Declan McCullagh in a CBS News blog post says the “deviltry” is in the details.

He’s right.

Buried deep within HR-3200, the health-care bill (page 94 in my copy) is Section 431 – Disclosures to Carry Out Health Insurance Exchange Subsidies.  I’ve encluded an excerpt from the bill:


(a) In General- Subsection (l) of section 6103 of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 is amended by adding at the end the following new paragraph:


(A) IN GENERAL- The Secretary, upon written request from the Health Choices Commissioner or the head of a State-based health insurance exchange approved for operation under section 208 of the America’s Affordable Health Choices Act of 2009, shall disclose to officers and employees of the Health Choices Administration or such State-based health insurance exchange, as the case may be, return information of any taxpayer whose income is relevant in determining any affordability credit described in subtitle C of title II of the America’s Affordable Health Choices Act of 2009. 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), and

(vi) the taxable year with respect to which the preceding information relates or, if applicable, the fact that such information is not available.

Note that 431(a)(21)(A)(v) (the second to last sentence quoted) says “such other information as is prescribed by the Secretary…”  In essence, it is an open door into your Federal Income Tax Returns and what ever information the IRS has gathered about you.

Here’s are some thoughts.

First, the government now has a direct connection between your tax records and your health records.

Second, the IRS will be the “enforcer” for employer mandated coverage and will be the agency that assesses penalties for failure to comply.  Ever try getting something resolved through the IRS?

Third, with the administrative snafoos in Medicare, there will probably be a good chance that something coded incorrectly in a Health-Care document will trigger additional tax and penalties that will be levied by the IRS.

Fourth, the Senate bill has its own gremlins.  It would allow the governent to look directly into your bank account and social security records.

Here’s another quote from the article:

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.”