February 10, 2009

Medical staff to serve as government spies

As Alice points out, the Porkulus has provisions in it that are going to create a new bureaucracy with the power to snoop on your (once) confidential medical records, with the ability to push doctors into pursuing certain treatments.

One new bureaucracy, the National Coordinator of Health Information Technology, will monitor treatments to make sure your doctor is doing what the federal government deems appropriate and cost effective. The goal is to reduce costs and “guide” your doctor’s decisions (442, 446).

That's scary enough, but I just thought of something else that's even more worrisome. 

Remember this?   Doctors have begun interrogating individuals and their children to find out if their parents own firearms or weapons, if they drink or smoke, and going so far as reporting people to the authorities for (legal!) gun ownership, from the Boston Herald,

The paranoia over parents is so strong that the AAP encourages doctors to ignore “legal barriers and deference to parental involvement” and shake the children down for all the inside information they can get.

And that information doesn’t stay with the doctor, either.

Debbie is a mom from Uxbridge who was in the examination room when the pediatrician asked her 5-year-old, “Does Daddy own a gun?”

When the little girl said yes, the doctor began grilling her and her mom about the number and type of guns, how they are stored, etc.

If the incident had ended there, it would have merely been annoying.

But when a friend in law enforcement let Debbie know that her doctor had filed a report with the police about her family’s (entirely legal) gun ownership, she got mad.

Oh, and this isn't just some isolated incident either, this is a widespread problem.  Doctors all across America are, and have been trying to find out if you own firearms or weapons.  If Porkulus passes in its present form, the government is going to be able to use that information to spy on you.  They're more than willing to use your children to accomplish this.  Which means we can no longer assume that a doctor is just a health advocate, they'll be acting as an agent of the state, too. 

*As a side note, this is why I always felt a bit queasy when I'd hear Newt Gingrich advocate for a government-run computer bank for medical records.  The potential for it to become used and abused by the government is just too great, and Newt of all people should know better.

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