Americans say “NO” to medical database

In his state of the union address last week, President Barack Obama continued to hammer at the so-called “healthcare crisis” the country faces.  While the president’s tone was tempered a bit as a result of the fallout from the recent Senate race in Massachusetts, he continues to push for a major overhaul of healthcare in America. Obama’s version of “reform” includes, of course, a significantly enhanced role for the federal government.  Integral to this restructuring would be a massive, national healthcare information database. 

Before accelerating the move in this direction, the president needs to do himself what he admonishes the country and the Republicans in the Congress to do – Listen. If Obama did stop and listen to the views of American citizens regarding a massive, national healthcare information database, he would not receive a meek reply.  He would instead hear a loud and clear, “NO.” 

A recent survey conducted by the respected and nonpartisan Ponemon Institute questioned some 850 Americans from diverse backgrounds and views and from 45 different states.  The just-released study found that a whopping 75 percent of Americans do not support a database of private health information in the hands of the federal government.  The vast majority of Americans – 85% according to the Ponemon survey – are not even aware that such a move is in the works; that such a proposal was in fact snuck into the health care legislation passed recently by both the House and the Senate. 

Were the country aware that tucked into the legislation was some $3.0 billion to be used to create an electronic health record (“EHR”) for every American, that 75% figure might be even higher.  Even in the current environment, well more than half of those surveyed — 56% — want even stricter laws to prevent government from accessing their medical records without proper consent.  More than two-thirds believe – correctly — that such a database will diminish their privacy rights. 

For a peek at what could be expected to happen with thousands of federal bureaucrats compiling, maintaining, sharing, and otherwise manipulating health records of the most private nature imaginable on every citizen, simply consider what is occurring far too frequently even now, with the rapidly expanding number of electronic health information databases.

In November 2009, Health Net lost 1.5 million patient records but waited six months to disclose the incident.  Not one patient, or a single law enforcement agency or government entity, was notified of the loss for six months. The disk that was lost not only contained personal information about nearly two million patients, but also private information on at least 5,000 physicians.  Connecticut Attorney General Blumenthal has vowed to conduct an investigation into the Health Net debacle – something possible when dealing with a private company, but virtually impossible to pursue against the federal government.    

Another health insurance company – Universal American Insurance — sent out 80,000 postcards to Medicare recipients in the same month last fall, with each patient’s name and social security number appearing on the front of the card.  The company has yet to explain how the social security numbers ended up on the postcards. 

President Obama claimed in his state of the union address that “we still need healthcare reform” to protect Americans from “the worst practices of the insurance industry.”  What about protecting those same Americans from the mistakes which inevitably will occur and recur, once the federal government takes over the management of 300 million-plus medical histories?  If the track record of the new health bureaucracies proposed by the same president who vows to protect us from the evils of private insurance companies, is anything like the track record of national security bureaucrats who let the Christmas Day underwear bomber slip through the multi-billion dollar national security database system, then we all have much to worry about.

47 comments Add your comment

dg

February 1st, 2010
7:33 am

The resistance to this useful service that would cut costs comes from a populace that announces to the world when they are on the crapper. While I acknowledge that the prospect of this information falling into wrong hands is scary, why not insist on better security. Demand that the database cannot be created without extreme security measures. While nothing can be made truly safe, the fact that the number of lives that can be saved by having access to medical data when and where needed. This will be a tool to cut down on doubling up of prescriptions and other abuses.

Chris Broe

February 1st, 2010
7:33 am

Nice seque from the healthcare data base into the waistbandito bomber!

GOP is gone

February 1st, 2010
7:36 am

How oddly ironic that someone who gives their blog the name of “Barr Code” feels the need to pontificate on what is the inevitable, progress from paper to electronic. Most hospitals are already going this route, as is the government. But I am sure your grandparent’s generation thought that automobiles should not replace the horse and buggy, and your parents thought that cell phones would never catch on. Better to keep destroying trees and making medical errors from outdated, illegible paper orders and charts. Join us in the 21st century Bob, it is not as scary as you think.

JDW

February 1st, 2010
7:58 am

Bob it is misinformation and drivel form empty headed pundits like you that continue to obscure the real crisis in US healthcare insurance and costs. First off costs, US per capita healthcare costs in 2007 were $6096. As a point of reference the closest country to us is Luxembourg at $5178. I do believe scale is a big factor in that one. If you take reasonable comparisons, Germany spent $3171, The UK $2560, France $3040, and Canada $3173. Now of course quality must factor in, for our money we rank number 38 in life expectancy, just behind Cuba, number 33 in infant mortality, number 1 in obesity, and medical debt is the single largest cause of bankruptcy in the US today. Sounds like a crisis to me, we spend the most and get far less than others who spend half as much. But hey, it does make the insurance companies happy because a large part of the difference is in their pocket in the form of profits and perks. Another note on insurance, most of the people that want to tell us all is well have no idea how much money they spend on insurance. I managed a 1000 person organization based in the UK with offices all across Europe, the healthcare costs to the business for that enterprise were less than $100 per person per month. When I moved back to the US I managed a group of 250 people and when I arrived our healthcare costs were around $1200 per month per person. Guess what got cut first? American business cannot absorb the costs of this system any longer. Maybe when people have to pay their own healthcare bill they will understand the magnitude of this crisis.

DBA

February 1st, 2010
8:09 am

It’s GOING to happen, and ain’t nothing Bob or the American people can do about it. It’s already in the works and data corporations are racing for their position. Nothing like job security!

The government already has pooled your most sensitive information anyway. It isssued your SSN so..

T Heil

February 1st, 2010
8:42 am

As a healthcare provider I support electronic records for the many reasons already stated, but those records belong to the patient, not the government, and the patient should control them.

joan

February 1st, 2010
9:03 am

I am a conservative, but support electronic records. As it is, I write an annual letter to my various physician specialists letting them know that the others are presribing x, y or z. You might be surprised how often such a letter gets a response from, as example, my cardiologist, when I told him my spinal doctor had prescribed an anti-arthritic (that was subsequently withdrawn). It would be great if doctors had access to such records. I don’t think I care to have the government have them, but I am not sure what difference it makes. As one poster said, this generation posts when it is on the pot.

CK

February 1st, 2010
9:16 am

Didn’t the on-line health records initiative all start with Bush? Where were your then Bob Barr? Is it o.k. for the GOP to champion this, but is real bad when the democrats champion it. This did not start with Obama, and stop trying to lay blame on him. Nixon tried to push health care reform in the 60s so it is not a GOP or democrat issue. You are such a hypocrit.

neoCarlinist

February 1st, 2010
9:16 am

I think we can all agree that “technology” has its benefits, but there is a cost; and the government has never been very good at what the private sector refers to as cost/benefit analysis. and this problem is not exclusive to the “healthcare crisis”. the DoD has (often) procured expensive hi-tech weapons systems, at the expense of its greatest asset (soldiers). we have Predator drones and GPS guided ordanance, but we can’t seem to find body armour or armour-plated Humvees for the “boots on the ground”. as I said, technology can make some jobs easy, but in doing so, it often makes those who rely on it lazy (think “red light cameras” or). does any among us believe that when considering the cost of technology in terms of individual rights vs. the “rights” of the state (bureacracy), the state is going to come down on the side of the People?

Eddy

February 1st, 2010
9:25 am

Why is it curmudgeons hate information? Don’t you realize data mining can yield scientific discoveries, create new products, create new jobs and prevent people for getting ill and suffering. And all of this can be done WITHOUT knowing the specific information of any person. Yes, it is done anonymously now, there is no reason to believe that will change in the future. But by all means Bob, go with statistics from a misleading question to further your agenda of sticking your head in a hole. It makes me wonder why you hate America.

Victoria

February 1st, 2010
9:31 am

As a libertarian, I do agree with your concerns about protecting privacy and individual rights, but being a child of the 90s I am a supporter of the paperless route. I do not think the government should have access to all of our files, being that many people have psychiatric and other personal information that they do not want to get into the wrong hands. On the other hand however, I think that faster access to certain information could really save lives. If we had some control over the situation the electronic aspect wouldn’t matter. A better route would probably be to have something like locked and unlocked files for specific versus generalized information, and have that information on large independently run databases (efficiently chosen by the invisible hand of the marketplace) rather than a large federal database. The general information and emergency information could be transmitted between providers but the more private information would remain locked at the individuals discretion.

neoCarlinist

February 1st, 2010
9:42 am

oh, and one more thing. does any among us think the government does not already have “files” on all of us? as DBA points out, it starts with the SSN and grows with Selective Service registration, drivers licenses, voter registration records. as stated, it’s not so much a question of some ulterior motive or nefarious intentions that compels the government to keep records; it’s more just a case of laziness. having a large database of financial, medical or criminal records makes it easier for those whose job it is to keep an eye on the rest of us (see: Patriot Act). what do all the chicken hawks like to say; “freedom is not free”? the cover charge for this party (free society) is your freedom. ponder that one for a moment.

Real Athens

February 1st, 2010
9:48 am

My heavens! What? Another conservative pundit pushing misinformation and fear to the masses? It can’t be so.

Private health insurance already comes between you and your doctor. And because each company sets its own rules, it’s hard to imagine a more bureaucratic system. Some insurers decide which doctors you can see, which hospitals you can visit, and what drugs you can take and still be covered. And they may require copious paperwork before approving a treatment you and your doctor want. Health-care reform would standardize claim procedures to cut down on all of that. And it would protect you from other abuses, like being rejected for coverage or paying exorbitant premiums if you get sick.

Health reform should make it simple to get good information on health-care quality. You should be able to find data on infection rates, on doctors, drugs, treatments, and errors. Yet most states still allow doctors to shield a history of malpractice settlements. And infection rates, if reported at all, are often kept secret, which doesn’t provide enough incentive for improvement.

What does work is disclosure. Pennsylvania, which passed the first statewide reporting law, remains the only state to require disclosure of all major types of hospital infections. And infections there have dropped 8 percent in the last two years.

Today, insurers pay a fee for every test, pill, consultation, and procedure—which means that the more care given, the more providers get paid. Even without questioning anyone’s motives, it’s easy to see how such a system is biased toward overtreatment. And indeed, studies show that those who get more care don’t necessarily do better, and often do worse, as a result.

Under patient-centered reform, doctors, hospitals, and labs would earn a combined flat fee for managing an “episode of illness.” They’d be rewarded for quality of outcome, not quantity of care, so their main incentive would be to work together to make you well. Electronic records would ensure that with your permission, any doctor could access your history. Together, those reforms would help improve care and reduce costs.

Disclosure and transparency allow people to pick the best provider. Bad providers lose business, etc, etc. The “cream rises to the top”. This is an example of the type of “free market” solutions I would expect an American to support.

Do you?

TnGelding

February 1st, 2010
10:00 am

The benefits far outway the shortcomings. Having your records available worldwide at the click of a mouse would be invaluable in case of an accident, and I hate filling out medical histories. The doctors can only diagnose what we describe and most of us aren’t that articulate and are forgetful. It would also eliminate a lot of duplicate tests, not to mention mistakes. Names could be blocked for most access. The ability to nip potential epidemics in the bud should also prove invaluable. What if the records had been available when HIV broke out?

Mark

February 1st, 2010
10:01 am

Wen Bob Barr is wrong, he is usually dead wrong, as in this case of medical database. He makes a completely irrelevant comparison with the Christmas Day bomber situation. It is actually much easier to safeguard one database by the federal government than thousands of databases by the insurance companies and hospitals. Where do losses of records with social security numbers happen? In the Social Security Administration? No, in all kinds of private corporations.

Chris Broe

February 1st, 2010
10:10 am

Look, if we get a national Rx database, then any hacker/witchdoctor would know exactly where to stick the pins in our own effigy dolls. He would only need 300 million dolls. We’d all be sitting ducks. Look, we have to stop the national database.

Maybe an Al Queda witchdoctor would simply stick pins in a Uncle Sam doll and a Lady Liberty doll. Maybe weapons of mass voodoo is the next 911.

Why doesn’t Obama quit blaming Bush and do something? Doesn’t Obama have any balls? I want a leader who accepts the keys to the executive washroom without complaining that the last guy in there left the seat up!

A True Patriot

February 1st, 2010
10:32 am

Folks, all of you have made good points for and against a government run medical data base; however, my opinion (for whatever that’s worth) is….”we don’t need any more government intrusion in our lives” This data base, on the surface, sounds like a great idea……and that’s what it should remain, just an idea. We have too much mismanagement, corruption, fraud, hacking, briberies, payoffs, etc., etc., in our federal government to let something like this go forward. Me thinks it is only a device for medical care panels to make life/death decisions and, I know, I sound like one of those conspiracy nuts but think about it……our present democratic majority wants this country to turn to socialism :) What better way to control our lives than through our medical records? Bob Barr, a Great American, thanks again for your insight.

Ayn Rand was right

February 1st, 2010
10:46 am

@Real Athens – Under patient-centered reform, doctors, hospitals, and labs would earn a combined flat fee for managing an “episode of illness.” They’d be rewarded for quality of outcome, not quantity of care, so their main incentive would be to work together to make you well.

Or maybe their main incentive would be to pay to play, get priority picks on the, most likely to improve patients, or simply refuse to treat the elderly, chronically ill, etc.

None of these problems were an issue when people were responsible for paying their own way at the doctors office…heard an ad the other day for car repair insurance…the sheeple will be fleeced by insurance agencies…the middle men of the world.

On Mr. Barr’s blog; agreed electronic record keeping is the way of the future, agree that the Feds are not the right ones to do it. We need a “Clear Pass” plan for people to purchase the mass storage of their records for viewing by the medical professionals treating them. There is a benefit, the individual should choose the risk.

Real Athens

February 1st, 2010
10:52 am

TP

“our present democratic majority wants this country to turn to socialism”

That is simply not true and you only expose your own … (insert reason here) until you can move away from this propoganda. Until you can move away from the idea that Washington is proposing a move to socialism or, egad, communism, you can’t be taken seriously. FYI: Both are very different than each other.

Ask Bob Barr: Personal freedoms eroded significantly more under the Bush Administration than what has occurred on the Obama watch. That is the truth.

Additionally it was the Bush Administration who initially “nationalized” or bailed out:
The Bear Stearns Comapnies, Inc 2008
Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac 2008
Goldman Sachs Group, (Government approved bailout by Berkshire Hathaway) 2008
Morgan Stanley (Government approved bailout by Bank of Tokyo-Mistubishi) 2008
American International Group, Inc 2008
Emergency Economic Stabilization Act of 2008
Citigroup Inc. 2008
General Motors and Chrysler LLC 200 (thought technically not a bailout but a bridge loan by the U.S. Government

Stan Kelley

February 1st, 2010
10:57 am

It seems that “The American People” have more spokespersons than God, who seems to have way too many. Of course, it is possible that some of those spokespersons are really only speaking for themselves and Neil and Rush and Sean and Bill and the Savage. Bob, I am sure, speaks for his wife, if he has one at the present time.

Real Athens

February 1st, 2010
11:04 am

Ayn:

Yes, these problems were/are “an issue” within our medical system and have been for awhile, that’s why we are here discussing this today. You’re going to formulate your policy decisions and opinions based on an ad you heard on the radio? Created by an advertising agency? Do yourself a favor, turn off the radio.

As far as “maybe” this and that … It must be a terrible thing to live in fear.

One more thing, if you’re going to claim Ayn Rand’s philosophy as your own, learn it.

Rand, a noted eugenicist would have definitely supported “pay to play … priority picks on the, most likely to improve patients, or simply refuse to treat the elderly, chronically ill, etc.”.

Ayn Rand was right

February 1st, 2010
11:14 am

@Real Athens, the point about the ad, was what once was a way to protect yourself from major catastrophe is now a way to pay as you. If some shill is pushing car repair insurance, it is only a matter of time before some bright bulb in DC decides it should be required for all to have. ” Car repairs are the #1 cause of bankruptcy this week…”

I dare say that 90% of American’s with heath insurance, pay more to their insurance provider annually than they would pay to their doctor. We have brainwashed out people with withholding tax, insurance deductions, etc. until many do not even understand that they could and should take care of themselves.

My considerations were not about living in fear, I do not. They were about poking holes in your Utopian nanny state propaganda. Sorry if it was hard for you to keep up.

FUN GUY

February 1st, 2010
11:14 am

Subject: Clunker Math and Obamacare

The math sounds right to me. You could say it recognizes first
year only, but even so makes a point: many of those cars would have been
off the road over time through natural attritation.

I’d like to share the following with you:

Clunker Math:
A clunker that travels 12,000 miles a year at 15 mpg uses 800
gallons of gas a year.
A vehicle that travels 12,000 miles a year at 25 mpg uses 480
Gallons a year.
So, the average Cash for Clunkers transaction will reduce US
gasoline consumption by 320 gallons per year.
They claim 700,000 vehicles so that’s 224 million gallons saved
per year.

That equates to a bit over 5 million barrels of oil.
5 million barrels is about 5 hours worth of US consumption.
More importantly, 5 million barrels of oil at $70 per barrel
costs about $350 million dollars
So, the government paid $3 billion of our tax dollars to save
$350 million.
We spent $8.57 for every dollar we saved.
I’m pretty sure they will do a great job with our health care,
though.

bamaguy

February 1st, 2010
11:15 am

While I generally agree, there is a database on who had car insurance and with whom, they check it each year when I buy my tag. How is this different?

The only thing positive I will say about health databases, is that after Katrina hundreds showed up at the Anderson Clinic in Houston only knowing that they “had cancer”. Treatment had to begin from zero. Many lost their life because of it.

neoCarlinist

February 1st, 2010
11:31 am

Ayn Rand was right, I have a better idea… why don’t we speak for ourselves instead of channeling the spirit of some dead malcontent? That’s not to say some of her observations were not valid, but she was, first and foremost a purveyor of fiction. I place no more weight on the observations/conclusions put forth by Rand, then those put forth by Charles Dickens, Bruce Springsteen, or Rush Limbaugh. It would be nice to exist in a world where performance matters and “rugged individuals” are punished/rewarded for taking risks, but that world does not exist beyond Atlas Shrugged. No Virginia, there is no Santa Claus.

Fix-It

February 1st, 2010
11:32 am

I wonder if the same people who want this database are the ones who did not want their finger print on their driver’s license.

Real Athens

February 1st, 2010
12:03 pm

Ayn:

Your’s is a straw man argument. “I dare say” is no more basis for argument than …?

In absence of extreme illness, no doubt, people pay more to insurance companies than doctors — the point exactly. A single male, with no dependents, pays $542 a month to Blue Cross/Blue Shield for catastrophic coverage with a $10,000 deductible. You tell me if that is fair? That is as cheap as it gets in Georgia if you’re not in a employee plan discounted because of a larger pool.

“Utopian nanny state”? Read my post, I was talking about real, “free market” solutions. You regurgitate spin from Boortz — first place I heard the term “nanny state” — the ultimate advertiser. Additionally, you offer no counterpoint or solutions only the jargon of pundits bought and paid by corporations and the Republican party.

I’m sorry you can’t think for yourself and can only “shill” the propaganda fed to you by the very institutions Ayn Rand reviled.

Road Scholar

February 1st, 2010
12:38 pm

A True Patriot: “We have too much mismanagement, corruption, fraud, hacking, briberies, payoffs, etc., etc., ”

Why limit yourself to the Federal government/ Hasn’t today’s businesses and industry exhibited the same traits?

Bob, just how are the records of the Veteran’s Administration kept? They have been recognized as the best run health care business around and have used a “universal” electronic patient database for years. Instantaneous health records , under proper security, has made it one of the most efficient systems. Oh, and by the way it’s socialist….by many consevative definitions!

I do not take the security of our records lightly. I called my doctor’s office once and the nurse/phone operator asked me to identify myself, which I did by name. She then asked me if my SS# was…. I was pissed and demanded to talk to the doctor immediately. I never heard her on the phone or saw her in the office again!

wes allen

February 1st, 2010
12:45 pm

I am not surprised. being from the party of No I would expect no less from you than a No on any system that the governmant would use.

Under your brand of thinking ” I use that word loosely”, there would not be a “massive database” of information about how much money I have earned….or gee medicare…lions and tigers and bears …oh dear.what is the difference , the governmant having a clearing house and improving medical care …or having multiple insurance companies having the data…and adding 30% to the cost of duplicating every cost? We should have a single payor system. Period.

I sentence you to 66 minutes of listening to the President speaking to the GOP caucus and explaining to them how stuff works.

Your thoughts are old and your politics are tired…

A True Patriot

February 1st, 2010
12:51 pm

Real Athens……You sound like a “Real Expert” on these matters…..why don’t you offer yourself up to help with the management of our “Health Records System”. You sound like you’d also fit right in with all the other “Liberals” in Washington.

DBA

February 1st, 2010
2:28 pm

@True Patriot
Leave the management of the health records database up to a competent DBA – me :o ) I am definitely probably going to be headed in that direction, getting in on the ground floor. Most of you have no idea of the advantages of having such a thing. It will uncover many things about healthcare and medicine and will allow for the monitoring of trends and other metrics and will provide for better decision making at the professional and governmental levels. Someone hit the nail on the head in identifying private corporations as bigger compromisers (and peddlers) of our personal information. I am amazed…some of you have no problem with the government sniffing your phone and internet lines if you think it’ll save your life from so-called terrorists. However you seem to have a big problem with it having a view into your health records when it may help save your life from cancer. Maybe you are ashamed of the case of gonorrhea you caught while sleeping around on your old lady? ..or the 12 different active Oxycontin prescriptions from 8 different doctors?…I wonder..

joe matarotz

February 1st, 2010
3:10 pm

Bobolink, I agree with you. The results of your monthly colonoscopy are nobody else’s business. That’s between you and your dentist as part of your total healthcare package, as a former congressional wonk. Cheers!

Real Athens

February 1st, 2010
3:33 pm

True Patriot:

Sigh. In the absence of ideas, clear understanding of the argument, intelligent comment or solutions, you take the low road and get in the sandbox:

Vilify the messenger; offer an exit to the discourse; attach catchphrases with vigor;

accomplish nothing.

Guess who

February 1st, 2010
6:01 pm

There is another issue people are missing in the law. The federal government is not going to create the DB. Just as in providing federal medical coverage, it will actually be done by the states. There will be one per state, and it will start with the medicaid, medicare, and S-CHIP participants.

For a state like GA, that is about 1/3 of the total population. The federal government will establish the standards (someday) and the state’s will implement them. The issue is the standards don’t exist yet, the systems don’t exist yet, and hospitals and other providers have incompatible systems. This will take a long time.

Nicolia Disfagonious

February 1st, 2010
9:18 pm

Next comes the chip implanted under your skin. It’s coming to.
Now, everytime you go crap they will know when, how much, and that it stinks.

Eric

February 1st, 2010
9:49 pm

You’re back on the right track, Mr. Barr! Very good!

Ric

February 2nd, 2010
6:21 am

I’m here from the government and I’m here to help! NO THANKS!

First Sergeant

February 2nd, 2010
8:44 am

Folks, this is truly a non-issue. Nowadays, mainly because of security concerns, most employers are requiring some type of security clearance investigation be conducted on potential employees. Now, for those who don’t understand the depth of security clearance investigations, they are intense. Investigators look for anything, and I mean anything, that could potentially cause concern. That includes medical concerns (illnesses, debt, claims, etc..). Guess what folks, databases already exist, in some form or another. As one poster already noted, some states are already making the transition to electronic medical records. You know Mr. Barr, until your followers come up out of their holes, and see progression for what it is (A better America), they will be left behind to waddle in their own propoganda. Medical databases already exist and will be the future of individual medical information.

Dana Blankenhorn

February 2nd, 2010
10:12 am

Congratulations, Bob. You have gone the full Ludd. How about a hatchet so you can smash the looms, then we can all go back to making cloth in our homes. Full employment!

Seriously, the idea of foregoing data and its uses is beyond stupid. Get rid of the incentives for employers and insurers to look at it. Make use of it in research to find out what works — you can draw far firmer conclusions with 300 million records than a few thousand.

Most important, however, put that data into your own hands. If a 20-something sees the data showing that they’re heading to a heart attack at 40, their personal data that they control, and if they’re given the information needed to prevent it, they can take responsibility. And save a bundle.

Anyone who has spent any time with computers knows that data is empowerment. Having the data makes businesses run better. Having your own data helps you make improvements in your life.

You seem to like people powerless and ignorant. Why?

Only a Luddite would think differently.

vlee brown

February 2nd, 2010
10:30 am

Wake-up! Here again we can’t be held responsible to even take care of our own health. What is wrong with someone who doesn’t know what medicine they are taking? In my wallet is a summary of any important information. The government has already had a slip with their web page where they added names to their list. Grow up and take care of yourself! You’r an embarrassment to your ancestors who managed just fine with being coddled like babies. American’s have lost their backbone, but my guess is we’re going to find it the hard way.
Thanks AJC for this article. What a surprise! I may have to start reading you again.

[...] Bob Barr fears a government database. Republican Newt Gingrich wants the government to concentrate on Medicare fraud.  How you do that [...]

Rational Person

February 2nd, 2010
11:18 am

I always said that, if Obama cured cancer, the righties would come out in favor of cancer. Here we have Bob Barr doing essentially that.

Vlee Brown, sometimes people are unconscious when they go to the emergency room. They can’t tell the doctor anything. And some people are mentally incompetent for one reason or another. Some people are children. Some have Alzheimer’s. Some just don’t have much upstairs. They don’t deserve to die for that.

First Sergeant

February 2nd, 2010
11:22 am

Rational Person

February 2nd, 2010
11:18 am

All great points!

jconservative

February 2nd, 2010
1:59 pm

My “primary care ” doctor has everything known about my health in his database. Does anyone really believe that info is secure?

neoCarlinist

February 2nd, 2010
2:10 pm

you know, all this muck (blogging) kind of assumes the healthcare enterprise (private sector OR government) exists to ensure the health of the American people. ergo, these databases are not created to guarantee John Q. Public won’t die from cancer. these databases exist to make the job of “managing” the administration of healthcare easier for the bureaucrats. so weather it is some pencil-pushing civil servant working for Health and Human Services (MEDICARE) or some bean-counter/acutary trying to squeeze a couple more bucks out of a customer’s premiums; the “end game” is not quality/affordable healthcare. I have to side with Bob on this one. about 5 years ago my provider tired to get me to enroll in their online patient information system. I refused. I then started to receive calls suggesting “check ups” and “annual physicals”. I procure healthcare when I need it, not when my doctor suggests it. live healthy or smoke and drink like there is not tomorrow, as Jim Morrison said; “no one gets out alive”.

Left of Center

February 2nd, 2010
9:07 pm

I think i’ll pop a top and roll me another one.
Why not. Bill Clinton lied and said he didnt inhale.
What a waste of weed.
Said he didnt have sex with that woman.
What a lie.
Bet that cigar tasted good though.

Rockerbabe

February 8th, 2010
5:44 pm

The government could not possibly be any worse than the private medical insurers and their data bases. These data bases are used to deny citizens coverage for claims, coverage period. Often information is forwarded without the needed consents and getting vital info to the MD and hospitals when needed, is almost impossible.

Medicare has its own database of lots of info, but I have never had a problem getting the care and coverage my retired mother needs when the proper authorization was given.

I think all of the “NO” business has to do with the snow job the repugs have done on the American public. Most of the public’s healthcare ills are caused by lack of private insurance or private insurance that takes your money and “runs”. No government will ever be so big as to stop all the sheisters in the citizenry or in big business.