Byproduct of Obamacare Could Be the Institution of National ID Card
By Frank Whalen
The high cost of complying with the new federal healthcare laws, known informally as Obamacare, has been reported in detail by AMERICAN FREE PRESS. But there is another issue that is quickly becoming a hot topic: Who is going to enforce these new, complicated regulations that are being imposed on the American people? The Internal Revenue Service is slated to monitor compliance with the rules, and a proposed national ID card may be just the tool that revenuers need to be able to keep track of everyone.
The Hill reported in March 2010 that the IRS will “handle the increased workload to oversee, administer and collect penalties for people who don’t buy health insurance.” The Capitol Hill daily added that “the Congressional Budget Office expects the IRS will need roughly $10 billion over the next 10 years, and nearly 17,000 new employees to meet its new responsibilities under health reform.”
These are staggering figures, and one might wonder why the Obama administration would allow such a fiscal debacle to tarnish the celebratory passage of a law that has encountered some, but not necessarily enough, congressional resistance.
Allowing for financial surveillance and government sanctioned thievery is almost certainly a significant Obamacare objective. However, with some Americans even questioning the tax code’s legitimacy, IRS involvement by itself doesn’t guarantee revenue from all people. However, a healthcare ID card, something a lot like the well-publicized but delayed Real ID card, would. In the stated interests of “streamlining medical services” and “avoiding errors” in providing them, such a card could be required for all persons—containing a person’s medical history, financial history and even their criminal history. It would also likely contain biometric information, such as a fingerprint or retinal scan, and perhaps also serve as a drivers license and passport.
While it might be possible to hide from the IRS, dismiss a Social Security number or avoid getting a drivers license, the first time someone gets sick, such a card could very well be required for treatment. Total surveillance of every person in the United States, both legally and illegally, might just be worth these astronomical costs to Big Brother. But with opt-outs and waivers continuing to arise regarding participation in the healthcare reform plan, a major question centers around who will actually pay for this legislation.
Unions, typically a Democratic Party voting base, will get exemptions as they were promised. The Washington Examiner reports: “There are 166 union benefit funds now exempted from this requirement, which account for about 40 percent of the exempted workers.”
There is also discussion about removing the individual mandate portion by allowing states to create their own healthcare systems. This bipartisan proposal seems to have Obama’s support. However, in a Dec. 14, 2010 article for Bloomberg, Tom Schoenberg and Margaret Fisk wrote, “Justice Department lawyers in court papers called the mandatory insurance measure the cornerstone of the overhaul” while attempting to block state challenges to the law.
New York-based news outlet Bloomberg also stated, “Without payments generated from the required policies, the health-insurance market would face extinction.”
So, how is it possible to sustain such a pricey piece of legislation when the primary sources of revenue are being eroded?
Compounding concerns is the number of additional qualifiers for Medicaid and those who cannot afford other options due to unemployment and poverty. Online news website Newsmax quoted Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-MN) as saying there was a $105 billion appropriation deceitfully hidden in the healthcare reform legislation by Democrats. “This is why Speaker Pelosi said we need to pass the bill to know what’s in it,” Bachmann stated.
Removing the individual mandate would eliminate Mrs. Pelosi’s threatened fines and jail time she proposed in her legislation. A November 2009 letter fromthe nonpartisan Joint Committee on Taxation revealed, “Americans who do not maintain acceptable health insurance coverage and who choose not to pay the bill’s new individual mandate tax are subject to numerous civil and criminal penalties, including criminal fines of up to $250,000 and imprisonment of up to five years.”
But the costs to implement this legislation remain. NBC Connecticut revealed in October 2010 that Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield were raising their premiums nearly 50 percent. When Connecticut Attorney General Richard Blumenthal questioned this hike, Insurance Commissioner Thomas Sullivan told him, “These rates reflect the current cost to deliver care and the impact of more comprehensive benefit designs required under the federal healthcare reform law. If the attorney general wants to complain . . . he should complain to Congress.”
In 2010, large companies stated that the healthcare reform bill would bring vast additional expenses on companies that continue to do business in the United States. Boeing claimed its cost would be $150 million, while Caterpillar put its amount at $100 million in the first year alone. John Deere expects a $150 million increase, and AT&T expects to spend an additional $1 billion.
Frank Whalen has been a radio talk show host for the past 17 years, and worked as a consultant for Maxim magazine. To read more from Frank Whalen or to tune in to his radio show, Frankly Speaking, go to his uncensored website at www.franklyspeakingradio.com. There you will see a vast archive of information on a wide range of topics.
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(Issue # 13, March 28, 2011)