The House as early as next week will pass legislation prohibiting the IRS from receiving any money from the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to implement the 2010 healthcare reform law. [...]The committee in question, Appropriations, should have known about the $20 million because they should have known it was in the Affordable Care Act. But they're not going to let a little thing like that get in they way of their tantrum. By the way, why would the IRS need $20 million to implement the Affordable Care Act? Because the tax credits for small business to begin to provide coverage for employees have kicked in, which the IRS has needed to oversee. (BTW, last time we checked in with House Republicans, they said it was $500 million.)
The report notes that in 2010, HHS allocated $20 million to the IRS for enforcing the healthcare law "without the Committee's knowledge." It also notes that the IRS received $168 million from HHS to implement the law in 2011, and plans to get another $322 million from HHS in 2012.
This does, however, raise the major wrinkle of the Affordable Care Act, uncovered by TPM's Brian Beutler. If states refuse to set up their own exchanges under the law, the federal government has the authority to set up exchanges for them. But, in drafting the law, "they neglected to include automatic appropriations for federally facilitated exchanges (FFEs)." That means that, while there's money to give to the states, there will be a big fight for the money for the federal government to set up exchanges for the states that refuse to do it.
Which is just one more very compelling reason to make sure Nancy Pelosi gets the gavel back. We need a House that will pass the necessary appropriations to make sure this law is implemented as intended.