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Democratic Health Care Bill Divulges IRS Tax Data

Discussion in 'Political Zone' started by JBond, Aug 27, 2009.

  1. JBond

    JBond Well-Known Member

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    Democratic Health Care Bill Divulges IRS Tax Data

    http://www.cbsnews.com/blogs/2009/08/26/taking_liberties/entry5268079.shtml

    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." (Here's our CBS News television coverage.)

    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 so rapidly as its backers would have you believe.

    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Declan McCullagh is a correspondent for CBSNews.com. He can be reached at declan@cbsnews.com.
  2. Double Trouble

    Double Trouble Well-Known Member

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    It never ceases to surprise me how eager some people are to sacrifice their freedoms for a modicum of (false) security.
  3. JBond

    JBond Well-Known Member

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    Affordability credits? We are going to be forced to release all of our private personal financial information to multiple divisions of the federal government and all of their employees, so they can determine how to run their next freebie giveaway program being funded with our tax dollars. Crazy stuff.

    Change we can believe in if you happen to be a welfare baby or socialist trash.
  4. JBond

    JBond Well-Known Member

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    This deserves more attention. How many people should have access to your previously personal private information?
  5. CowboyDan

    CowboyDan Anger is a Gift

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    UH OH, somebody forgot to read the other thread entitled 26 Lies about H.R. 3200......

    False. This section of the bill discusses “Disclosures To Carry Out Health Insurance Exchange Subsidies.” It says that government employees of the health insurance exchange will have access to federal tax information for purposes of determining eligibility for affordability credits available for low- and moderate-income Americans. In other words, in order to qualify for a government subsidy to purchase health insurance, the government needs to confirm your income. And, no surprise, the government already has access to your federal tax information. The bill also says nothing about “ALL … financial and personal records.” Instead it says “Such return information shall be limited to—(i) taxpayer identity information with respect to such taxpayer, (ii) the filing status of such taxpayer, (iii) the modified adjusted gross income of such taxpayer (as defined in section 59B(e)(5)), (iv) the number of dependents of the taxpayer, (v) such other information as is prescribed by the Secretary by regulation as might indicate whether the taxpayer is eligible for such affordability credits (and the amount thereof).” The bill goes on to limit use of this information “only for the purposes of, and to the extent necessary in, establishing and verifying the appropriate amount of any affordability credit … and providing for the repayment of any such credit which was in excess of such appropriate amount.”
  6. burmafrd

    burmafrd Well-Known Member

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    There are very strict regulations on what info the IRS can share danny boy, at least right now. This would start to change that. Once again you lose.
  7. CowboyDan

    CowboyDan Anger is a Gift

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    Are you still talking??
  8. zrinkill

    zrinkill Diamond surrounded by trash

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    Are you?
  9. JBond

    JBond Well-Known Member

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    Thanks for proving the point. New expanded access to my personal information is exactly what I claimed. I guess if you are like the ever increasing group that do not pay taxes you would not care. The few of us left that actually pay taxes do care. I do not want a bunch of pin head government officials having access to my private information. The ****ing IRS is intrusive enough without adding a whole bunch of idiots from the Department of Obama Care invading my privacy.

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