IRS Clarifies Role in Obama Healthcare Overhaul

For skeptical Republicans and wary taxpayers, the Internal Revenue clarified the role of its agents in enforcing the controversial aspect of the new Obama Healthcare law that would require Americans to purchase insurance policies.

According to IRS Deputy Commissioner Steve Miller, IRS revenue officers will not be involved in enforcing the law through the auditing of taxpayers for this purpose.

Although the new law–which was upheld by the United States Supreme Court earlier this year after being passed in 2010—is an expansive Obama healthcare overhaul, opponents of its passing have fixated on the role that the IRS will have in its enforcement. There are Republicans who worry that expanding the IRS’ enforcement area into healthcare will result in the harassment of taxpayers who do not buy insurance. Those who refuse to buy insurance will already be levied a tax of $95, or an amount that is equal to one percent of taxable household income, beginning in the year 2014. The amount will increase to $695 per person by the year 2016.

Deputy Commissioner Miller fielded questions regarding how many new officers would be needed to apply the law from Republicans from a subcommittee of the Ways and Means Committee, the committee assigned to write tax laws. The Republicans also asked whether the new duties would be stretching the IRS too thin, leading to an inability to accomplish its main duty as the nation’s tax collecting entity.

Many questions remain in regards to the healthcare overhaul. Hearings regarding the new law continue to be held on Capitol Hill, as the law’s provisions are explored.

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