As I work on completing publication of the series of articles on the subject of nullification, it’s important that we move back towards dealing with the health care issue. I’m starting with a subject no one is talking about when they talk about “stopping Obamacare”…medical records technology, and how the government is commandeering those medical records.
Commandeering every American's medical record was not part of the health care law passed on March 21, 2010, because it was part of the February 2009 Stimulus bill, otherwise known as the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009.
The former Lt. Governor of New York, Betsy McCaughey, was the only visible public personality to talk about this issue during the ruckus over the Stimulus Bill before it was passed by Congress. Although McCaughey wrote several columns on the subject and made several media appearances, the information she had discovered did not get wide play.
The best way to introduce the startling implications for medical care that are associated with what was included in the Stimulus bill is to share a clip from the documentary film, A New America. [1. Note that the interview was filmed in August of 2009, when the health care law was influx and still undergoing changes, so there are a few elements mentioned that are not accurate, most importantly the specific citation regarding fines and prison terms for failure to comply with the individual mandate aspect of the bill. For the purposes of this article, what McCaughey reports about the medical records technology is accurate. Further note on the film: I served as producer and writer for the project. While I was involved in almost every interview conducted in some way, including writing the questions that were asked, I did not interview Betsy McCaughey. I was informed by the director that the former Lt. Governor's interview was rather unique in that no questions were actually necessary; she knew exactly what she wanted to say.]
McCaughey laid out details of what the Stimulus contained in an article entitled "Ruin Your Health Care with the Obama Stimulus Plan". She cites specific page numbers from the Stimulus bill in her article.
In the interview clip, McCaughey references David Blumenthal's article in the New England Journal of Medicine, in which he wrote that the Stimulus bill was historic health care legislation. You can read the article in full HERE.
Also in the interview clip, McCaughey also mentioned Dr. Ezekiel Emanuel. Her article on the Wall Street Journal website, entitled "Obama's Health Rationer-in-Chief", provides additional details about Emanuel and his complete lives system.
It's important to reiterate that no one is talking about putting a stop to this critical aspect of the transformation of our health care system. The Wall Street Journal article is appropriately titled. Keep in mind that the Stimulus bill language requires that every American will have an electronic medical record and all of these records will be monitored by the National Coordinator of Health Information Technology.
For those who are wondering about Nebraska, I am very sorry to report that I've just dug up some information that confirms that the State of Nebraska was way out front in developing a health information technology structure.
I suspected as much, but when I read the report released by the State of Oklahoma and discovered by Kaye Beach, that details how Oklahoma is implementing the medical information technology structure, I realized that similar information likely existed about Nebraska.
It didn't take long to find. It turns out that there is a Nebraska Information Technology Commission, which was created in 1997 by Executive Order and recognized by the State Legislature in 1998 with the passage of a statute. To be clear, the NITC deals with many forms of technology, not just health care information, and in fact, it does not appear that the NITC was originally created for purposes that have nothing to do with health care at all.
It is, however, a fact that over time, the NITC has become the State of Nebraska's vehicle for creating health information technology structure. It appears that Nebraska was actually out front in creating such government structure, based on my skimming through the information available on the website. Since I just discovered the existence of this entity, I haven't even begun to unravel all of the information available. Anyone interested in diving in may want to start on the "e-health Clearing House" page. This structure was well suited for adopting the health information technology requirements included in the February 2009 Stimulus bill.
In December 2010, NITC issued a progress report for all its programs. Starting on page 9, the report details Nebraska's e-health programs. Included within this part of the report is the information about the federal grant received to implement the Stimulus bill requirements.
As noted by McCaughey in her "Ruin Your Health..." article, the Stimulus bill requirements affect every individual American. It means that every individual Americans medical records must be commandeered by government. That process begins in your health care providers' offices and then moves onto the State.
As included in the NITC's December 2010 report:
"Data being exchanged includes laboratory, radiology, medication history and clinical documentation. In addition, insurance eligibility information is being sent and will be used to create a comprehensive patient summary."
As a patient and consumer, I can see many benefits in electronic medical records. My fundamental problem with all of this is that my medical records should stay with my doctors and other medical professionals, they should not be conglomerated or made available to anyone who works for the government.
While I have been aware of the Stimulus bill implications for health care for some time now, I have been entirely befuddled watching the political discourse about "stopping Obamacare", particularly during the 2010 election season.
Government commandeering medical records and dictating to doctors whether treatments are appropriate, is the logistical structure to provide for the rationing element in transforming our health care system. Why isn't anyone talking about stopping this?