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Keep the IRS out of health care

Legislative update

POSTED: August 8, 2013 11:30 a.m.

With the recent revelations coming out of the Internal Revenue Service — news that it colluded with the Federal Elections Commission to influence rulings — the last place the scandal-plagued agency belongs is in the most personal aspect of our lives: our health care.
That, unfortunately, is where Obamacare puts the agency and its army of bureaucrats. In the largest expansion of its authority in history, the IRS would be charged with administering 47 provisions of the law.
That goes well beyond collecting 20 higher taxes like the $29 billion medical-device tax that is stifling innovation and the $101 billion new tax on health-insurance plans, which will further drive up costs. The IRS is slated to oversee the implementation and enforcement of three cornerstones of Obamacare: the employer mandate, the individual mandate and credits for those purchasing health care in the exchanges created by the bill. That means that unless it is stopped, the American people will be forced to disclose personal medical information when filing their taxes each year.
Moreover, the IRS will begin communicating with the insurance companies and other federal agencies about your health-care decisions. All this for the agency that harassed groups based on their perceived ideology, wasted tax dollars creating a spoof of “Star Trek” and knowingly is spending $4.2 billion in taxpayer checks to illegal immigrants each year.
If the IRS cannot fairly and effectively administer its existing responsibilities, it certainly has no place being involved in our health-care decisions or being entrusted with the personal medical data for more than 300 million Americans.
Last week, the House voted, on a bipartisan basis, to keep the IRS out of your health care by prohibiting it from enforcing or implementing any component of Obamacare.
Obamacare is a train wreck and must be stopped before it inflicts any additional harm to the American people. It takes away choices, increases costs and gives too much power over our personal decisions to unaccountable Washington bureaucrats.
By forcing such a massive bill through on partisan votes, President Obama and congressional Democrats created a law that is riddled with disastrous provisions and unintended consequences. The Obama administration admitted as much when it delayed the employer mandate that already has caused businesses to cut worker hours or layoff thousands of employees.
In Georgia, we got a preview of just what the law could mean for us last week, when Insurance Commissioner Ralph Hudgens requested an emergency delay after learning that insurance premiums in the state could go up by 198 percent.
I do not care if it takes 40 votes or 400; I will continue fighting to repeal this disastrous law. For all his complaining about our efforts in campaign-style speeches, President Obama now has signed seven bills to repeal or defund parts of Obamacare into law.
We can and must do better than Obamacare. By implementing medical liability reform, reducing government barriers to competition and leveling the playing field between big businesses and the little guy, we can bring down the cost of and increase access to care without expanding the size or role of government.
This is where Obamacare was doomed from the start: The best way to improve America’s health-care system is to empower patients, families and doctors, not government bureaucrats and certainly the not the IRS.

Kingston, R-Ga., serves the states 1st Congressional District, which includes Liberty and Long counties.

 

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