Now that it is official that the national health care law involves a gigantic new tax, the Internal Revenue Service must prepare to collect it. In addition the agency will have to process an estimated $80 billion a year in tax credits to families judged by the government to be in need of help paying insurance premiums.
IRS officials already have begun hiring new employees and upgrading computer systems. Through next year, the agency is expected to hire more than 2,700 new workers solely to handle health care law responsibilities. During the same period the IRS has projected it will spend $881 million on the task.
But most of the law's provisions do not go into effect until 2014. That is when the heavy lifting starts for the IRS. How many more workers and how much more money will it spend then?
The IRS isn't saying - not publicly, at least. That has some members of the House of Representatives Ways and Means Committee upset. They are accusing the agency of attempting to conceal the true cost of Obamacare.
Lawmakers should demand a detailed accounting from the IRS of what it plans to spend. President Barack Obama's administration isn't being candid about the law's true costs - and that needs to end.