Grassroots lobbying led by the National Seniors Council helped pass Congressman Tom Price's Keep the IRS Off My Healthcare Act (H.R. 2009) through the House of Representatives before Congress left on its summer recess. The bill strips the IRS of the power to enforce ObamaCare and was introduced in the wake of the IRS scandal involving conservative and Tea Party groups.
The bill passed 232 to 185 thanks in no small part to massive public pressure to rein in the tax enforcement agency. "Leading up to the vote we were in direct communication with Congressman Price's Office and worked directly with the House Ways and Means Committee on this bill," reports NSC's National Director Robert Crone. "Ellen Carmichael from Congressman Tom Price's Office and Sarah Making from the conservative Republican Study Committee were especially helpful and positive during this whole battle. We are very thankful that this measure passed. Liberal Democrats fought us very hard but at least for now, grassroots Americans won the day."
Under ObamaCare, the IRS is responsible for policing compliance with the law's complicated insurance regulations and penalties. Once it became public that IRS agents were using their power to target conservative grassroots groups for harassment, Congressman Price as well as NSC's legislative team realized something had to be done to rein in the rogue agency.
"Our members realized quickly that if the IRS could target conservatives though the non-profit application process, then these crusading left-wing bureaucrats could do the same thing to individuals through ObamaCare. And that is terrifying," Crone explains.
Congressman Price pushed hard for his legislation but faced very stiff opposition from the White House and fanatical pro-Obama-Care politicians. "The very fact that 185 politicians actually voted to protect the IRS and allow its agents to police health care, especially in light of these scandals, is sad," Crone says. "But that's what we are up against. These people are fanatics. They are determined to seize control of healthcare and use that power to punish anyone who they perceive to be their enemies. It's going to take a lot more grassroots effort to beat them in the Senate to pass this measure."
Crone promises that NSC will continue to work hard and mobilize its members to pass the Keep the IRS Off My Healthcare Act in the Senate. "Our mission will be to keep seniors energized and help lobby the Senators on this issue," he says. "That's the only way we'll rein in the IRS and save our healthcare freedom and privacy."