The ObamaCare Meltdown begins – The IRS has already been caught stealing records
Patriot Post –
Ahlert – 5/30/2013 Arnold
It appears the IRS is running roughshod over the rule of law, a reality pointed out in a paper written by Jonathan Adler and Michael Cannon last July, in which they anticipated lawsuits being filed in this regard. They noted that an IRS rule "purports to extend these tax credits and subsidies to the purchase of health insurance in federal exchanges created in states without exchanges of their own," they wrote. "This rule lacks statutory authority. The text, structure, and history of the Act show that tax credits and subsidies are not available in federally run exchanges. The IRS rule is contrary to congressional intent and cannot be justified on other legal grounds. Because the granting of tax credits can trigger the imposition of fines on millions of individuals and employers, the IRS rule is likely to be challenged in court."
It is worse than that. As the Washington Post's Michael Gerson explains, the IRS "seized the authority to spend about $800 billion over 10 years on benefits that were not authorized by Congress." By law, only Congress can authorize such spending. Michael Cannon notes the political implications. "It doesn't look good from the road when IRS employees violate the clear language of federal law in a matter that just happens to rescue the top domestic policy achievement of their boss, the president," he contends. Sam Kazman, general counsel of the Competitive Enterprise Institute, which is coordinating the lawsuit, echoed that sentiment. "ObamaCare is already an incredibly massive program," he said. "For the IRS to expand it even more, without congressional authorization and in a manner aimed at undercutting state choice, is flagrantly illegal."
"Flagrantly illegal" is a phrase that provides an apt segue to lawsuit number two. Last month in
attorney Robert E. Barnes, representing an unnamed firm identified in
court records as the "John Doe Company" filed a suit alleging that 15
IRS agents illegally seized the medical records of 10 million Americans. Among
those targeted were "every state judge in California, every state
court employee in California, leading and politically controversial members of
the Screen Actors Guild and the Directors Guild, and prominent citizens in the
world of entertainment, business and government, from all walks of life." San Diego
The alleged abuses are shocking. "No search warrant authorized the seizure of these records; no subpoena authorized the seizure of these records; none of the 10,000,000 Americans were under any kind of known criminal or civil investigation and their medical records had no relevance whatsoever to the IRS search," the suit contends.
The complaint seeks $25,000 in compensatory damages "per violation per individual," plus punitive damages for constitutional violations.
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