Judicial Watch has recovered documents showing the IRS spent $5 million on notices to taxpayers urging them to purchase insurance under the Affordable Care Act.
The documents reveal that the IRS coordinated with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and the White House Social and Behavioral Sciences Team in an effort to coax Americans to sign up for Obamacare under the individual mandate.
As Judicial Watch noted, more than $5 million was spent drafting and sending the notices to taxpayers who “legally refused to sign up for Obamacare and elected to pay the penalty or individuals who claimed an exemption.”
The letters, obtained by Judicial Watch and reported by The Washington Free Beacon, inform taxpayers of their obligations under the law:
The law requires people to have a minimum level of health coverage, quality for an exemption, or pay a penalty when they file their taxes. Our records show you claimed an exemption from the health coverage requirement when you filed your 2015 taxes. If you or someone in your family doesn't have health insurance or an exemption next year, you'll likely owe a penalty for 2017. We are writing to make sure you know how you can avoid this penalty by signing up for health insurance or getting an exemption.
The penalty for noncompliance is also made clear.
The penalty for not having any health-coverage or an exemption in 2017 will be at least $695 per adult and $347 per child (up to $2,085 per family), and could be more, depending on your income.
“So now we have more evidence of more Obama IRS abuses targeting innocent Americans — all in the name of Obamacare,” Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton said. “No wonder it took a federal lawsuit and court order to get these documents — as they show the Obama White House and its agencies were happy to threaten and treat Americans like lab rats in order to bolster Obamacare.”
Although the vast majority of Republicans repeatedly voted to repeal the ACA under former President Barack Obama and ran on promises to end the law once and for all if politically possible, the latest Graham-Cassidy legislative effort to reform the law under President Donald Trump has stalled.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) on Monday declined to hold a vote on the Graham-Cassidy legislation. Nonetheless, Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-TN) and Patty Murray (R-WA) are working on a legislative fix that would attempt to stabilize individual markets without jeopardizing coverage for millions of Americans.