Lungren Introduces First Legislative Challenge to Health Care Law

Rep. Dan Lungren, R-Calif., fired the first shot in the GOP’s efforts to undo the Democrats’ health care reform law on Monday.

Lungren introduced legislation that would quash a provision in the law that requires businesses to file a 1099 tax form with the Internal Revenue Service and with every company with which they make a purchase valued at more than $600.

“This is extraordinarily destructive. Extraordinarily stupid,” Lungren said.

The California Republican is officially calling his bill “The Small Business Paperwork Mandate Elimination Act.” But Lungren suggests it should be referred to as something else.

“It ought to be called ‘The Snitch Act,’” Lungren said. “You’re supposed to snitch on your neighbor.”

Lungren says the law would in effect turn every businessperson “into a de facto agent of the internal revenue service.”

Lungren’s plan would repeal the paperwork requirement. He says he’s not entirely certain how the tax filing provision of the law would work. But he points out that the IRS told him that the filing provisions will be administered by the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). HHS is responsible for the health care law.

“Never before has HHS been responsible for tax law,” he said.

Lungren says he’s particularly worried about how the extra burden could impact small firms.

“You do this if you assume every business cheats,” Lungren said. “It’s just one of the dumber things I’ve seen in my years in Congress.”