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How the Dems do transparency…

10 February, 2009

I‘ve been skimming through/reading the portion of the so-called stimulus package that deals with Subtitle A – Promotion of Health information Technology:  Part I – Improving Health Care Quality, Safety, and Efficiency (pp. 437ff) which is actually an amendment to the Public Health Service Act by adding a entire section about Electronic Health Records and Health Internet Technology.  Needless to say, the amendment is not a few paragraphs in length.  It presents a fully detailed policy on National Health electronic record keeping for research, medicines, hospitals, doctors and other medical care providers, and, of course, adds new layers of government interference committees and panels, contractors and subcontractors, analysts and technicians.  There will be a Health Information Technology Policy Committee, a Health Information Technology Standards Committee, an Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology which will be headed by the National Coordinator.  The coordinator’s job, of course, is to coordinate the implementation of this plan (“COLLABORATION.—The strategic plan shall be updated through collaboration of public and private entities.” page 446)

The purpose of this proposal is to assure that all medical records of each individual in the United States is kept on a “portable” service which can be accessed by any “authorized” individual or group for the purpose of providing better health care to everyone in the U.S.

So, what is it doing in the Stimulus Package?  Why are the pros and cons of the amendment being discussed independently by Congress?  Why does our speechifying president not talk to us about this new proposal?  I know that it is possible he doesn’t know anything about it, but I suspect he is out campaigning still because that is what he does best and because he provides a diversion for the hidden agenda to modify our health care without input from those whom it purports to protect.

(Pages 440-1)
‘‘(13) QUALIFIED ELECTRONIC HEALTH RECORD.—The term ‘qualified electronic health record’ means an electronic record of health-related information on an individual that—
‘‘(A) includes patient demographic and clinical health information, such as medical history and problem lists; and
‘‘(B) has the capacity—
‘‘(i) to provide clinical decision support;
‘‘(ii) to support physician order entry;
‘‘(iii) to capture and query information relevant to health care quality; and
‘‘(iv) to exchange electronic health information with, and integrate such information from other sources.”

I don’t know about you, but I am not okay with this.  As long as I have been using the internet, there have been breeches of information.  U.C. Berkeley lost a list of alumni personal information shortly after my daughter graduated and while my son was still a student there; Sarah Palin’s personal e-mail account was hacked, Microsoft has been stung by a virus that has affected thousands of computers, moles steal vital government data all the time, and I’m sure you can all add to this feeble list of mine.  So, no, I don’t want my health information on the world wide web; my physicians are the only ones who needs to know my life’s health history and I certainly don’t want to talk to them if someone at the Secretary of Health and Human Services is going to have access to it.

So what has this post got to do with transparency; well for one thing this whole new health plan is not transparent, unless like me you don’t mind reading through pages of newspeak government jargon to figure out what they are doing.  I don’t like that such a major change in the way health records are being kept and accessed is being implemented under the pretense of stimulating the economy.  I don’t care if it does create thousand of new government jobs, I want it done out in the open.

Secondly, it is the sheer hypocrisy of the writers of this section of the Stimulus that got to me.

(page 446) “WEBSITE.—The National Coordinator shall maintain and frequently update an Internet website on which there is posted information on the work, schedules, reports, recommendations, and other information to ensure transparency (emphasis mine) in promotion of a nationwide health information technology infrastructure.

This is just another Obama code word for FU.  There is no transparency in this administration:   there is diversion, there is fear-mongering, there is hopey-dopey aren’t-I-cool? mumbo jumbo, and there is a lot of deception.

The U.S. is slip-sliding away and if we don’t act soon we will be condemning our children to a rule of tyranny by privilege and selection.

I downloaded the pdf version of the stimulus HERE.   Be warned, there 680 pages so you will probably want to start around page 437.

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