Rep. Eric Cantor, the House majority leader, is telling blatant lies about the Affordable Care Act to his constituents and on the House floor. He says that the law will give the IRS access to all of your healthcare information, like what illnesses you have, what meds you take and so forth. PolitiFact calls this a pants on fire lie.
HHS officials repeatedly have said they will not be seeking intimate details from medical histories and guaranteed the department will not share the information with the IRS, as reported by this spring by our colleagues at PolitiFact National and FactCheck.org.
Again, it should be noted that the data will not be collected on everyone, just those who buy coverage through exchanges. The Congressional Budget Office has estimated that 26 million people living in the U.S. in 2020 — less than 8 percent of population — will be insured by the exchanges.
Twice since May, IRS officials have testified at House hearings that they will not have access to private medical records. The agency’s website states, “Nothing in (Obamacare) allows the IRS to access individual’s health information, including information about individuals’ health status and any health care services received.”
The IRS will share tax information to help HHS determine whether low-income families and individuals qualify for assistance in purchasing insurance. A computer system is being developed that will give HHS instant access to that information. But it will be a one-way system, and the IRS will not be able to view HHS records.
So how will the IRS identify uninsured Americans who must pay Obamacare’s penalty tax?
“Taxpayers will get a form at the end of every year from their insurer to use when they prepare their tax returns,” then-IRS Deputy Commissioner Steven Miller told a House subcommittee in September 2012. “It is important to note that the information that insurers provide to the IRS will show the fact of insurance coverage, and will not include any personal health information.
Cantor knows this, of course. He’s just lying.