Friday, 14 August 2009

ObamaCare Shocker: Gov't Sees You Naked Too

Written by  Gregory A. Hession, J.D.

patient in gownNaked and alone you came into this world. The Doctor sees you naked from time to time. But, under the proposed House bill H.R. 3200, you'll stay naked just about all of the time. Financially, and privacy-wise, that is.

The bill, laughingly called "America's Affordable Health Choices Act of 2009," takes over, not just the entirety of the medical business, but intrudes on the privacy of American citizens in ways that only the most hard-core Marxists and power-mad Caudillos have coveted.

The Obamacrats are using this healthcare bill as a pretext to make a major assault on your personal and financial privacy in a number of ways. They will achieve their long-cherished goal of a national I.D. card, obtain a direct channel into your bank account, and make sure your medical records are computerized and available to all "authorities."

The Card

Let's start with the dreaded national I.D. card. Section 163 of the House Bill, on Page 58, it sets out standards for a paperless record system in all aspects of the medical business. One goal is that there should be "real-time confirmation" of which services a person qualifies for and how much he or she will have to pay. That will be accomplished by “utilization of a machine-readable health plan beneficiary identification card.”  Translation:  if you want medical care, you will have to have the national I.D.  And there will be no exceptions, just like no exceptions are made for driving in any state without carrying a state-issued picture license.

Can't you picture it:

"Oh, you don't want to get an I.D. card?", the government health apparatchik will drone in a bored voice. "Well, fill out this I.D. Exception Form in septuplet and come back in two weeks."

"I can't. I'm bleeding all over the form."

"Too bad. That was my last form.  We won't be getting another shipment for a few months. Good luck. Next."

It can be reliably predicted that "The Card" will be soon used by all other government agencies and morph into a true "mark of the beast" over time, entitling you to, or depriving you of, not just medical services, but virtually all other commerce as well.

The I.D. would also enable the federal government to have control over your finances, your whereabouts (with the built-in GPS chip), and your criminal and social history, which would be encoded upon it in the internal chip. The clerk at the convenience store would know more about you than your own family, in many cases.

Good-bye Financial Privacy

Such an I.D. would also make possible a never-before-seen assault on your financial privacy, and the Obamacare bill is not shy about demanding it. In the same section, Number 163, on Page 59 of the bill, the federal government would now have direct, real-time access to all individual bank accounts for electronic funds transfers, and to check whether your bank account contains sufficient funds to pay for the services you are seeking. (Free care is not free, of course.)

The Mega-computer system that will control this medical data operation will require that you “enable electronic funds transfers [from your account], in order to allow automated reconciliation” between payment and billing. Do we really want the feds to have a direct pipeline into our bank accounts, and to have the account information linked to our eligibility for medical services?  Ponder the possibilities:

"Uh, sir, our Medical Monster Computer shows that you owe $928.72 in federal income taxes and penalties. We can't treat you until you pay that."

If you say that cannot happen, it already is happening on a state level in federally enforced child enforcement collections, under, believe it or not, 42 U.S.C. Section 666.  There, if a child support arrearage is allegedly owed, the state can levy your bank account for the full amount with no hearing, take your driver's license, suspend your passport, intercept your tax refund, and throw you in jail.  Extrapolation to the federal level will be simple and fun for the otherwise bored bureaucrats, who relish making the hoi poloi squirm.

Computerized Medical Records

Finally, medical records would also be computerized. In fairness, computerized record have some advantages for medical use, and would bring about some efficiencies and better control for doctors. However, the rules pose only flimsy barriers against anyone in authority who wants to see the records, with much less hassle than before. Who would want to see your records? Homeland Security operatives, social workers from child protective services, the IRS, the FBI, and sundry illegal snoops, such as data thieves or advertisers.

Given the breathtaking inefficiency with which the government does anything, we can reasonably predict that mistakes from scrambled or inaccurate records will lead to drastic and life-threatening medical problems or wrong medications for many patients. Bungling will be common, leading to loss of records, mixed-up records because of mis-entered I.D. numbers, computers that are "down" when you are seeing the doctor and your chart is needed, and many other major and minor impediments to getting the treatment you need.

And, if that's not bad enough, remember all the lost government computers in the news recently? Many other people would end up with your data over time, through lost government computers, accidental leaks, or clandestine sales of medical information to advertisers or criminals by corrupt bureaucrats.

One more prediction:  as with most such schemes, the medical bureaucrats will likely give you panoramic grief when trying to get your own records, reminiscent of the Soviet era, while all "authorities" will be given an unencumbered pathway to them.

These are only a few of the more onerous intrusions on your privacy in the ObamaCare House bill. There are many others, such as a national registry to track medical devices (page 1001), and the social worker home visits to all new parents, detailed in the first article in this series.

In sum, the health carebill removes the "johnny" and leaves you completely naked and exposed for virtually unlimited poking and prodding into your sensitive regions. Under ObamaCare, if you need medical care you will be forced to forfeit much of your little remaining privacy, toward the goal of cementing almost total government control over your life.

This is the third installment in our "ObamaCare Shocker" series examining provisions of the proposed Obama healthcare bill that deprive citizens of rights, or are of particular concern due to their likely intrusion on personal privacy or family autonomy. Gregory A. Hession, the author of the series, is an attorney in Massachusetts who specializes in family and constitutional law. Check back frequently for further parts of this series, where we will isolate and analyze the scaries parts of the 1,107-page Obama healthcare bill.

Related articles:

"ObamaCare Shocker: Send in the Social Workers"

"ObamaCare Shocker: They Really Do Want to Croak Granny"