By: Elaine Kamarck, Brookings
As tax day is on April 15, 2015, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), the government agency Americans love to hate, will be implementing the mandate in the Affordable Care Act (ACA) for the first time ever. This is a law that a large part of the public, mostly conservative, loves to hate as well. Regardless of the reality of how things go, the combination of the IRS and the ACA guarantees complaints from politicians and the public alike. Whether these complaints represent a significant critique or are simply growing pains that will fade away, they will have repercussions for the 2016 elections and beyond.
Ever since its passage, the mandate that every American have health insurance has been at the heart of the controversy over the ACA. It is enforced through the tax code, which is enforced by the IRS. Beginning this year, citizens will find some new boxes to check and some new forms to fill out as they complete their tax returns.