Senate leader Phil Berger is circulating an online petition to "Stop Obamacare in North Carolina."
The Eden Republican says the state Senate has already passed a bill and now it's "up to the House and Governor to protect us from:
- The government turning over our health records to the IRS
- Government-forced insurance
- Billions in new taxes on businesses and the people of North Carolina."
There are a few problems with those statements.
Let's start with the premise that the Senate has already passed a bill to protect us. The Senate passed a bill that says the state can't extend Medicaid coverage to almost 600,000 people in the state — a provision of the Affordable Care Act. It also says the state won't set up online healthcare exchanges. The latter simply means the federal government will set up the exchanges instead. Other provisions of the healthcare act are not affected by the Senate's action.
But the real doozy here is claim No. 1 that the law will require the government to turn over health records to the IRS. It does no such thing. This claim and various versions of it have been debunked by fact checkers repeatedly.
In December, PolitiFact in the Rhode Island Providence Journal ruled it a "pants on fire."
If you don't have health insurance, you pay a penalty under the law, that is true. The IRS is the agency charged with keeping tabs on this. It expects taxpayers to get a form from their insurance company certifying they have coverage and attaching it to their federal return. No other records will be given to the IRS. No IRS agent will be checking to see if you had your flu vaccination or your prostate exam.
--Mary Cornatzer, staff writer