Thursday, August 27, 2009

And it just keeps getting worse: health czar given access to tax returns and bank accounts.

If you thought the worse thing about the Democrats' health care bill was the public option, you're in for a surprise. Today, CBS correspondent Declan McCullagh picked up on a blog post by Tom Giovanetti, President of the Institute for Policy Innovation of Texas, who dug deeper into the 1000 page tome that is the health care bill and uncovered Section 431(a). This section requires the IRS to hand over your financial information to the Health Czar or any head of a state-based insurance program (so the state's health czar) if such a request is made. The justification for this intrusion: to determine whether you would be eligible for federal health care benefits.

So, if a federal or state health czar requests any information from your tax returns, the IRS is required to hand it over. There is no requirement for the IRS to contact you or even notify you that this is taking place. And, of course, it would just be too simple and not at all sneaky enough if, in these kinds of situations, the bill laid out a procedure by which any individual who applies for government health benefits could, on their own, follow steps to prove their eligibility - including disclosing their financial information themselves. Basically, why would the government ask you for your information when they can set up a system under which they have access to information that paints them a nice picture of your life - your tax returns, your medical records, etc.

What is extremely distressing, is that in the age of Obama and the bloated government policies that have come along with it, this probably doesn't phase most people. But, it doesn't stop there. Under the Senate version of the bill, the health czar can sneak a peak into your bank accounts at their leisure, all justified under the same logic, that the government may need this information to check your eligibility. Wait a minute, those evil insurance companies are criticized left and right for asking questions about your medical history when you apply for insurance. Can you imagine the outcries if they also asked for cart blanche access to your tax returns, bank account information and your health records? For those that find no fault with this policy, may I ask, has the government proven itself so capable, so competent, that you are willing to hand over total control of this information to them? If so, when??? Or, to quote Barney Frank, something I do very rarely, 'on what planet do YOU spend most of your time?' Where are all those people that were up in arms over the Patriotic Act? Isn't this far worse?

Not to mention that as Joe the Plumber found out during the 2008 election cycle, when government bureaucrats have access to your personal information, you don't want to find yourself on their wrong side.

And, the icing on the cake, the legislation does not allow for a court or administrative review of the provisions in that section. Of course. We wouldn't want the government to have to answer to the people they represent - better to grant them complete immunity, and if your information winds up in the wrong hands, no redress for you.

But, don't worry. As Giovanetti points out, we've got a politician with conviction, a man of the people, who isn't swayed by day-to-day politics on our side.
"Senator Arlen Specter promised the other day at a town hall meeting that “we’ll do everything we can to stop people from breaking into the files.”
I feel so much better.

1 comment:

  1. Hi Despina, I love your blog! The people who were up in arms over the patriotic act are too busy drinking Obama's kool-aid and reading people magazine. I just can't get over the hypocrisy. It makes me sick. These issues will never make head lines in the MSM. So most of the liberal twits who voted for him don't have a clue. I'm just grateful for people like you who keep people like me informed.