(The Blaze) – The Internal Revenue Service this week will publish a final rule requiring Obamacare health insurance exchanges to hand over key personal data to the IRS, which will use the information to implement the tax aspects of the controversial health care law.
The IRS rule covers health exchanges that sell insurance to individuals, and it takes effect this year. That means people enrolled in an Obamacare exchange this year will have their information given to the IRS as soon as it’s needed for tax purposes.
Information to be handed over from Obamacare exchanges includes names, addresses, taxpayer identification numbers, insurance premium amounts, the name of the insurance issuer, and the insurance plan policy number issued by the exchanges.
The IRS says this data is needed to assess whether people are eligible for a health insurance tax credit. “This tax credit can help make purchasing health insurance coverage more affordable for people with moderate incomes,” according to the IRS.
The rule is being published amid ongoing concerns about data security, and after the troubled launch of the healthcare.gov website that exposed many technical glitches. Those issues have some worried that the personal data people give to the exchanges will be at risk.
House Republicans have passed a few bills aimed at addressing this potential problem. In January, for example, the House passed the Exchange Information Disclosure Act, which would require the government to tell people whenever their personal information has been compromised.
Republicans have also passed legislation requiring weekly updates from the administration on how the law is being implemented, including details about website glitches.
So far, however, only the House has passed these bills, and the Senate has not given any indication it will consider them.
The final IRS rule follows draft regulations that were issued last summer. Those rules were put out for public comment, and the final rules to be published this week were tweaked in some ways in response to those comments.
But the IRS also ignored some requests to alter the rule. For example, the draft rule said exchanges must tell the IRS whether a person enrolled in an Obamacare plan by a taxpayer is that taxpayer’s dependent. The commenter said the IRS should have that information, and that it therefore doesn’t need to be reported.
But the IRS said it would not change this rule.
“The final regulations do not adopt this comment because information the IRS provides as part of the verification process is from the taxpayer’s most recently filed tax return, which may be two years old,” the rule states.
The final IRS rule is due to be published on Wednesday.
West Virginia Democratic Senator Joe Manchin appeared on Morning Joe this morning to discuss several issues. One of them was whether or not he would like to have President Obama campaigning for him if he was running for reelection this year.
John Heileman, a frequent guest on the show as well as an explanation for the show’s sucky ratings, asked Manchin point blank: “If you were running for reelection this year, two quick questions: One. would you ask the President to come campaign for you in West Virginia?”
Before Heileman could even get to the second question, Manchin answered the first one with a succinct “No.”
That drew a belly laugh from the show’s token Republican, Joe Scarborough. Actually, he might be the network’s token Republican.
The second question was whether he would embrace or run away from ObamaCare. He cut that baby by saying that he wants to fix the law rather than repeal it.
First Amendment organization characterized as “racist”
Paul Joseph Watson
May 5, 2014
A protest against a California school district’s decision to ban the wearing of American flag t-shirts on Cinco de Mayo has begun this morning, with demonstrators displaying large flags and banners outside Live Oak High School in Morgan Hill.
The demonstration stems from an incident in 2010 when four students at the school were told by assistant principal Miguel Rodriguez to turn their shirts inside out or go home because the American flag designs were seen as “offensive” to Mexican students on Cinco de Mayo, a day on which Mexicans celebrate their heritage.
The incident led to a lawsuit, Dariano v. Morgan Hill Unified School District, in which students claimed their First Amendment rights had been violated. However, in February the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals sided with the school, asserting that the threat of racial violence as a result of the t-shirts trumped the right to free speech. The case is set to be heard by 11 judges after another appeal was filed.
“The practice of limiting one group’s free speech rights because that speech might cause another group to react violently is known as the “heckler’s veto.” It is understood by free speech enthusiasts to have a chilling effect on First Amendment rights,” writes Robby SoaveI.
A group calling itself the Gilroy-Morgan Hill Patriots arrived this morning to display large American flags outside the school as students arrived for classes.
“The school…. erected a temporary chain link fence, covered in mesh, so that no one can get in – or see into – the school campus. And on Monday, school leaders put up a giant green-and-gold poster that reads, “United at the Roots,” reports NBC Bay Area.
According to Freedom X, the organization representing the Gilroy-Morgan Hill Patriots, the local community has been hostile to the protest.
“The group’s plans are not being received well by members of the community who have threatened protests in order to disrupt the event,” states their website. “The Morgan Hill Unified School District has held public meetings where the Patriots have been derided as racists. The district’s superintendent, Steve Betando, has repeatedly urged the Patriots to cancel the event ostensibly for safety reasons. Yet when pressed to explain what safety issues he anticipates, he is unable to give a clear answer.”
The NBC report clearly skews the issue in favor of the school, without mentioning whether or not students would be allowed to wear t-shirts bearing the Mexican flag.
Dozens of protesters began arriving outside school gates before 7am and were greeted by honks of support from passing motorists.
Had you noticed we were enjoying a “Year of Action”? Are you enjoying it?
On Saturday President Obama enjoyed his 11th golf outing of the year before heading off to the White House Correspondents’ Dinner. Today the president meets with President Ismail Omar Guelleh of Djibouti and then hosts a Cinco de Mayo reception in the Rose Garden. Later this week, the President will attend four Democratic fundraisers in California.
But perhaps the clearest sign of the “Year of Action” is in the results.
USA Today this morning:
By more than 2-1, 65 percent to 30 percent, Americans say they want the president elected in 2016 to pursue different policies and programs than the Obama administration, rather than similar ones…
By more than 2-1, Americans are dissatisfied with the direction of the country. They remain downbeat about the economy. They aren’t persuaded that the Affordable Care Act is going to help them and their families. Even the president’s supporters worry he is a political liability for fellow Democrats. The president’s job approval rating remains anemic in the new survey, at 44% approve, 50% disapprove.
President Obama’s national security adviser Ben Rhodes, who edited the administration’s Benghazi talking points, is a former fiction writer who penned a short story about a supernaturally gifted professional note-taker who rises through the corporate world by taking notes that make other people’s statements sound better.
Rhodes, it was recently revealed, sent a 2012 email after the Benghazi terrorist attack instructing then U.N. ambassador Susan Rice and other administration officials “to underscore that these protests are rooted in an Internet video, and not a broader failure of policy.”
Rhodes, who has worked for Obama since the president was a U.S. senator, holds a Masters degree in Fiction from New York University. His one known published short story, “The Goldfish Smiles, You Smile Back,” was published in Beloit Fiction Journal in the spring 2002 issue. The story was about a man with an incredible gift for note-taking.
“My notes are so impressive that they have taken on the form of ideas…I capture other people’s words in a manner that not only organizes them, but inserts a clarity and purpose that was not present in the original idea,” states the protagonist of Rhodes’ short story.
Obama’s little sensitive artist is the brother of CBS News president David Rhodes, whose network prevented investigative reporter Sharyl Attkisson from digging too deep into the Benghazi scandal and finding out who edited the administration’s talking points.