Guest post by Taylor Calvin

Several members of the House Ways and Means committee are perplexed after getting no clear answers regarding the decision to delay the employer mandate at a Health Subcommittee hearing held last week. Mark Iwry, Senior Advisor to the Secretary of the Treasury and Deputy Assistant to the Secretary for Retirement and Health Policy, was sent to testify as a witness from the Treasury Department. However, Iwry was unable to answer key questions about the timing of the deliberations that led up to the Treasury Notes Blog post announcing the one year delay of the ACA employer mandate reporting requirements and tax penalties.

Chairman Dave Camp (R-MI), Health Subcommittee Chairman Kevin Brady (R-TX), and Oversight Subcommittee Chairman Charles Boustany, Jr., M.D (R-LA) have sent a letter to U.S Treasury Secretary Jacob Lew, asking for in depth answers to the questions Iwry was unable to speak to by August 5, 2013.

Below is a list of the questions requested. The full letter can be found HERE.

  • When did Treasury personnel begin to consider delaying implementation of the employer reporting requirements and the employer mandate tax penalties (employer provisions) of the Affordable Care Act  (P.L. 111-148 and P.L. 111-152)(ACA)?  In support of this answer identify when discussions involving Treasury personnel began about:
    • Whether the President had the authority to suspend the employer provisions of the ACA; 
    • The effects of suspending of the employer provisions on the operation of the ACA generally;
    • The rationale for or benefits of suspending the employer provisions; and
    • Identify the personnel involved in these discussions.
  • Did the deliberations described in question #1 above consider the affect of suspending the employer provisions on pending lawsuits that challenge the legality of the employer provisions? 
  • Did the deliberations described in question #1 above consider suspending the implementation of the individual mandate provisions of the ACA? 
  • Were IRS personnel informed or consulted about Treasury’s deliberations?  If so, identify the IRS personnel and when they were informed or consulted.  
  • Were other agencies, including but not limited to, the Department of Health and Human Services, informed or consulted about Treasury’s deliberations?  If so, identify the agency personnel and when they were informed or consulted. 
  • When were White House personnel informed or consulted regarding Treasury’s discussions about suspending the employer provisions of the ACA?  Identify who at the White House was informed or consulted. 
  • The July 2, 2013 announcement to suspend the employer provisions of the ACA was made through your Department’s “Treasury Notes Blog,” the same blog that announced far less consequential news, for example, your July 3, 2013 visit to the Denver Mint.  Who at Treasury was involved with the decision to announce this decision in this manner? 
  • Please provide the analysis Treasury officials relied on in making the decision to suspend the employer provision relating to:
    • The impact of the delay on federal spending; 
    • The impact of the delay on federal tax revenues;
    • The impact of the delay on job creation – if so how much?
    • The impact of the delay on number of individuals enrolled in the Exchanges; and 
    • The impact of the delay on number of individuals with employer-sponsored insurance.