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Health Care Reform Means More Power For The IRS

Posted Sep 03 2009 2:10pm
The September 2, 2009 DC Examiner warns that, " Health care reform means more power for the IRS". Here's an excerpt:
...Under the various proposals now on the table, the IRS would become the main agency for determining who has an "acceptable" health insurance plan; for finding and punishing those who don't have such a plan; for subsidizing individual health insurance costs through the issuance of a tax credits; and for enforcing the rules on those who attempt to opt out, abuse, or game the system. A substantial portion of H.R. 3200, the House health care bill, is devoted to amending the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 in order to give the IRS the authority to perform these new duties.

The Democrats' plan would require all Americans to have "acceptable" insurance coverage (the legislation includes long and complex definitions of "acceptable") and would designate the IRS as the agency charged with enforcing that requirement. On your yearly 1040 tax return, you would be required to attest that you have "acceptable" coverage. Of course, you might be lying, or simply confused about whether or not you are covered, so the IRS would need a way to check your claim for accuracy. Under current plans, insurers would be required to submit to the IRS something like the 1099 form in which taxpayers report outside income. The IRS would then check the information it receives from the insurers against what you have submitted on your tax form.

If it all matches up, you're fine. If it doesn't, you will hear from the IRS. And if you don't have "acceptable" coverage, you will be subject to substantial fines — fines that will be administered by the IRS.

Under some versions of health reform now circulating on Capitol Hill, the IRS would also be intimately involved in how you pay for insurance. Everyone would be required to buy coverage. The millions of Americans who can't afford it would receive a subsidy to pay for it. Under the version of the plan currently under negotiation in the Senate Finance Committee, that subsidy would come through the IRS in the form of a refundable tax credit. Under the House plan, the subsidy would come directly from the Health Choices Administration.

In either scenario, the IRS would be the key to making the system work.
In other words, health care "reform" would mean massive new intrusions into Americans' personal and financial lives.

Government promises of "universal" health care are anything but free. Instead, we'll all pay a massive price in the form of loss of personal freedom. Nor can the government actually guarantee health care. The only thing they can guarantee is rationing and waiting lists, as we've already seen in Canada, the UK, and Massachusetts.

To paraphrase Benjamin Franklin, "Those who would give up essential liberty for temporary health care deserve neither..."
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