Bloomberg published what may be the most important op-ed piece of the year; perhaps the most critical of our life times. If you give a blessing about the availability, quality & cost of medical treatment, you'd blessed well better read Betsy McCaughey's words, ponder them well and ram them down your Congressman's throat with extreme prejudice.
Page numbers in the excerpts refer to H.R. 1 EH , the pdf file containing the text of the House version of the Stimulus Bill. Copy the number and enter it in the page number window at the bottom center of the Adobe Reader to go directly to the cited page.
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).
Hospitals and doctors that are not “meaningful users” of the new system will face penalties. “Meaningful user” isn’t defined in the bill. That will be left to the HHS secretary, who will be empowered to impose “more stringent measures of meaningful use over time” (511, 518, 540-541)
The author takes great care to explain the consequences of these new policies which were surreptitiously inserted into the Stimulus Bill. The bottom line: the decision about what tests, drugs, surgeries & therapies you and your loved ones receive will not be made by you, nor by your doctors. Those most critical life & death decisions will be made by nameless, faceless bureaucrats with no stake in the outcome. Die, old fart, keeping you alive costs too much; we gotta save Social Security.
‘‘(ii) The utilization of an electronic 1
health record for each person in the United 2
States by 2014. 3
‘‘(iii) The incorporation of privacy and 4
security protections for the electronic ex- 5
change of an individual’s individually iden- 6
tifiable health information. 7
‘‘(iv) Ensuring security methods to 8
ensure appropriate authorization and elec- 9
tronic authentication of health information 10
and specifying technologies or methodolo- 11
gies for rendering health information unus- 12
able, unreadable, or indecipherable.
How useful will those records be if they do not include your complete history? How many interactions with doctors, nurses and hospitals have you had in the last 40 years? How thick is your file? That information will not jump off the pages into a database. Current OCR technology is not capable of sufficient accuracy. Your medical history must be entered by hand, through a keyboard. Someone will be reading all your medical records and typing them in. Your encounters with STD, abortion, accidents, illnesses & conditions will go in through someone's eyes and out through their fingers.
How long will that process take? How much will it cost? Multiply that by 300*106. Then those records must be maintained, and updated every time you see the doctor. That will entail extra data entry labor, which someone must pay for.
To be shared between doctors, pharmacists, hospitals, specialists & bureaucrats, the data must be in a common format and the computers must be networked. Unreadable or indecipherable information won't be of any benefit in deciding your treatment or double checking prescriptions & dosages. Security? Yeah, right. Credit card systems have been breached, what makes anyone think medical databases won't be?
Now is the time to rise up and raise Hell, before the conference committee is selected. Go to congress.org and send an email to your Representative & Senators. Tell those crooks that their vote on HR1 or whatever emerges from the conference committee will determine your next vote. If they vote for the provisions described by Betsy McCaughey, they will never get your vote again, nor the votes of anyone you can influence. Tell them that, regardless of any other provisions or amendments are contained in the bill, you Goddamn well will never accept that egregious usurpation of power.
Don't just say no, say HELL NO!!! Tell your relatives, friends & associates to join the chorus of cursing against the power grabbers. Copy this blog post and paste it into an email to everyone in your address book. Exhort the recipients to forward it.
Our liberties, health & welfare and those of future generations depend on the defeat of this execrable legislation. Rise up, loudly, profanely, obscenely; with extreme contempt and make it happen.