Good News: House Passes Bill To Prevent IRS From Overseeing Obamacare's Implementation

Posted: Aug 02, 2013 2:35 PM

Isn’t there something profoundly disconcerting about a government agency explicitly targeting conservatives and tea party activists overseeing the implementation of Obamacare? They simply cannot be trusted.

But the good news for now is that newly passed legislation in the U.S. House preventing this from ever happening is now on its way to Senator Harry Reid’s desk:

Congressman Tom Price, M.D. (GA-06), applauded the passage of legislation he introduced H.R. 2009, the Keep the IRS Off Your Health Care Act today, saying:

“By voting to prohibit the IRS from implementing or enforcing any part of President Obama’s health care law, the House of Representatives has taken an important step toward protecting the health care of American citizens today. The Keep the IRS Off Your Health Care Act has the support of over 140 cosponsors in the House and has been endorsed by numerous organizations and thousands of Americans who share our commitment to preventing any of our fellow citizens from having to answer to the IRS when it comes to their personal health care decisions.

“The IRS clearly has not been able to prudently and impartially enforce current tax laws. It has abused its authority by targeting individuals and organizations. There’s no reason to trust this massive agency with one of the most personal aspects of our lives – our health care.

“Instead, we ought to be empowering individuals and families to make their own health care decisions. There are many positive ways to pursue a patient-centered health care system. But to get there, we need the Obama Administration and Senate Democrats to stop siding with the Washington bureaucracy and to start standing up for the rights and health care choices of the American people.”

This seems to be a political strategy taken from the playbook of Senator Tom Coburn. Coburn believes that defunding Obamacare is veritable pipe dream unlikely to ever happen. It’s simply not possible, he argues. But in the meantime, he adds, what Congressional Republicans can do is attack the law piece-by-piece. For example, by delaying two of the overhaul’s most harmful provisions -- the employer mandate and individual mandate -- Obamacare opponents can actively protect Americans while at the same time shed light on the law’s myriad failures and problems. I support this approach.

Still, it’s an absolute no-brainer that any government agency incapable of conducting the public’s business in a fair and honest way should not be trusted to oversee a law as deeply personal as Obamacare. And of course, I certainly applaud House Republicans for their ongoing efforts to stop this “train wreck” in its tracks, all of whom unquestionably have the best interests of the American public at heart. But this bill is going nowhere. I seriously doubt Senate Democrats will green light this kind of a measure given their long track records of relentlessly shilling for the president. But Republicans should force a vote in the upper chamber anyway. If anything, it would be great political theatre watching Senate Democrats twist and squirm trying to defend a policy that allows an untrustworthy government agency to oversee a deeply unpopular health care law. I’d pay to see that.