The Statement: Twice during a Pennsylvania town hall meeting with Sen. Arlen Specter on Tuesday, constituents urged him to fight a provision of pending health care legislation that one woman said "gives the government access to private individual bank accounts at their free will."
"I do not think the government has the right to do that," she said. "I would think I would have to brush up on my Constitution, but I would think that's unconstitutional. I know definitely it's un-American."
(Get the facts and the verdict after the jump)
The Facts: The woman cited section 163 of the more than 1,000-page bill now before the House of Representatives. The section, titled "Standards for financial and administrative transactions," calls on the government to set "comprehensive, efficient and robust" rules for electronic transactions with as little need for paperwork as possible. It's being painted by opponents as a measure that would give the government access to bank accounts and records, and it's one of the items on a list of allegations about the bill that has been widely circulated online.
But the purpose of the measure is to set up a standardized payment system between insurers and doctors' offices, according to the House Ways and Means Committee report on the bill. It would require procedures to "enable the real-time (or near real-time) determination of an individual's financial responsibility at the point of service and, to the extent possible, prior to service," and authorize electronic payments and require systems to be set up for "near real-time adjudication of claims," the legislation states.
The Verdict: False. The provision cited doesn't affect individuals, but companies involved in medical billing.