The Supreme Court ruling on Thursday upholding the health care law's individual mandate was a great political victory for President Obama, but the decision to label the provision a tax could give House Republicans more fuel in their quest to cripple the law by denying the funds necessary to administer it.
That's because nothing in the tax code or administration of the individual mandate actually changed as a result of the ruling. If anything, the high court's decision may strengthen existing GOP efforts to cut funding for the Internal Revenue Service.
Most of the cost of the health care law falls under mandatory spending and has been difficult to dismantle. But one of the few remaining ways the GOP can attack the administration of the law is through the IRS budget.
Republicans on the House Ways and Means Committee have been laying the groundwork for that fight by floating questions about how the IRS will handle the increasing burden of the reforms since the law was passed. Committee Chairman Dave Camp, R-Mich., and several panel members sent a letter to IRS Commissioner Doug Shulman demanding that he outline exactly how the agency will keep up.
"Given the central role the IRS will play in collecting the law's over one-half-trillion dollars in new taxes and the responsibility the agency will have for much of the $1.8 trillion cost of the law, the Service must account for the cost of administering the Democrats' health care law," the letter read.
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