IRS Role Could Expand Under Health Care Bill

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Under the proposed health care bill, Internal Revenue Service agents would be responsible for making sure Americans have health insurance.

The legislation would require Americans to prove they have coverage on their federal tax returns. Those who cannot prove it would pay a penalty to the IRS.

The agency also would distribute as much as $140 billion a year in new government funds to help small employers and as many as 19 million lower-income people buy coverage.

Critics of the health bill said the IRS is already stretched too thin with staff shortages, budget problems and outdated computer systems.

"It's hard to see how the IRS could take on the huge responsibility it would be given under pending health care legislation without some real glitches, or worse," said Sen. Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa. He voted against the bill, as did every other Republican senator.

Source: USA Today

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