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Doctor is Audited After Comments on Health Care
CINCINNATI (Angenette Levy) -- A prominent Baltimore neurosurgeon said the IRS contacted him four months after he criticized President Obama's policies at a nationally televised event.
Dr. Benjamin Carson is a renowned neurosurgeon who's known for performing the first separation of Siamese twins joined at the head. In February, Dr. Carson spoke at a National Prayer Breakfast in which President Obama was a guest. Dr. Carson criticized the Affordable Care Act, also known as ObamaCare.
"Here's my solution: when a person is born give them a birth certificate, an electronic medical record and a health savings account to which money can be contributed pre-tax from the time you born to the time you die. When you die you can pass it along to your family members so that when you're 85 years old and you have six diseases you're not trying to spend up everything you're happy to pass it on and there's nobody talking about death panels," Dr. Carson said.
In early June the IRS contacted him and asked to review his real estate holdings.
"After completing that review and finding no problems they decided they would do a full-scale audit. And after completing that and finding no problems they decided they would do another year," Dr. Carson said.
Carson said the IRS completed its audit in August and found no problems. His contact with the IRS started a month after the IRS admitted to improperly scrutinizing tea party groups applying for tax-exempt status. Those applications were initially flagged at the Cincinnati office of the IRS.
Local 12's Angenette Levy asked, "Do you truly believe your comments triggered the IRS contacting you?"
Dr. Benjamin Carson said, "If I had to guess were they somewhat related or not I would go on the side of them being related."
Angenette Levy asked, "You don't believe this was a coincidence at all?"
Dr. Ben Carson responded, "I don't think it was."
Dr. Carson described the issues with the IRS as more serious than Watergate or Iran Contra.
"When we have a situation where a major branch of government is involved in partisan politics it really decreases the trust of the populous," Dr Carson said.
When processing tea party applications, IRS employees have testified they sought guidance from the agency's office in Washington, D.C. Two House committees are investigating the IRS's handling of applications by tea party and other groups. Republicans maintain tea party groups were targeted for their political beliefs. But some top Democrats have said IRS employees were overwhelmed by a flood of applications and there was no political bias or input from the White House.
Lois Lerner, the IRS manager in charge of the exempt organizations division, resigned in September after refusing to answer questions from a House committee investigating the targeting of tea party groups.
Dr. Carson said he's been frustrated by the lack of answers in the investigation of the IRS.
"The president and others said this is abominable that this was happening. There's no way this should be going on in the United States and they would get to the bottom of it. Have they gotten to the bottom of it? Of course not. Is there any interest in getting to the bottom of it? Of course not."
The IRS did not respond to an email requesting a comment for this story.