The unelected bureaucrats at the Internal Revenue Service have decided that they are going to issue tax credits in states where Obamacare exchanges have not been set up, even though they have no authority to do so. They’re also planning to fine employers they have no authorization to fine. They are just making tax code up as they go along while flouting the law.
The IRS is attempting to save Obamacare by unilaterally declaring that it will issue tax credits through all exchanges, federal and state alike. Immediately upon the promulgation of this rule, a number of experts on the health care law pointed out that it was illegal. In a paper for Health Matrix, Jonathan Adler and Michael Cannonwrote, “The plain text of the Act only authorizes premium-assistance tax credits … for those who purchase plans on state-run Exchanges.”
Adler and Cannon go on to spell out the breathtaking scope of this IRS plan to offer tax credits through all exchanges: “[T]he IRS is attempting to create two entitlements not authorized by Congress.” Michael Gerson, one of the few who have addressed this in the MSM, puts it thus: “The IRS seized the authority to spend about $800 billion over 10 years on benefits that were not authorized by Congress.” In other words, the IRS has arrogated “the power of the purse,” a right reserved to Congress by the Constitution.
This is obviously an unprecedented and dangerous power grab. And it gets worse. Adler and Cannon also point out that the arbitrary IRS rule will allow it “to tax employers whom Congress did not authorize the agency to tax.” Just as PPACA stipulates that tax credits can only be issued through state-run exchanges, it also says that employer mandates can only originate from these entities. Therefore, the IRS isn’t legally authorized to fine noncompliant businesses in a state that has refused to set up an exchange.