House Appropriations Republicans call for rejection of program integrity cap adjustment

Lewis and Emerson asked the Budget panel to deny a fiscal 2011 $8.2 billion request for enforcement activities for the IRS, which would collect penalties from those without health insurance, including $250 million in enforcement program increases. 

The Congressional Budget Office has estimated that about 4 million people will incur penalties in 2016, the letter stated. 

"We appreciate the good intentions behind wanting to cover to cover more Americans with health insurance, but the focus of health reform should be to lower costs for patients rather than increase costs through bigger government, higher taxes and penalties," they wrote. "The proposal to earmark increased resources for the IRS enforcement activities would do just that and should be rejected." 

For future enforcement activities, President Barack Obama's budget proposes $242 million for fiscal 2012, $367 million for 2013 and $381 million for 2014, the letter stated. 

"If included in the budget resolution, the program integrity cap adjustment would earmark IRS enforcement funding, taking discretion and transparency out of the process of determining funding for IRS enforcement activities," the letter said.