Friday, September 04, 2009

We're Going To A Bad Place

h/t Edgar

we have another data point, suggesting that Healthcare Reform is going to be a tyrannical system, and an extreme hardship for millions of Americans in the following article.

Health care reform means more power for the IRS.

There's been a lot of discussion about the new and powerful federal agencies that would be created by the passage of a national health care bill. The Health Choices Administration, the Health Benefits Advisory Committee, the Health Insurance Exchange — there are dozens in all.

But if the plan envisioned by President Barack Obama and Congressional Democrats is enacted, the primary federal bureaucracy responsible for implementing and enforcing national health care will be an old and familiar one: the Internal Revenue Service. Under the Democrats' health care proposals, the already powerful — and already feared — IRS would wield even more power and extend its reach even farther into the lives of ordinary Americans, and the presidentially-appointed head of the new health care bureaucracy would have access to confidential IRS information about millions of individual taxpayers.

With the IRS in charge, this legislation will have some real teeth. If you can't afford insurance, then you may well get your wages garnished. If you don't earn wages, you'll be a criminal.

Under the various proposals now on the table, the IRS would become the main agency for determining who has an "acceptable" health insurance plan; for finding and punishing those who don't have such a plan; for subsidizing individual health insurance costs through the issuance of a tax credits; and for enforcing the rules on those who attempt to opt out, abuse, or game the system. A substantial portion of H.R. 3200, the House health care bill, is devoted to amending the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 in order to give the IRS the authority to perform these new duties.

And notice that it's up to the taxpayer to insure that they have an acceptable plan. It's not up to the insurance carriers to offer one. And what criteria will the IRS use to judge if the plan is acceptable? Will their criteria be somewhat whimsical or flexible enough to be open to abuse? How many employer provided health care plans will be eligible? If you've paid for a year's coverage, for a plan that turns out to be a little substandard when tax time comes around, what will be your punishment for making that mistake?

And finally, what will be the criminal penalties for those that are jobless and broke, as many millions of Americans will be, over the next decade?

As this legislation is being written by the insurance industry, I have no reason to believe that it contains any restrictions on abuses by the industry. I'd be very surprised if it didn't allow more abuses.

Quite honestly, I am very frightened by this proposed legislation. I fear this will be more destructive to America, than any single piece of legislation we've seen yet. It will channel a large portion of the wage earner's income into an overpriced tax to benefit insurance carriers, who will have no obligation to improve their systems, or actually pay for coverage that they are contracted to provide.

This legislation will give the insurance carriers a captive population of customers. It will remove the last vestiges of competitiveness from the system. Carriers will be able to earn huge profits, while providing very little in the way of actual services.

The potential for abuse by this legislation is tremendous. So far, I haven't heard a peep about any safeguards to protect the citizenry.

Let me give a big congratulations to the insurance carriers. This is quite bonanza you're being handed.

And so the corporate welfare state continues it's massive expansion. the days of working for profits are ending. Why work, when your industry can collect free checks for nothing?


At 7:29 AM, Blogger Bukko_in_Australia said...

Hey Weas, here's a long piece from a Swiss bank that's dumping all of its American customers because the IRS is going to treat everyone in the world like a U.S. citizen for tax purposes. (h/t a commenter on Automatic Earth for alerting me to this.) It fits in with what you are talking about re: IRS and health care. The US .grub is trying to get its fingers in everybody's pocket so it can steal enough to keep the racket going for a few more weeks.

At 7:34 PM, Blogger Publius said...

We are absolutely, positively fucked.
The internal conflicts that result from this, when millions realize how double-crossed they have been, will be a modern version of the Whiskey Rebellion. Let's hope for a better result.

At 3:13 PM, Blogger edgar said...

Hi Wease!

With my high-deductible (self financed) plan I will probably have to pay my insurance premiums and the irs penalty too. Welcome to Stalingrad.

At 3:29 PM, Blogger edgar said...

[a decent read here]


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