Roger Pearson | jlsegul
The reasonable man adapts himself to the world; the unreasonable one persists in trying to adapt the world to himself. Therefore, all progress depends on the unreasonable man. --George Bernard Shaw
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  • IRS Being Used to "Suggest" You Join Obamacare
    The IRS keeps up its war on US citizens The Obama administration just won’t give up trying to turn this country into a socialist republic until the very end it seems. Very soon, up to 20 million Americans soon will be getting a letter from the Internal Revenue Service “suggesting” they sign up for ObamaCare insurance.

    Getting a letter from the IRS can be a nerve-racking experience for many people and it is seldom seen as a suggestion, but more of a threat. Regardless, at President Obama’s direction, the IRS is “reaching out” to people who paid the tax penalty for not buying mandatory health insurance or who claimed an exemption in hopes of “attracting” more people to sign up for ObamaCare insurance. The government is particularly interested to get healthy young people signed up.

    Some in Congress is not happy about this. “We strongly object to any action by the Administration to improperly use sensitive taxpayer information to identify and harass individuals who have rejected the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) by choosing to pay a tax rather than be forced into a health care plan they don’t need and don’t want,” House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy, Majority Whip Steve Scalise, and Ways & Means Chairman Kevin Brady said in a letter today to IRS Commissioner John Koskinen.

    They sent a warning to the IRS about the use of “protected taxpayer information” and sent Koskinen a list of sharp questions demanding more details about how the IRS plans to “reach out directly to individuals” and how the Department of Health and Human Services will be involved in encouraging “their compliance with the individual mandate.”

    This information comes from an HHS fact sheet that says, “[F]or the first time this fall, we will conduct outreach to individuals and families who paid the fee for being uninsured, or claimed an exemption from that fee, for 2015.”

    “The ACA has caused great disruption in the individual health insurance market,” the House leaders said in their letter. “We do not believe it to be an appropriate tax administration activity, or a good use of scarce taxpayer resources, to use protected return data to direct taxpayers on their personal coverage decisions.” You would thing the IRS would have learned its lesson after all the trouble it got in by targeting individuals and groups unfavorable to the Obama administration’s policy agenda. It would seem the current IRS commissioner agrees with the directive from the White House.

    As Ronald Reagan so famously said, ‘The nine most terrifying words in the English language are: I’m from the government and I’m here to help.’ The recipients of the HHS letter will probably react negatively to hearing from the government. Just finding out that the HHS knows that the recipient paid the penalty tax in 2014 is enough to freak people out.

    About 45% of people who paid a penalty or claimed an exemption for 2014 were under the age of 35, compared to just 30% of all taxpayers that year. That wasn’t suppose to happen in Obama’s grand plans for us. Health insurers have made it very clear to the White House that they need more healthy young people to enroll in the exchanges to stabilize the pools, which are too old and sick. This is why so many of the exchanges are shutting down.

    Nearly 8 million people paid the individual mandate tax penalty in 2014. In addition, more than 12 million people claimed an “exemption” from the penalty tax. That is a lot of people that HHS will be contacting – some 20.3 million people.

    Then there is the question of whether it legal for the IRS to do this. The leaders warn the IRS that “As you are aware, the confidentiality of tax returns and return information is protected by law.” The “sole permitted use of this confidential data” is to determine whether people are eligible for ACA subsidies. But the current administration could care less what the law is when they want to do something. They ignore it or find away around it.

    Millennials getting a dreaded letter from the IRS may not have the result the administration may be wanting. It is like to further anger them about the reach of “big brother” into their lives and decisions.

    Perhaps you can now see why so many of us were worried about the individual mandate and the power that it would give government to exert its will over what should be our personal choices and decisions.

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