamacare already remain untenable portions of the federal budget
- Continuing the subsidies would provide an “unfair benefit for wealthy households
- Expanded subsidies would “mostly benefit” insurers
- The extended subsidies would reduce work and economic output
“Papering over Obamacare’s problems with additional taxpayer dollars is exactly the wrong approach and reduces Congress’s appetite for actual reforms,” Blase said.