GOP: IRS scandal is one more strike against health care law
May 18th, 2013
06:00 AM ET
9 years ago

GOP: IRS scandal is one more strike against health care law

(CNN) – Republicans capped the week with another attack against President Obama's health care reform, criticizing the law and its relationship with the Internal Revenue Service.

"It's the IRS that will be responsible for enforcing many of these regulations. If we've learned anything this week, it's that the IRS needs less power, not more," Rep. Andy Harris of Maryland, an anesthesiologist of nearly 30 years' experience, said Saturday in the Republican weekly address.

The Republican-controlled House passed for the third time a repeal of Obamacare this week, a measure that has little chance of going anywhere in the Senate. The vote marked the 37th time Republicans have attempted to eliminate the 2010 law.

Adding fuel to their fire this week was the controversy in which the IRS admitted to targeting conservative groups applying for tax exempt status during the past three years. Two top officials stepped down over the ordeal, a scandal that drew scorn from President Obama and Treasury Secretary Jack Lew.

While the outgoing IRS commissioner, Steven Miller, said the over-scrutinizing of the groups amounted to "foolish mistakes," he maintained in a congressional hearing Friday that they were not conducted out of political bias.

Republicans, however, used the controversy to further criticize health care reform, as the IRS is tasked with implementing many of the law's provisions. Lawmakers also highlighted the fact that the current director of the Affordable Care Act office in the IRS used to head up the agency's tax exempt/government entities office, the same department taking heat over the recent dust-up with conservative groups.

"You can't make this stuff up," Harris said in the address.

With several of the health care reforms taking effect next year, Republicans are drumming up more opposition to the law. Harris argued the law's mandate to purchase health insurance would "turn lives upside down" and fears of rising costs are discouraging small business owners from hiring new workers.

"Obamacare is knocking Americans off the ladder of opportunity, and the sooner we repeal it, the sooner we can start fixing health care for working families," said the congressman, who was elected in 2010.

Americans remain divided over Obamacare. Forty-six percent disapprove of the law, while 41% approve of the 2010 health care reform act, according to a Quinnipiac University poll released last month.

Forty-one percent said the law will not affect them, while 37% say it will hurt rather than help, the poll showed.

- CNN's Deirdre Walsh contributed to this report.

Filed under: Health care • IRS
soundoff (45 Responses)
  1. Just a thought

    GOP / Tea = Pathetic group of selfish, bigotted, angry, mean-spirited folks. Aside from that, there may be a future for this group to provide clown services at birthday parties

    May 18, 2013 12:51 pm at 12:51 pm |
  2. Catmandew

    Honestly if the IRS can't do their jobs fairly administering the law without the extra burden of Obamacare. How does anyone think they will handle their jobs after picking up that extra ACA burden. Obamacare is really unneeded waste. IRS first job is fair enforcement of tax laws if they can't be trusted for that they are useless like ACA! Scrap them both a flat tax would be better anyway and more fair. Also eliminate the need for the IRS.

    May 18, 2013 01:04 pm at 1:04 pm |
  3. Getoverit

    How about we have some health care legislation that IS READ BEFORE IT IS PASSED?
    What a Concept!

    May 18, 2013 01:30 pm at 1:30 pm |
  4. Just a thought

    In the GOP/Tea Potty mindset abides a spirit of hatred for the financially disadvantaged (i.e. the poor), minorities, women, and LGTB communities. Is there any group aside from white americans that are considered acceptable in this country? Tell me I'm wrong...I challenge any one of you folks to provide a cogent argument otherwise...but you can't and you know it

    May 18, 2013 01:35 pm at 1:35 pm |
  5. Name willard

    Let's out of murder obration doctor

    May 18, 2013 02:52 pm at 2:52 pm |
  6. Catmandew

    Face it the whole healthcare debacle is unneeded at the federal level it is and always will be a state issue. Because state laws are the ones that drive up costs anyway. The laws differ from state to state and that is the root of the problem. If Obama wants to make it a federal issue we the people should get an election proposal and be allowed to vote on it!

    May 18, 2013 03:00 pm at 3:00 pm |
  7. don in albuquerque

    What planet has the GOTP been living on?? Oh, I know. Uranus.

    May 18, 2013 03:00 pm at 3:00 pm |
  8. Catmandew

    That will make IRS issue a moot point and flat tax will eliminate the need for such a big IRS. There by saving tons of money for our broke government and maybe our grandchildren won't have to pay their lives away for this debacle!

    May 18, 2013 03:03 pm at 3:03 pm |
  9. chachm

    I find it funny that everyone likes the health care soooo much, (it hasnt even started yet!!!) the pre existing conditions – they ran outta money....cannt get coverage for that what if your kid can stay on your policy till 26, u still pay thru the nose for it!!!! just wait till everyone that loves it soooo much has to pay for it...(cuz guess what it aint free)

    May 18, 2013 03:36 pm at 3:36 pm |
  10. Name Uche Agonsi

    Can anyone please tell why there was this flood of tax-exempt applications from these Teaparty it normal, or an uprising from legislative flaw. Is this how US Political oppositions marshall their views, with shrills from everyone, like the devil's advocate, without additional information to the development. If irs could be turned to a graveyard, at least prison, & Mr. President even jailed for just bereaucratic delay, what happens in cases of tax-exempt denials........And why are these GOPers going hysterical over tax-exempt delays, trying to stop the peanuts for the poor, while enjoying virtually everything on American people's expenses. Is a political tragedy for these GOPers to be screaming Benghazi for several months now without success, still they don't give up.

    May 18, 2013 03:47 pm at 3:47 pm |
  11. Pete

    What I like to know is how the community is going to benefit if the tea party gets 501(c)(4) status,I'm puzzled!!Tax exemption for s political group that knows as much about social welfare as going to the freakin moon but its ok because its republicans those same crooks that screwed America with their Citizens United,any similarities you tell me!!And don't even talk republicans on this ACA deal again especially after like 37-38 repeals and even SCOTUS John Roberts said its legal and I thought his word was golden as yellow rain,oops wrong rain but its all you'll get today republicans because as losers all you'll get are scraps!!

    May 18, 2013 03:50 pm at 3:50 pm |
  12. Marie MD

    Folks, Google issa. I thought car thief was all he had in his past but he also has an illegal weapon possession and using the gun to intimidate. He was accused of stealing a car when he was briefly in the Army, emphasis on briefly.
    This is the slime ball who is sitting on the throne, emphasis on this particular throne, pretending he is the king judging others. Its like the Romans vs the christians and thumbs down.
    He, like any good repug, blames his brother, of course. The SC sanford story is peanuts compared to this guy's past.

    May 18, 2013 04:13 pm at 4:13 pm |
  13. james

    realatives of top ABC,CBS,CNN EXECS work for obama . so if the media says anything we know its true right?.. well right? after all who gets blamed with everything a republican,right... well right?!harris was due to retire from post to go to the keeper of our healthcare. so obama made it look like he fired him what cha think?and who had the emails that was sent to hillary all the republicans ,right? well,right?! get real.if the obama team say it is so then media come to back like its the truth! harris is not for the republicans or democrates he is for big governmant. this was all planned to take eyes off what they are doing and benghazi just got to close for comfort. so other scandals and media came to the rescue... that is why they did stay out until they came up with a planaha scandals well just blame on the republicans and keep the we the people divided they are coming together as america gotta stop 'em!!! something is very wrong with this whole picture. can't you feel it?! or see that is smells any way you look at it.

    May 18, 2013 05:39 pm at 5:39 pm |
  14. rs

    Sure, GOP we get it. Lets take healthcare away from the poor, and the elderly (death panels anyone?), because punishing the poor and elderly is just sooooo Christian. Never mind you guys have held 37-38 different recall votes on the ACA, no, lie about it and say you're against it because of the role of the IRS.
    Honestly, can you guys tell the truth about ANYTHING? Probably not........

    May 18, 2013 07:54 pm at 7:54 pm |
  15. Name willard

    I'm serouis support for repblucian
    1st fraud vote
    2nd. Fraud scam check from afrcian amercian also support vote for obama from fraud check scam from amercian
    I'm serouis honest with my God and repblican and demorcation congress

    May 18, 2013 08:40 pm at 8:40 pm |
  16. Insert sarcastic remark here

    don in albuquerque

    What planet has the GOTP been living on?? Oh, I know. Uranus.


    I thought I sat on something!

    May 18, 2013 10:59 pm at 10:59 pm |

    Wow. The Guns Over People tea potty are really desperate now. What a stretch.

    May 19, 2013 05:46 am at 5:46 am |

    What a stretch by the desperate Guns Over People tea potty.

    May 19, 2013 05:55 am at 5:55 am |
  19. Marie MD

    Why are tea troll organizations being supported by the koch brothers millions trying to join real non profit organizations?
    Aren't there fools against taxes? I guess it's okay as long as it doesn't involve what they want to do.
    They are going to have to change their names to something that doesn't take away from what they preach.

    May 19, 2013 09:06 am at 9:06 am |
  20. Chris


    Required RFID implanted chip

    Sec. 2521, Pg. 1000 – The government will establish a National Medical Device Registry. What does a National Medical Device Registry mean?

    National Medical Device Registry from H.R. 3200 [Healthcare Bill], pages 1001-1008:

    (g)(1) The Secretary shall establish a national medical device registry (in this subsection referred to as the ‘registry’) to facilitate analysis of postmarket safety and outcomes data on each device that— ‘‘(A) is or has been used in or on a patient; ‘‘(B)and is— ‘‘(i) a class III device; or ‘‘(ii) a class II device that is implantable, life-supporting, or life-sustaining.”

    Then on page 1004 it describes what the term “data” means in paragraph 1,

    section B:
    ‘‘(2) In this paragraph, the term ‘data’ refers to information respecting a device described in paragraph (1), including claims data, patient survey data, standardized analytic files that allow for the pooling and analysis of data from disparate data environments, electronic health records, and any other data deemed appropriate by the Secretary. Don’t believe it? Look it up yourself. Healthcare Bill H.R. 3200: [link to The Mark Of beast

    May 19, 2013 09:31 am at 9:31 am |
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