IRS Watchdog: $67 Million Missing from Obamacare Slush Fund
WASHINGTON, D.C. – The IRS is unable to account for $67 million spent from a slush fund established for Obamacare implementation, according to a Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration (TIGTA) report released today.
The “Health Insurance Reform Implementation Fund” (HIRIF) was tucked into Obamacare in order to give the IRS money to enforce the tax provisions of the healthcare law. The fund, totaling some $1 billion of taxpayer money, was used to roll out enforcement mechanisms for the approximately 50 tax provisions of Obamacare.
According to the report: “Specifically, the IRS did not account for or attempt to quantify approximately $67 million [from the slush fund] of indirect ACA costs incurred for Fiscal Years 2010 through 2012.”
The report also found several other abuses of taxpayer funds, including:
Travel abuse: The report states, “Specifically, we identified 38 IRS employees in two judgmentally selected business units whose travel was charged to the HIRIF in FY 2012, but no portion of their salary and related benefits was charged to the HIRIF.” In short, the IRS was not making sure that employee travel reimbursements had anything to do with the purpose of the fund. This is not the first time that IRS employee travel has created a scandal for the agency.
1,272 IRS Obamacare enforcement agents: The report estimates that total slush fund spending cost taxpayers the equivalent of 1,272 new full time IRS agents.
The IRS requested an additional 859 IRS Obamacare enforcement agents for Fiscal Year 2013: According to the report, “The IRS informed us that it requested $360 million and 859 FTEs for FY 2013 to continue implementation of the ACA. However, the IRS did not receive this requested amount for FY 2013.”
To add insult to injury, the IRS has told the Inspector General that it will comply with the recommendations made in the report; unfortunately, the slush fund has been fully spent, making that promise meaningless.