Reps. DesJarlais and Roe Introduce Legislation Disapproving of IRS Actions to Change Impasse Within Affordable Care Act
WASHINGTON, DC – Representatives Scott DesJarlais, M.D. (TN-04) and Phil Roe, M.D. (TN-01) introduced H.J.RES.112: Disapproving the rule submitted by the Internal Revenue Service relating to the health insurance premium tax credits. This legislation, pursuant to the Congressional Review Act, would prevent the enactment of a May IRS rule that substantially alters the Affordable Care Act’s (ACA) ability to offer premium assistance tax credits through federally run insurance exchanges. As written, the ACA only allows these tax credits to be issued in state-based exchanges – not exchanges run by the federal government.
“This is yet another glaring example of how the Democrats approach of ‘we have to pass the bill so you can find out what is in it’ led to a substantially flawed piece of legislation,” said Rep. DesJarlais. “Knowingly passing imperfect legislation and then relying on the executive branch to unilaterally fix to these errors down the road sets a terrible precedent. Our Constitution is clear in stating that Congress has the sole power to enact legislation. Clearly, the actions taken by the IRS in promulgating this rule blatantly violate our separation of powers.”
“Since the president’s health care bill became law two years ago, only major problems have arisen including its failure to address the cost crisis in our health care system, the debate over the bill’s constitutionality and contradictions in its language,” said Roe. “That is why I, along with my colleague Dr. DesJarlais, introduced a Resolution to amend contradictory language pertaining to the health insurance premium tax credits. A proposed rule relating to the federal health insurance premium tax credits, included in the president’s health care law, contradicts the explicit statutory language describing individuals’ eligibility for receipt of these tax credits. This only adds to the confusion surrounding the law, and it is another example that the health care bill was rushed through Congress by Democrats on a partisan basis.”
In November of 2011, Representatives Roe and DesJarlais sent a letter to the Commissioner of Internal Revenue, Douglas Shulman, asking him to amend the IRS regulation regarding federal health insurance tax credits that contradicts the explicit statutory language from the Affordable Care Act.