The president signed an executive order in January that essentially told federal agencies to reduce Obamacare requirements as much as possible. One notable result was that the IRS said in February that it would allow tax filers to disregard the statutory requirement to report their health insurance status on their returns — a key part of the individual mandate that requires citizens to have insurance or pay a fine.
The IRS has now reversed course, announcing this week that it would block or suspend returns that do not comply with the Obamacare rules. The move could boost the Obamacare markets, since some filers may choose to sign up for insurance rather than pay the fine. It could also set up a battle between Trump and a government agency headed by an Obama appointee, John Koskinen. According to CNBC, “This hurts Trump's efforts to gut Obamacare, but still gives the White House the perfect opponent in the unpopular IRS.”