Thursday, August 27, 2009

Democratic Health Care Bill Divulges IRS Tax Data -

CBS News, of all sources, notes that there are a few provisions in the Obamacare (is it officially KennedyCare yet?) bill that will require (not allow on request but require) the IRS to provide the Health Care Commissioner with your tax data.
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.
While all three provisions are very, very disturbing, that last one has very much of an Orwellian feel. The SSA can obtain your tax records to see if anyone is eligible for a low income drug subsidy but hasn't applied for it. There are many reasons, some practical and some philosophic as to why a person might not apply for a low income drug subsisidy. they could

1. Not need the subsidy because they don't need any prescription drugs (i.e. they are healthy).
2. Not consider themselves as "low-income" and thus don't need a government hand-out.
3. Be philosophically and/or regligiously opposed to using drugs (i.e. a Christ Scientist for example).
4. Be politically opposed to government health care and have determined they don't want to have the government make their decisions for them.

But the truly sinister aspect is the government may take this information and either (at the lowest level of intrusion) send you advertising about a low-income prescription drug subsidy or (at worst), without your knowledge sign you up for such a subsidy.

How many people are going to have a fit about this little bit of intrusion.

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