Republicans Don’t Trust IRS to Enforce Obamacare, Protect Confidential Medical Info

By Penny Starr | May 23, 2013 | 6:09 AM EDT

(AP Photo)

(CNSNews.com) – The Internal Revenue Service, under fire for inappropriately targeting conservative groups seeking tax-exempt status, cannot be trusted with Americans’ sensitive medical information, Republican lawmakers said Wednesday.

Under the Affordable Care Act, the job of enforcing compliance with the law falls to the IRS.

“Imagine when the IRS decides that they’re going to actually start releasing information about the groups that they don’t like -- what their medical decisions and what their medical records are,” Rep. Raul Labrador (R-Idaho) said at a “Conversations With Conservatives” event on Capitol Hill.

“They’ve done it with tax records, now they’re going to have the ability to do it with medical records and personal information.”

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Labrador said Obamacare gives the IRS “unprecedented powers.”

He also said the IRS scandal is an example of why “big government” is not good government.

Rep. Stephen Scalise (R-La.) said the IRS scandal is deepening Americans’ mistrust of the federal government and has highlighted the way it could misuse confidential information of American citizens.

“When you look at this scandal, it really gets to the deeper question of trust in government, but if you look at the IRS’s link to Obamacare – people are making this link now – because whether you’re conservative or not, whatever group they’re going after, people know that they could be the next group that’s targeted,” Scalise said.

“And so when you realize that the IRS is the responsible agency in charge of enforcing Obamacare – if they’ve proven that they can’t be trusted to approve in a fair way a tax-exempt form for an organization, how can they be trusted to handle people’s private medical records?” Scalise asked.

He said it’s “frightening” that the IRS will have access to people’s medical and other personal information.

Sen. John Cornyn (R-Texas) last week introduced a bill – the “Keep the IRS Off Your Health Care Act of 2013” -- that would prohibit the IRS from enforcing Obamacare.

Cornyn acted after learning that Sarah Hall Ingram, who led the IRS’ tax-exempt division at the time when it was targeting conservative groups, recently was promoted to oversee the IRS’ implementation of Obamacare.

“Now more than ever, we need to prevent the IRS from having any role in Americans’ health care,” Cornyn said.