The IRS and ObamaCare: A Marriage Made In Hell

May 17th, 2013 By Steven Knope, MD

The United States Constitution was printed on 6 pages of paper. You can carry a small copy in your pocket and nobody will even know. By contrast, the IRS Tax Code is now 73,954 pages long. The Tax Code is so complex and fraught with pitfalls that I do not even attempt to do my own taxes. As the latest IRS scandal unfolds regarding the targeting of specific Americans for their political beliefs, it is that little Constitution that will be used to defend against the powerful IRS bureaucracy. This is not a David and Goliath story, because the power of a document is not measured by its weight. The truth can be stated simply. Excessive words have the effect of obfuscating or clouding the truth.

ObamaCare and the Internal Revenue ServiceThe Democrat Senator and an author of the Affordable Care Act, Max Baucus, recently said of ObamaCare, “I just see a huge train wreck coming down.” The reason for this train wreck is that ObamaCare, like the Tax Code, is simply too big, too complex and too expensive to implement. Like the IRS Code, ObamaCare is an incomprehensible set of do’s and don’ts. ObamaCare started as a massive 2,700 page law, which no member of Congress was able to read before it was passed. ObamaCare, under the guidance of the department of Health and Human Services, has morphed into a 17,000 page set of rules. And guess what? The rules of ObamaCare, by law, will be enforced by the IRS! This is the same IRS that just admitted targeting specific Americans for their political beliefs.

For the majority of doctors and hospitals that will participate in ObamaCare, there will be legions of “medical accountants” to help them figure out whether they are in compliance with the law. Contrast this complexity to the practice of concierge medicine. How many pages of Washington rules are there governing the operation of a concierge practice like mine? None. There is no rule book for patients who pay doctors directly for their services. This is why I have chosen to practice concierge medicine. I don’t see any benefits to interjecting third-parties between me and my patients. My indigent patients, those I see free-of-charge, don’t seem to miss the third-parties either.

Even at the early stages of this IRS scandal, there has been great concern voiced about the fact that the IRS will be the policing authority for ObamaCare. That’s right; it will be the IRS that will be in charge of making sure that Americans follow the rules of ObamaCare. Even on its face, joining ObamaCare in holy matrimony with the IRS would appear to be a marriage made in hell. However, the story gets even worse. ABC news just reported that the IRS official in charge of the tax exempt organizations at the time when the organization targeted conservative groups now runs the IRS office responsible for the healthcare legislation.

We have a saying in medicine; “The enemy of good is better.” We currently have the greatest medicine system in the world. But the massive new rules and regulations mandated by ObamaCare, and enforced by the IRS, will be the enemy of good. These rules will not make things better. Burdening the greatest medical system in the world with a 17,000 page book of rules written by politicians, and enforced by an admittedly corrupt IRS bureaucracy, cannot be good news.

If you believed the politicians when they told you that ObamaCare would make your healthcare better, you may want to reconsider whether they can deliver on that promise. As for me, I’ll stick to a system that has only one rule: I get up every day and try to do a good job taking care of my patients. I’m not perfect. I am merely good. I have no delusions about the government or the IRS making me or my practice of medicine any better.


2 responses to “The IRS and ObamaCare: A Marriage Made In Hell”

  1. OP/ED: Knope, MD, ‘The IRS and ObamaCare: A Marriage Made In Hell’ « Concierge Medicine Today writes:

    […] The United States Constitution was printed on 6 pages of paper. You can carry a small copy in your pocket and nobody will even know. By contrast, the IRS Tax Code is now 73,954 pages long. The Tax Code is so complex and fraught with pitfalls that I do not even attempt to do my own taxes. As the latest IRS scandal unfolds regarding the targeting of specific Americans for their political beliefs, it is that little Constitution that will be used to defend against the powerful IRS bureaucracy.… Read the rest […]

  2. Dr Logan writes:

    A very insightful article. I practice medicine in Las Vegas and ObamaCare is going to significantly change my business. I see concierge medicine growing in popularity due to patient loads and insurance reimbursement rates being historically low.

Leave a reply