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Letter: Tax preparer weighs in on Roskam Obamacare column

Published: Thursday, Sept. 19, 2013 11:34 a.m. CDT

To the Editor:

I am writing in response to the Community Voice article by U.S. Rep. Peter Roskam (R-Ill.), which appeared in the Aug. 30 edition of the Press regarding the Affordable Care Act (ACA), often called Obamacare.

Roskam was concerned about the capacity of the IRS to be responsible for enforcing penalties for those who fail to be covered by health insurance starting in 2014. He claims in his article that IRS agents "will now be collecting information on individual's health status."

I doubt very much that will happen.

As a professional tax return preparer for 23 years, the scenario I envision is one in which an employee's health insurance status will be included on the W-2, or for those who will not be getting health insurance through their employer, the health insurance company will provide the taxpayer with a tax form indicating health insurance status. It will be a simple matter of entering another form or line entry into the tax return.

Roskam makes another statement that "Health care decisions should be kept between patients and their doctors ..." The ACA is not about health care decisions, it is about getting adequate insurance coverage for those who currently do not have any coverage or whose insurance is so poor or the deductible so high, that they effectively have no insurance.

I have two adult children who fall into this category. I know people who are self-employed and cannot afford insurance premiums, so they are not insured. My hairdresser and her husband are both self-employed, and although they have insurance, the deductible is so high that they don't go to the doctor, because everything would come out of their pocket anyway, and they already pay hundreds of dollars every month to the insurance company for insurance that basically covers nothing for them.

Carol Minix

Carol Stream

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