IRS official moved from office that targeted conservatives to Obamacare office

IRS sign with magnifying glass Internal revenue Service tax taxes CBS/iStockphoto

The IRS official in charge of the division responsible for discriminating against conservative organizations was promoted to head the IRS' Affordable Care Act office because she is a "superb civil servant," acting IRS commissioner Steven Miller told Congress on Friday.

While testifying before the House Ways and Means Committee about the undue scrutiny the IRS put on conservative nonprofits applying for tax-exempt status, Miller confirmed that Sarah Hall Ingram, who served as commissioner of the office responsible for the discrimination, was promoted. He acknowledged that her office provided "horrible customer service," even though he promoted her.

Ingram led the tax-exempt office between 2009 and 2012, ABC first reported. Asked whether Ingram was unaware of the discrimination in her office, Miller said, "I would imagine so."

While Ingram was promoted, Miller and her successor in the tax-exempt office -- Joseph Grant -- have in the past week announced their resignations, effective next month.

Because of the many tax provisions in the Affordable Care Act the IRS is one of multiple federal agencies that is helping to administer the health care law. Most the taxes in the law impact specific business sectors like the insurance industry and the medical device industry. However, the IRS will also help collect data from individuals for various reasons; for instance, they may want to determine if a person's income qualifies them for certain Obamacare programs, or if an individual has to pay a fine for failing to purchase insurance.

Republicans are using the IRS scandal as another means of attacking the health care law, which the GOP-led House voted to repeal Thursday evening.

Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas, and Rep. Tom Price, R-Ga., on Thursday introduced matching bills that would prohibit the Treasury Secretary, or any delegate, including the IRS, from enforcing Obamacare. The legislation is called the "Keep the IRS Off Your Health Care Act of 2013."

"When it comes to an individual's personal health care decisions, no American should be required to answer to the IRS - an agency that just forfeited its claim to a reputation of impartiality," Price said in a statement. "It has always been an untenable and unacceptable scenario, and we ought to take this common sense step to take the IRS out of health care."

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