Inspector General: Obama’s IRS ‘Misled’ Obamacare Customers on Cost

Former President Barack Obama / Getty Images
• August 3, 2017 2:43 pm


The Obama administration "misled" Americans to believe that the cost of Obamacare would be cheaper than it actually was, according to an inspector general report released Thursday.

The Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration's report concluded that the Internal Revenue Service drastically understated the cost of enrolling in Obamacare, the Washington Times reported.

The IRS told Americans that once government subsidies were applied, plans would be available for $75 per month or less. But the IG found that the average cost was, in reality, estimated to be more than twice that amount, at $168 per month.

The misleading information was provided to Americans in letters sent by the IRS after the health care law was enacted in 2010. The letters encouraged Americans to enroll in Obamacare, explaining how the new law, under the "individual mandate," required all Americans to have health insurance, or be subject to a penalty.

"Many of the nearly 7.5 million taxpayers who receive letters and seek insurance may feel misled if the actual cost of their insurance is much higher than the $75 per month detailed in their notification letter," the IG said.

The IRS attempted to explain the discrepancy by saying that they used numbers provided by the Department of Health and Human Services, adding that the $75 figure was true for "some taxpayers."

The inspector general requested documentation of those estimates, but did not receive it.

This is not the first time the IRS under the Obama administration has been under fire. The IRS was wrought with scandal in recent years after it was revealed that the agency had selectively targeted conservative groups for extensive review before the groups could be granted tax-exempt status.

In January, an inspector general report concluded that the IRS "made the 2015 tax season more painful for taxpayers than it should have been," according to a Washington Times report. The IG accused the agency of cutting money for customer service and ignoring phone calls while resources were repurposed in order to keep Obamacare on track.