Listening to recent statements from some congressional Republicans, you might think that the 2010 health law allows the Internal Revenue Service to have access to your medical records.
Not so, says the Department of Health and Human Services. “The Affordable Care Act maintains strict privacy controls to safeguard personal information. The IRS will not have access to personal health information,” said agency spokeswoman Erin Shields Britt.
Republicans have pounced on news reports that the IRS unfairly targeted conservative groups for greater scrutiny when the groups sought tax-exempt status. Rep. Michele Bachmann, R-Minn., said the health law “will allow bureaucrats access to our most intimate, personal health care information.” Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., a physician, said he was “quite worried about the privacy of medical records. I’m quite worried now that your medical records will be evaluated by the IRS.”
The IRS does play a key role in implementing the 2010 health care law. Those duties include enforcing the law’s requirement that most individuals have health insurance or pay a fine and helping determine whether individuals are eligible for a tax credit to help afford health insurance premiums.