Sunday, March 28, 2010

"Welcome, IRS Agents"

Well, Obamacare supporters, thanks for ensuring that every freaking month the IRS is going to be monitoring each and every American to make sure we've purchased approved health care plans.

The only sweet part of this is that they'd be peering into YOUR business as well.

See also:

  • Obamacare’s IRS Provisions Trouble Security Experts: "With the IRS set to take a significant role in the new health care law signed by President Barack Obama on national television, that part of the Obamacare plan continues to worry those who have little faith in government efficiency, especially when Americans’ privacy issues are involved."

  • Under Obamacare, IRS Has Power to Penalize Americans Who Refuse to Buy Required Insurance: "In another indictment of Obamacare, a congressional report has found that the IRS will have the power to penalize, by means of fines, Americans who refuse to buy required, government insurance."

  • Under Obama Care IRS power grows considerably: "The mandates require that all Americans carry a minimum level of health insurance or pay a separate tax for every month they are without such coverage. All employers with 50 employers or more will also be required to provide their employees with that same minimum level of coverage. While that minimum level of coverage will be defined at a later date by the Department of Health and Human Services, it will be the responsibility of the IRS to monitor individuals and employers and to punish those who do not comply. .... The IRS would monitor individuals and businesses’ health insurance statuses through the mandatory reporting the bill requires. Under the law, every individual and most businesses are required to report to the IRS, on their tax returns, whether they have purchased or provided the required level of coverage and disclose to the IRS which months, if any, in which they failed to do so. .... Because these new mandates and taxes are under the purview of the IRS, taxpayers and businesses could incur additional penalties normally reserved for normal income tax cheats, paying fees over and above those for not complying with Congress’ new mandates."

  • ObamaCare To Be Enforced By IRS 'Bounty Hunters': "The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) will see its largest expansion since withholding taxes were first enacted during WWII to enforce the glut of new tax mandates and penalties included in the Democrats' latest health care plan, according to Rep. Kevin Brady (R-TX). .... 'When most people think of health care reform they think of more doctors exams, not more IRS exams,' says U.S. Congressman Kevin Brady, the top House Republican on the Joint Economic Committee. 'Isn't the federal government already intruding enough into our lives? We need thousands of new doctors and nurses in America, not thousands more IRS agents.'"

    Make sure to welcome your new IRS overlords!

    And why, pray tell, must we sic the IRS on the non-compliant citizen who dares to eat a Dorito without first taking out the proper insurance?

    Control. Control. Control the people.

    OperationCounterstrike said...

    In USA, anyone can walk into an emergency room and get treated, regardless of whether they can pay.

    Therefore, it's reasonable to require everyone to PAY for this privilege, by purchasing insurance.

    If you object to being forced to buy insurance, then you are supporting the idea that when you go into an ER, they must check your ability to pay BEFORE treating you, even if you are in the middle of a heart attack, or bleeding to death.

    "You're bleeding to death? Well, show us your proof of insurance, or a bank balance with enough $ to pay us, or else we will sit here and watch you bleed to death!"

    No thanks. I'd rather have the IRS force me to buy insurance.

    Christina Dunigan said...

    It's reasonable to expect people to pay for services. It's NOT reasonable to put the full force of the United States government into forcing them to pay in advance for services you think they might want or need in the future.

    OperationCounterstrike said...

    It's like national defense. Suppose someone says I don't wanna pay tax for war. But that person is enjoying the protection from enemies that national defense gives to all citizens. So we are justified in forcing him to help pay for it, by taxing him. Most conservatives understand this.

    Well, the same argument applies to emergency-room care. You get guaranteed access to ER care whether you ask for it or not, because Americans will not tolerate the idea of bleeding to death in the ER while the ER is trying to verify their ability to pay before treating them. So you enjoy the service whether you know you need it or not. Therefore, the provider is justified in taxing you to pay for it, just like national defense.

    And once you justify taxing people to pay for ER care, then taxing them to pay for care which PREVENTS the emergency is also justified.

    Health care is just one of those fields where the free market doesn't work. It's too specialized to have a truely competitive market--the best you can do is a set of parallel oligopolies--and it's too dangerous to be other than very heavily regulated, and it's too urgent for the consumers to be free to choose. The assumptions of the free-market model simply do not apply to health care, pretty much the same way they do not apply to national defense.

    Christina Dunigan said...

    1. National defense is actually one of the legitimate purposes of government.

    2. You have no right to send IRS agents to anybody else's bank account to take their money away in advance for something you think they might buy later.

    OperationCounterstrike said...

    RE: Your second point.

    GG, if that's what you believe, then you are implicitly supporting the idea that ERs should be free to turn people away who have no ability to pay, and that ERs should verify your ability to pay BEFORE treating you, even if you are in the middle of a life-threatening emergency like bleeding to death. "No proof of ability to pay = no treatment. Show us your insurance card, oh patient, or else we'll just sit here and watch you bleed to death!"

    This position puts you into a SMALL minority in USA. In USA, we have for many years required ERs to treat WITHOUT REGARD for ability to pay.

    THAT'S when we as a country chose socialized medicine. When we decided to force ERs to treat everyone without regard to ability to pay. Passing THAT law, way back when, socialized our medicine.

    Obamacare is just the logical fallout of a medical system which has ALREADY been socialized for many years.

    I wanna see you admit it. Do you support the idea that ERs should turn people away if they can't show ability to pay for care? Yes or no? Because if you say "no, they should treat everyone", as the law currently requires, then YOU support socialized medicine.

    Which is it, GG? Which do you support? No ER treatment without proof of ability to pay, or socialized medicine? Those are the only two choices, there is no third way.

    Do tell.

    Christina Dunigan said...

    This may come as a shock to you, OC, but some people do pay their bills! Yes, even medical bills! Even expensive ER bills! My husband and I did when we were uninsured. A family at my church had HUGE bills when their daughter's car was hit by a train. We took up collections to help them pay it all off.

    It IS possible for people to be responsible without armed thugs forcing them to do so at gunpoint.

    OperationCounterstrike said...

    Whether or not you pay your bills is not the question. The question is, should ERs check ability to pay before giving treatement, and, should ERs be allowed to turn away people who cannot pay, in the middle of a life-threatening emergency?

    If you say yes, then you're in a tiny minority. If you say no, then you support socialized medicine.

    Christina Dunigan said...

    Socialized medicine is not necessary for ERs to get paid. When we went to the ER while uninsured, nobody checked our wallets. They just billed us. Then we argued with them about some of the costs on the bill ($25 for a bag of saline to rinse my son's wound, for example), and after some dickering we paid.

    If people don't pay, then you deal with THOSE situations the same way ANYBODY deals with theft of services. Nobody requires Rental Insurance or socialized furniture just because people get a house full of furniture and don't pay their bills at Aaron's.

    OperationCounterstrike said...

    That's great. YOU had money to pay. What about when the ER treats someone who DOESN'T have the money?

    Only two possibilities: turn the person away (violates the law) or raise everybody else's fees to cover the cost (socialised medicine).

    If you don't pay for rental from Aaron's, Aaron's can take their furniture back from you. No one can take back medical care once it has been provided.

    Squirm as you may, you cannot evade the point: forcing ERs provide care to people who cannot afford to pay for it is already SOCIALIZED MEDICINE. We passed that in 1986--under President Ronald Reagan.

    OperationCounterstrike said...

    One other point: you have referred to ER access as "something you ... might buy later."

    That's wrong. You are ALREADY enjoying access to the ER. You ALREADY have the guarantee that if you go to the ER they will treat you without looking at your ability to pay.

    It's not "something you might buy later"; it's something you are enjoying NOW. So it makes sense to make you pay for it NOW.

    Christina Dunigan said...

    Your constant re-stating of the same thing is getting boring.

    Christina Dunigan said...

    Although, there's another option regarding ER services. If we see ER services as a public safety net for the area, then have a specific EMS tax based on the person's risk factors. A tax levied on tobacco and alcohol sales, gasoline, etc., that went into a fund to keep the ER open. That way people who are most likely to use the ER -- drivers, smokers, drinkers -- would be paying the ER tax. Maybe a bicycle license fee, since cyclists get hit by cars. Attach a EMS fee to traffic tickets such as DUI, reckless driving, speeding, running red lights, tailgating.

    But of course those are still a way of billing people in advance for something you think they might use and you're afraid they won't pay for. Which is wrong.

    Lilliput said...

    Christina, what are the statistics of people using er services now and not being able to pay for them or being made bankrupt because of them. I know you belong to a church that can help but what about those people that don't - where do they go to raise money to pay their bills?

    And from a prolife angle, I imagine that there are many women out there without insurance thinking that its fine because they are healthy and don't need it but then they fall pregnant and worry about how they will pay for the birth - it may make them think about abortion. If they were forced to buy insurance then they wouldn't be forced to beg for charity and feel comfortable about the birth being paid for. I don't see the problem?

    When I go overseas I purchase health cover - I'm ever so pleased when I don't use it - and I am safe in the knowledge that I don't have to beg for help or force other people to pay for it.

    Christina Dunigan said...

    I'm all for facilitating people choosing and purchasing insurance. I'm all for helping people who went from the full bloom of health to "Oops! I'm sick/injured and SOL!". There are ways to do this that don't involve the IRS checking on you every month to make sure you are compliant.

    One huge problem with Obamacare is that it is based on two assumptions:

    1. Ordinary citizens can't be trusted.
    2. Government bureaucrats can.

    I work under the auspices of government bureaucracy. I do NOT want bureaucrats running ANYBODY'S health care. Not even OC's! Because I've seen how bureaucracy works in action. And it's ugly and dehumanizing. It's heartbreaking enough to see welfare recipients trying to cope with the BETP regulations that just intrude on 20 - 35 hours a week of their lives. I don't want their very lives to depend on the sensible functionality of bureaucratic regulations! I actually CARE about these people. And the more you see and care about real people, the more damnable the regulations are.

    No, thanks!

    OperationCounterstrike said...

    GG, I keep repeating the point because I keep hoping against hope that you will, finally, understand it.

    (No harm hoping!)

    Christina Dunigan said...

    OC, you keep saying the same nonsensical thing. Repeating it isn't going to make it make any sense.

    Simon said...

    Granny so you object to "socialized medicine" what about other 'socialized' government services eg fire, police, defence, law courts etc?

    Lilliput said...

    Christina I more than agree with you about the beurocracy as I can see the negative and dehumanising effect it has on people here in the uk. But I question if there is any other way - and if there is - why didn't the Republicans make chages to a system that was obviously not working for so many while they were in power. I'm not sure why the IRS need to get involved but what other body would you suggest should be in charge of making sure people pay for health insurance. Here it is a tax and therefore the IRS have the power to prosecute those that don't pay.

    I hate the beaurocracy too but I can am aware that there are people who want things for free - and that's both the very rich who pay the least tax and the poor who want to live on welfare.

    Christina Dunigan said...

    Simon, government has some legitimate purviews. Mostly stuff that can't be done by the private sector, such as negotiating treaties, administering justice, etc. But you limit the government's role to what is really NECESSARY. It's not NECESSARY for the government to intrude into every aspect of citizen's live. Not of FREE citizens, anyway. People who want to be kept like farm animals are another matter.

    Christina Dunigan said...

    Lil, the Republicans put forth something like 138 different proposals. NONE of which was even acknowledged by Obama and the Democrats.

    Conservatives on this blog have discussed these alternatives at length. Just a few:

    1. More cost-effective health delivery systems. (I've described my old, wonderful HMO at great length.)

    2. Interstate competition among health insurers.

    3. More flexibility in health plans, so that people can choose what sort of coverage they want the same way they can choose what sort of auto insurance they want.

    4. Vouchers to help the poor and/or those with pre-existing conditions to purchase the insurance of their choice.

    5. Tax-free Health Savings Accounts.


    The more you get the government involved, the more bogged down, incomprehensible, and dehumanizing a system becomes. Just look at tax law! I can't make any damed sense out of the W-4s any more. Every rule causes a problem someplace else that gets fixed with another rule that causes another problem in another place. No, thank you!

    Simon said...

    Granny maybe for some services but there are plenty that could be made completely user pays including public education, funding for sports, science, parks etc I just don't see why you jump up and down about health insurance esp whem your country spends obscence amounts on the military.

    Next even if you could in some way blame adults for what happens to them it hard to see how you could do the same for minors. If you are Pro-Life it doesn't make any sense esp with 17000 kids dying of preventable causes becuase they had no heath insurance. Seems pretty callous to me, certainly not the Christian stance to take.

    Christina Dunigan said...

    1. I've made it clear why I oppose government health care.

    2. We can discuss and debate other issues separately.

    What I want to know is why so many people are so keen on having faceless bureaucrats run their lives. Or is it that you just think the faceless bureaucrats will run other people's lives, and you'll be among the faceless bureaucrats inflicting the government on the rest of us?

    OperationCounterstrike said...

    GG, the "faceless bureaucrats" were ALREADY running our lives, but they were INSURANCE COMPANY bureaucrats, who get bigger christmas bonuses for each client they screw over.

    OF COURSE, if it were a choice between Obamacare and some perfect system, we'd all prefer the perfect system. It wasn't, though. It was a choice between Obamacare and the outrageous non-system we had BEFORE Obamacare.

    Unknown said...

    We do that in Texas already, and I believe some form of this tax is attached to vehicle registration and fee when you purchase insurance.
    I also noted that DPS Texas has this charge on any ticket they issue.

    You are correct, we take care of our own through community based taxes..charitable organizations, business organizations, regardless of their ability to pay. It is called Personal and Community responsibility and it should not be forced. Most is paid for by PROPERTY TAXES.
    As a whole, without doubt, the American people are the most "Giving" people on the face of the earth and particularly in Texas we take care of our own and Mexico's own!

    Unknown said...

    To OC,
    This Healthcare Reform that NO ONE benefits from for years, is a Guaranteed Contract with Health Insurance Industry...Can you imagine? They no longer have to solicit your business, nor try and "upsell" a healthcare or life insurance policy to you. Obamacare and it's provision for IRS Monitoring Guarantees the purchases for them....Like it or not, the Obama Admin and Congress struck a deal with the devil and they are now paying up, Regardless of what comes out of their mouths, the U.S. Congress has SIDED and cojoined the insurance industry and now they stand to force millions of $$$ out of your and my pocket.
    (If you think I don't care about social or community responsibility, read my other post)