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Democratic Health Care Bill Divulges IRS Tax Data

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posted on Aug, 27 2009 @ 01:44 PM

One of the problems with any proposed law that's over 1,000 pages long and constantly changing is that much deviltry can lie in the details. Take the Democrats' proposal to rewrite health care policy, better known as H.R. 3200 or by opponents as "Obamacare."

Section 431(a) of the bill says that the IRS must divulge taxpayer identity information, including the filing status, the modified adjusted gross income, the number of dependents, and "other information as is prescribed by" regulation. That information will be provided to the new Health Choices Commissioner and state health programs and used to determine who qualifies for "affordability credits."

Section 245(b)(2)(A) says the IRS must divulge tax return details -- there's no specified limit on what's available or unavailable -- to the Health Choices Commissioner. The purpose, again, is to verify "affordability credits."

Section 1801(a) says that the Social Security Administration can obtain tax return data on anyone who may be eligible for a "low-income prescription drug subsidy" but has not applied for it.

Over at the Institute for Policy Innovation (a free-market think tank and presumably no fan of Obamacare), Tom Giovanetti argues that: "How many thousands of federal employees will have access to your records? The privacy of your health records will be only as good as the most nosy, most dishonest and most malcontented federal employee.... So say good-bye to privacy from the federal government. It was fun while it lasted for 233 years."

I'm not as certain as Giovanetti that this represents privacy's Armageddon. (Though I do wonder where the usual suspects like the Electronic Privacy Information Center are. Presumably inserting limits on information that can be disclosed -- and adding strict penalties on misuse of the information kept on file about hundreds of millions of Americans -- is at least as important as fretting about Facebook's privacy policy in Canada.)

A better candidate for a future privacy crisis is the so-called stimulus bill enacted with limited debate early this year. It mandated the "utilization of an electronic health record for each person in the United States by 2014," but included only limited privacy protections.

It's true that if the legislative branch chooses to create "affordability credits," it probably makes sense to ensure they're not abused. The goal of curbing fraud runs up against the goal of preserving individual privacy.

If we're going to have such significant additional government intrusion into our health care system, we will have to draw the privacy line somewhere. Maybe the House Democrats' current bill gets it right. Maybe it doesn't. But this vignette should be reason to be skeptical of claims that a massive and complex bill must be enacted as rapidly as its backers would have you believe.

Ah the good old health care bill. What have they dug up in it today?
More privacy intrusions giving access to personal data.
Yes let's vote this sucker into law! Who needs privacy when free health care is at stake? (sarcasm)

posted on Aug, 27 2009 @ 01:50 PM
Now we know, according to HR3200, that the Health Choices Commissioner and state health programs can obtain info about us from the IRS.

Now we need to find out who or what agencies the Health Choices Commissioner and state health programs can share their information with.

I have a feeling the sharing continues on down the line.

posted on Aug, 27 2009 @ 02:21 PM
reply to post by warrenb

Starred and flagged.
HR3200 just keeps getting more and more scary. I saw on Drudge today that a liberal congresswoman admitted that Medicare, and of course seniors, will suffer, in order to "reform" the nation's health-care system.
Just when people need medical care the most, this bill will take away much of the medical care that is available in Medicare.

It amazes me how so many ATS members are ok with this. Seniors worked all of their lives to have a few2 years to relax and enjoy life, and now Obama and the Dems want to make our last few years miserable and painful.

I paid into Medicare my 43 years of work, virtually the entire life-span of the Medicare program. This is not a welfare program. We PAID for it, and now they want to take some benefits away.

Obama also wants to cut Medicare reimbursements to doctors. Since doctors aren't required to accept Medicare patients, this means that fewer and fewer doctors will even agree to treat seniors.

It may not be a FORMAL death panel. However, it is a death sentence by neglect, when seniors are going to be denied treatment because Obama is squeezing them out of the health care system.

Maybe I should burn my driver's license, ID and go to Mexico, then cross back over the US border as an illegal alien. I'm sure then Obama will provide me with health coverage.

I'm just about ready to join a militia, seriously.

Some people, including Medicare recipients, will have to give up some current benefits to truly reform the nation's health-care system, Rep. Betsy Markey told a gathering of constituents in Fort Collins on Wednesday.

posted on Aug, 27 2009 @ 09:09 PM
This deserves a bump. I am surprised that not many have voiced their opinion on this.

This Is A Huge Privacy Concern

posted on Aug, 28 2009 @ 02:10 PM
reply to post by jam321

I agree. Maybe the other members don't pay any taxes to the IRS.
Who knows?


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