Please see below for a fact check on comments made just now by Senator Cornyn on the Senate floor, using false claims about the IRS as a scare tactic against health reform:

RHETORIC: Sen. Cornyn Claimed That Senate Bill Would Double The Size Of IRS In Order To “Raise Those Taxes Called For In This Big Job Killing Bill.” “According to the Congressional Budget Office, the Internal Revenue Service will need many, many more agents and workers in order to enforce the Reid bill. It will essentially need to double in size the Internal Revenue Service just to be able to raise those taxes called for in this big job-killing bill. The possibility of higher taxes is one reason why job creators are currently standing on the sidelines.” [Senate Floor, 12/9/09]

REHTORIC: Sen. Cornyn Claimed That Job Creators Are Scared About “Job-Killing Proposals” Such As Health Reform. “But the fact the matter is that job creators are nervous. Strike that. They are not nervous. They’re scared about one job-killing proposal after another coming out of Washington.” [Senate Floor, 12/9/09]

REALITY: CBO ACTUALLY SAID IRS WOULD NEED MORE FUNDS IN ORDER TO ADMINISTER THE $338 BILLION INSURANCE SUBSIDY CREDITS FOR AMERICANS, NOT TO RAISE TAXES

CBO: IRS Would Need More Funds To Determine Who Gets A Credit To Buy Insurance. “Costs to the Internal Revenue Service of implementing the eligibility determination, documentation, and verification processes for premium and cost sharing credits. Those costs would probably be between $5 billion and $10 billion over 10 years.” [CBO Estimate, 11/18/09]

REALITY: FAMILIES AND BUSINESSES WOULD BE RECEIVING TAX CREDITS

Employers With Fewer Than 50 Workers Are Exempt From Penalty, On Top Of That, Small Businesses Get Tax Credits For Providing Insurance. The Wall Street Journal reported that, “[t]he Senate bill fines employers up to $750 a year for each employee if they don’t offer a health-insurance plan, and these employees get a new government tax credit to buy insurance on their own. Employers that offer insurance but not an affordable plan are fined the lesser of $3,000 for each worker who gets a tax credit or $750 for every employee. Employers with fewer than 50 workers are exempt, and small firms would get new tax credits to offset the cost of providing insurance.” [Wall Street Journal, 11/20/09]

CBO On Senate Bill: $27 Billion For Small Business Tax Credit. In its estimate of the Senate reform bill, CBO wrote: “The other main element of the coverage provisions that would increase federal deficits is the tax credit for small employers who offer health insurance, which is estimated to reduce revenues by $27 billion over 10 years.” [Congressional Budget Office, 11/18/09]

CBO: $338 Billion In “Premium And Cost Sharing Subsidies” For People Purchasing Insurance Through Exchanges. [CBO Estimate, 11/18/09]

REALITY: INVOKING THE IRS TO SCARE AMERICANS DOESN’T CHANGE THE FACT THAT AMERICAN FAMILIES WIN UNDER REFORM

Based On CBO Estimates, Under Senate Bill, Individuals Would Save From $200 To $2,500; Families Would Save $500 To $7,500 – “In Addition To The More Generous Benefits That These Groups Will Receive Through The [Health Insurance] Exchange.” Jonathan Gruber, MIT professor of economics and a health economics specialist wrote on the updated CBO estimates of the Senate health reform legislation: “I find that the savings are large for both singles and families, and that they are particularly large for the lowest income families that qualify for premium credits under the Senate Bill but would be left to face the full high non-group premium without legislation. In particular, I find that the single individual would save over $2,500 at low incomes (175% of poverty), and would save $200 even at higher incomes (425% of poverty or higher). For families, the savings are much larger, ranging from nearly $7,500 for low income families (at 175% of poverty) to $500 for higher incomes (425% of poverty of higher). It is worth noting that these savings are all in addition to the more generous benefits that these groups will receive through the exchange compared to the non-group market.” [Gruber, 11/27/09]

Study: Insured Pay “Hidden Tax” Of Extra $1,017 In Health Care Premiums Each Year To Compensate For The Uninsured. USA Today reported on a study that found that, “[t]he average U.S. family and their employers paid an extra $1,017 in health care premiums last year to compensate for the uninsured…Families USA, which supports expanded health care coverage, found that about 37% of health care costs for people without insurance — or a total of $42.7 billion — went unpaid last year. That cost eventually was shifted to the insured through higher premiums, according to the group. ‘I don’t think anybody has any idea about how much they are paying because of the need to cover the health care costs of the uninsured,’ said Ron Pollack, the group’s executive director. ‘This is a hidden tax on all insurance premiums, whether it is paid by business for their work or by families when they purchase their own coverage.’” [USA Today, 5/29/09]

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