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Tuesday, May 28, 2013

IRS, ACA, and Public Opinion

 A majority of Americans still oppose the nation's new health care measure, three years after it became law, according to a new survey.
But a CNN/ORC International poll released Monday also indicates that more than a quarter of those who oppose the law, known by many as Obamacare, say they don't support the measure because it doesn't go far enough.
According to the poll, 43% of the public says it supports the health care law, a figure that's mostly unchanged in CNN polling since the measure was passed in 2010 by a Congress then controlled by Democrats and signed into law by President Barack Obama. Fifty-four percent of those questioned say they oppose the law, also relatively unchanged since 2010.
The survey indicates that 35% oppose the health care law because it's too liberal, with 16% saying they oppose the measure because it isn't liberal enough.
The wide partisan divide over the law remains. Nearly three quarters of Democrats say they favor the Affordable Care Act. That number drops to 16% among Republicans.
CNN also reports:
This much is known for sure: The IRS is charged with playing a key role in implementing health reform.

"Tax provisions included in the Affordable Care Act represent the largest set of tax law changes the IRS has had to implement in more than 20 years," the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration noted in a recent report.
The ACA has some 500 provisions, and more than 40 amend or add provisions to the tax code, according to the report. It also adds considerably to the agency's administrative workload.
Among the IRS' biggest tasks will be to:
  • Collect information from employers and insurers ...
  • Figure out who qualifies for subsidies or Medicaid ...
  • Determine who must pay a penalty ...
  •  Penalize employers that don't provide affordable coverage.
 The IRS role in carrying out the law does not bode well for its popularity. Gallup reports:
A new Gallup poll finds Americans' views of the job the Internal Revenue Service is doing skewing much more negative than in the past, with 42% saying the IRS is doing a poor job, up from 20% in 2009 and 15% in 2003. Meanwhile, positive ratings of the IRS have declined 14 points since 2009, from 40% to 27%.
These results are part of a May 20-21 update of a Gallup trend on Americans' ratings of nine major federal government agencies. The poll was conducted at a time that the IRS has received harsh criticism for allegedly singling out conservative-leaning groups for greater scrutiny when they applied for tax-exempt status. The decline in the IRS' image has left it as the only agency of the nine receiving a net negative rating.