In a crushing blow to the Obamacare mandate, President Trump’s Executive Order instructing agencies to relax on the health law has led to some changes at the IRS – specifically, they are no longer requiring taxpayers to prove they maintained insurance coverage throughout the year.
Trump’s order gave the Department of Health and Human Services and “other executive departments and agencies” the authority to roll back certain aspects of Obamacare.
One of those ‘other agencies’ appears to be the IRS, which is quietly making the requirement to report on coverage status voluntary.
In other words, Obamacare’s individual mandate is not being enforced. Finally, and good riddance!
Last month, President Trump signed an executive order giving the Department of Health and Human Services and “other executive departments and agencies” the authority and discretion to roll back certain aspects of the Affordable Care Act (ACA). It was unclear at the time what that might mean for the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) which has been tasked by Congress with enforcement of several key components of ACA, including the individual mandate. Now, we may have an answer: the IRS appears to be easing off of enforcing the mandate.
…the IRS has indicated that for 2017, it will accept and process tax returns where a taxpayer is silent on coverage.
Specifically, the IRS stated, “the IRS has decided to make changes that would continue to allow electronic and paper returns to be accepted for processing in instances where a taxpayer doesn’t indicate their coverage status.” What this means is that returns will not be “systemically rejected by the IRS at the time of filing” which has the effect of “allowing the returns to be processed and minimizing burden on taxpayers, including those expecting a refund.”
Peter Suderman at Reason writes, “It makes it clear that following Trump’s executive order, the agency’s trajectory is towards a less strict enforcement process.”
The Los Angeles Times seethed that the IRS had become the first agency to conduct a “stealth attack on Obamacare.”
Trump Tweeted early Friday morning that there will be more good news regarding Obamacare:
Despite the long delays by the Democrats in finally approving Dr. Tom Price, the repeal and replacement of ObamaCare is moving fast!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) February 17, 2017
Good. Let’s hope the ‘stealth attacks’ and repeal efforts continue relentlessly until the law is placed on the scrapheap of American history, where it belongs.
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