Daily Independent (Ashland, KY)

Opinion

November 26, 2013

In Your View

ASHLAND — Sign of future under ACA?

Early April 2013, I submitted my 2012 1040 to the IRS (Internal Revenue Service).  I was due a $268 refund. 

May 6, 2013, an IRS computer sent me a letter.  “Some changes had been made” and I owed $673.

I responded, explaining why the “changes” could not be true.  Two computers responded but not to the specifics in my letter. One needed a 45-day extension for research and one added interest and a failure-to-pay penalty to the previous $673 bill.

After many more letters, a computer informed me in early October of its intent to seize my property. The next day, the research computer informed me by letter that it had reached a decision.  The next day, I received a refund check for $268. Finally, on Nov. 15, a computer declared that my 2012 tax was paid in full.

Why the computers threatened and harassed me from May to October is a mystery.

Now, apply my simple 1040 situation to the most complex, valuable asset any person can possess — good health — and consider this hypothetical. You or a loved one needs a test or surgery and time is critical. A bureaucratic bungle denies coverage. When you attempt to get coverage confirmed so  treatment can go forward, a bureaucrat in a distant city assigns a cadre of non-responsive computers to your case that will presume you do not have coverage until you can prove you do. 

Far fetched?  Not really. The Affordable Care Act will be the “King Kong” of bureaucracies. After implementation, it is reasonable to predict millions will experience my 1040-like predicament and sick citzens need prompt human responses, not computer-generated non-responses.

Moreover, the so-called rollout of that wolf in health-care clothing has already presented a preview of its customer service that should frighten every soon-to-be indentured citizen.

Shafter Bailey, Lexington

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