Welcome to a tiny glimpse into your future, the rest of America.
Here in Massachusetts, we've been lucky enough to beta-test the individual mandate of Obamacare. Unlike what you've been told, however, it isn't simply a matter of carrying insurance, or even of proving that you carry minimal creditable coverage; that proof needs to be transferred from the government-mandated form you receive from your insurance provider -- at what cost, I can only imagine -- to the government-mandated IRS form. It's just a little exercise in toleration for you.
So, what's the problem with a little more paperwork if it means that everyone in this wealthiest of nations gets access to excellent healthcare, right? Oh. Then, that everyone gets access to decent healthcare? Oh. Then, that everyone gets access to a company that bargains with providers for mandated services? Oh, I mean, then . . . who gets what for my hassle, exactly?
But it's simple enough, right? I mean, we're not trying to get away with anything here. We appreciate the fact that we can pay oodles of money to hedge against the possibility of going bankrupt over potential health issues. We really do. But we did before Obamacare was an epithet.
So why does the IRS need to know? Well, the magic of universal healthcare only works through government force, and the IRS is the agency through which government forces everyone. Equally. Right?
What's worse than being forced to pay for everyone's misnamed "health care" coverage? As we recently discovered, the IRS needs to know not only about the existence of your coverage, but also that you can repeat this information wherever and whenever asked by them. But say you're a dependent and the people who claimed you as such already provided the IRS with your SS# and your proof of your coverage? So what! Before your tax return is processed "you will be assessed a Health Care penalty which could be as much as $1260.00 per taxpayer" if you don't resubmit that same information already submitted to them within 30 days of the IRS receiving your request for a return of your money that you overpaid to the government according to their own inscrutable formulas.
Inasmuch as I enjoy reading a threatening letter from the IRS to my first-time filer teenage daughter, the fact that this was from the Data Integration Bureau of the Massachusetts IRS, and my daughter's data was already filed (by SS#) as having MMC (oh yes, I can use that acronym now because after much upset including research and yelling, we've learned how to be fucking financial forensic attorneys in order to understand what my daughter did wrong in reporting her $6K of earnings), is simply the icing on this bureaucratic shit cake. (I am still also free to say that. The last time I checked, anyway.)
So, there is a lesson in there, people.
Be careful what you ask the government for, because you, your children, their children, and so on, will reap the benefits of your institutionalizing government power grabs for the foreseeable future.
And then some.
Oh, and while I may be able to sleep better at night knowing my daughter is financially covered for catastrophic health problems, no one benefits from twice-tracking her coverage except maybe the bureaucrats who spend their days threatening teenagers with the force of the federal government behind them.