House GOP presses IRS on healthcare credits

Two House Republicans want to know what the IRS is going to do to make sure that ObamaCare tax subsidies aren’t susceptible to fraud.

Reps. Diane BlackDiane Lynn BlackWomack wins initial support to become Budget chairman House Foreign Affairs chairman to retire This week: Clock ticks toward shutdown deadline MORE (Tenn.) and Pat MeehanPatrick (Pat) Leo MeehanThe Hill's Whip List: Where Republicans stand on tax-reform bill GOP leaders have few sure votes on debt ceiling Dems, GOP roll out dueling taxpayer protection bills MORE (Pa.) told the agency that they were concerned that the IRS was not adopting a plan to correct failed security tests for systems overseeing key healthcare tax credits.

The two Republicans asked the interim IRS chief, Danny Werfel, what the agency was doing to correct the problems.

A Treasury inspector general reported last week that the IRS had yet to finalize its strategy for battling fraud concerns, and that its systems for protecting private information had flaws. 

Many low- and middle-income taxpayers who buy health insurance through exchanges set up by the Affordable Care Act are eligible for a refundable tax credit to help cover the cost of premiums.

“Americans face a great threat to their personal security online, as it is widely understood that information systems can be hacked,” Black and Meehan wrote to Werfel.

“Given this reality, we are concerned for the integrity and security of the sensitive personal data transmitted through the new health insurance exchanges.”

President Obama’s choice to take over the IRS, John Koskinen, has his Senate nomination hearing on Tuesday, where he will likely be asked about the agency’s role in implementing the healthcare law.