Does knowledge that the scandal-ridden Internal Revenue Service (IRS) is the enforcer for Obamacare and will have access to your medical records inspire confidence? How about the report this week that the IRS seized 60 million medical records in California, including those of all state court judges?
Under Obamacare, healthcare providers will be penalized unless they use government-approved electronic medical records (EMR) to create and store your medical history, diagnostic work, diagnoses, treatment plans, medications, and outcomes. You might think of this as the Tower of Babel story in reverse, as the idea is to get everyone speaking the same coded language so that information can be universally shared. In 2005, the respected RAND Corporation predicted that adoption of EMR would save $81 billion annually. This prediction directly benefited entities like General Electric Corporation (GE), headed by CEO Jeffrey Immelt, because GE positioned itself for the windfall after the election.
The RAND Corporation has since retracted this grandiose prognostication of the benefit of EMR. Now that the election is over, RAND has reassessed and found little, if any, savings with EMR to hospitals or anyone else. In fact, I can find not a single study that shows that EMR will save a dime of your tax money. It did, however, create tremendous wealth for Obama contributors. It has not created wealth for me because I had to pay dearly for an EMR system to avoid government penalties as I bill Medicare.
GE stood to benefit tremendously from Obamacare because they had a software product for EMR ready to go before the election. GE owns NBC, and MSNBC, both of which actively supported Obama's bid for the presidency by slanting news to his favor. Jeffrey Immelt has been rewarded for his support of Obama with an appointment to head the president's job commission just before Mr. Immelt exported GE jobs to China. GE, in turn, got a $139 billion federal loan guarantee as a part of the Wall Street bailout.
The current IRS scandal is about the IRS persecuting and crushing anyone who opposes Obamacare. It does not matter on which side of the aisle you sit: we should be very afraid of the abuse of power from a government agency that holds your most intimate secrets as well as the ability to seize all of your assets.
Meanwhile, Judy Faulkner is the CEO and founder of Epic Systems, another EMR company. She is also a steadfast supporter and financial contributor to Obama's campaigns. She is being rewarded for her campaign support by taxpayer support for her company. Additionally, Epic Systems will soon handle about half of the nation's medical information under Obama care. Unfortunately, Epic creates an antiquated hard drive-based system that does not communicate well with other systems. In other words, it just does not work very well. Nevertheless, due to politics, this billionaire will have control of half of our medical records.
My wife, Diane, and I were watching television yesterday when a commercial for a large chain of pharmacies proudly pointed out that if you have prescriptions in one of their drug stores, you can go to another of their stores anywhere in the United States and they already have your history and prescriptions. This was designed as a selling point. It felt creepy. This means that anyone in the country can have access to your prescription history at the touch of a button.
Suppose you have a history of migraine headaches. To prevent these headaches, your primary care physician has prescribed a beta blocker, like propranolol, and another drug that is used to prevent migraines that is also an antidepressant. Anyone looking at your prescription history might deduce that you have a heart problem because propranolol is used to control heart rhythm and reduce blood pressure. They may also deduce that you have a psychiatric history because you are taking an antidepressant. Both of these are false assumptions, but someone might use that information against you.
Does it seem far-fetched that the IRS, which will hold that information soon, might use health information against you if you want to run for office with opinions contrary to the administration in power? I submit to you that this is very close to what is happening with the IRS now. This is not a hypothetical situation. It is real and current.
How can you keep information private? One alternative is to use providers that are not in your insurance network. If a healthcare provider sends your bill and diagnostic codes to your insurance, you may assume that your private health information is as good as released to the public. Find a cash practice and get your help there if you can.
I am considering affiliating with a group that provides medical and surgical care offshore for a tiny fraction of the cost of care here. They are fully accredited with board-certified American physicians, surgeons, registered nurses, and dentists. They work for a cash rate and finance it directly with the patient at greatly reduced prices. Because your insurance would not be involved, it would be private, kept away from the IRS where it could not be used against you.
We live in a strange new world. Your government, infested with corruption, is not your friend. Think ahead and protect yourself.