Free Markets, Free People

Is the IRS overstepping its authority in ObamaCare enforcement?

This should be interesting to watch:

A group of small business owners (and individuals) in six states today are suing the federal government over an IRS regulation imposed under the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare), which will force them to pay exorbitant fines, cut back employees’ hours, or severely burden their businesses. Complaint can be viewed here.

The Affordable Care Act authorizes health insurance subsidies to qualifying individuals in states that created their own healthcare exchanges. Those subsidies trigger the employer mandate (a $2,000/employee penalty) and expose more people to the individual mandate.  But last spring, without authorization from Congress, the IRS vastly expanded those subsidies to cover states that refused to set up such exchanges.  Under the Act, businesses in these nonparticipating states should be free of the employer mandate, and the scope of the individual mandate should be reduced as well.  But because of the IRS rule, both mandates will be greatly enlarged in scope, depriving states of the power to protect their residents.

Michael Carvinpartner at Jones Day, who co-argued the Supreme Court Obamacare cases in March, 2012 and who represents the plaintiffs in this lawsuit, stated: “The IRS rule we are challenging is at war with the Act’s plain language and completely rewrites the deal that Congress made with the states on running these insurance exchanges.”

33 states have refused to set up these exchanges.  The IRS, per the complaint, is ignoring that ability given by the states by the law and proceeding as if it didn’t exist.  The argument is the IRS is overstepping it’s authority.

“Agencies are bound by the laws enacted by Congress,” said Sam Kazmangeneral counsel of the Competitive Enterprise Institute (CEI).  “Obamacare is already an incredibly massive program.  For the IRS to expand it even more, without congressional authorization and in a manner aimed at undercutting state choice, is flagrantly illegal.”  CEI is coordinating the lawsuit.

We’ll see.  Given the way the law is interpreted anymore, I wouldn’t at all be surprised to see the IRS upheld (or the suits be dismissed out of hand).  Such is the lack of respect and confidence I hold for our “legal system” anymore.


Tweet about this on TwitterShare on FacebookShare on Google+Share on TumblrShare on StumbleUponShare on RedditPin on PinterestEmail this to someone

10 Responses to Is the IRS overstepping its authority in ObamaCare enforcement?

  • Agreed. John Roberts and his tortured logic saw to that.

  • If you review the courts rulings regarding Obamic over-reach, McQ, you’ll have to take a little heart at the trend.
    The Obami do NOT like having to go to court.  They have been consistently bitch-slapped.
    I predict the same result here.  The Supremes have already ruled on this matter, btw.

    • I’m waiting for a temporary worker to sue for the right to work 30 or more hours without medical coverage.

  • As gun control is far more about control than it is about guns, Socialized Medicine is far more about Socialized than it is about Medicine.
    This Regime will gain control of an additional 20% of the economy, but far more threatening, they can now hold your health hostage for your compliance with any arbitrary rule or rules they can extort upon you by fiat or executive order. Say, just for the sake of discussion: the surrender of your firearms / ammo in return for your access to a doctor or hospital. Hypothetically, of course. It could just as easily be submission to ‘home inspections’, access to you computer files or financial investments, the surrendering of your 401K (this is already in the works)

    • Coupla thangs…
      1. it isn’t “socialized medicine”.  It is fascist medicine.
      2. you can join me in NOT complying…remember that civil disobedience works every time it is sufficiently supported (see Prohibition)

  • I agree with the shark, above.
    “Obviously, it’s a tax.  It HAS to be a tax to make this stinker constitutional, and therefore  {wave of magic legal wand, plus =poof!= sound effect }  it *IS* a tax -despite how it’s written and how it was described to the citizens who will bear its costs- because, after all, God forbid one branch of over-reaching government should constrain or otherwise interfere with the expansion of power of some other branch of over-reaching government.  We Ruling Elites gotta look out for each other’s interests, ya-know-what-I-mean?”
    Ready for the Revolution?  Yes I am, thanks for asking….

  • The saddest part is all the well-meaning types who think single payer will really lower costs in America:
    1) Salaries are the highest costs in most industries. Doctors and nurses are large voter groups. Untouchable.
    2) Medicare is already subsidized by private insurance. Remove that, and suddenly Medicare will balloon up, or simply cease to function.
    3) Single payer would allow groups to pressure the politicians for whatever health goodies they are being “denied” for cost savings.
    There might be some savings on meds if Big Pharma realized it had to have global pricing, and charged Europe more. This is one health reform I would make: global pricing for meds. (I know, totally unlibertarian, but hear me out.) The point is not to demand lower pricing for America, but to force Big Pharma to not cross-subsidize sales to Eruopean monopsonies with American profits. Let’s see European healthcare costs when they don’t free ride.