KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations

IRS Will Face Difficulties In Collecting Health Law Penalties

When Congress passed the health law in 2010, it also banned the Internal Revenue Service from using its regular enforcement techniques.

USA Today/Des Moines Register: IRS Hamstrung On Collecting Health Law Penalties
The Internal Revenue Service probably will bark at you if you fail to obtain health insurance next year, but the agency won't have much bite. On this issue, Congress pulled the watchdog's teeth (Leys, 10/29).

The Fiscal Times: How IRS Incompetence Can Bring Down Obamacare
The Internal Revenue Service —which will be responsible for implementing 46 new tax penalties and verifying millions of dollars in subsidies -- cannot ensure the security of more than 306,000 IT assets worth up to $720 million. A new report from the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration (TIGTA) found the embattled agency does not have proper oversight over its information technology programs, leaving sensitive data at risk (Ehley, 10/29).

In other implementation news -  

Fox News: HHS Quietly Cancels Contract With Group To Promote ObamaCare To Recently Released Convicts
The Dept. of Health and Human Services has quietly canceled a contract to a Chicago-based advocacy group that planned to promote ObamaCare benefits to recently paroled prisoners, after GOP Sen. Jeff Sessions wrote a letter to the agency in July questioning how the contract was funded. The HHS awarded the no-bid contract to Treatment Alternatives for Safe Communities in July in order to “increase insurance enrollment for… individuals involved in the criminal justice system,” but then quietly updated the solicitation’s status to “canceled” on its website, saying it would be re-issued (McNeal, 10/29).

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