Garnering Your Tax Return for Health Insurance? By Charles Boustany, Jr M.D.
Hoosier Access has received yet another exclusive op-ed and this time it is from Rep. Charles Boustany, Jr, M.D. (R-LA).
Garnering Your Tax Return for Health Insurance?
By Rep. Charles W. Boustany, Jr., MD
March 17, 2010
Submitted exclusively to Hoosier Access
As April 15 approaches, millions of Americans will receive tax refunds. Some will use the excess money they paid to Uncle Sam to go on vacation. Some will use it to pay off credit card bills, and some will save it for a rainy day.
However, if the Senate health-care overhaul passes, the Internal Revenue Service could garner those tax refunds if individuals fail to purchase bureaucrat-approved health insurance. That’s what the National Taxpayer Advocate, Nina Olson, told the House Ways and Means Oversight Subcommittee yesterday after I questioned her. I serve as the lead Republican on the Subcommittee.
I was a heart surgeon for nearly 20 years, and during that time, I ran a small business, my medical practice. As health insurance costs soared, I struggled to provide insurance to my employees, so I know the difficulties Americans face firsthand. However, the Senate health-care overhaul simply makes things worse both for families and small businesses.
The Senate overhaul increases health costs according to the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office, the official scorekeeper for Congress. The bill raises taxes, and it raids Medicare, which so many of our seniors depend upon, to fund a new mandate. That’s why the American people so resoundingly reject President Obama’s health-care plan in poll after poll.
As a doctor, I know government, business and individuals must work to lower health costs. In September, I outlined several bi-partisan, commonsense solutions to bring down health-care costs when I gave the Republican address following the President. Then, I suggested:
- all individuals should have access to coverage, regardless of preexisting conditions;
- individuals, small businesses and other groups should be able to join together to get health insurance at lower prices, the same way large businesses and labor unions do;
- we can provide assistance to those who still cannot access a doctor;
- and, insurers should be able to offer incentives for wellness care and prevention.
Unfortunately, the Senate health overhaul focuses on where we disagree, including garnering tax returns from people who fail to purchase government-approved health insurance. If the President and Speaker Pelosi are truly interested in working together and lowering health costs, they should scrap the current bill like the American people want.
Keep that in mind when you get your tax return this year. It might not be around in the future.
Rep. Charles W. Boustany, Jr., MD represents Southwest Louisiana in Congress and serves on the House Ways and Means Committee. He was one of only three doctors to attend President Obama’s Blair House Health Care Summit earlier this year.