He who holds the data makes the rules. If you haven't figured this out, it's almost too late. Obama knows it. In 2009, his team mandated electronic medical records and $27 billion to make it happen as a "foundation" for health care reform.
If you wonder whether medical privacy is important, check out Minnesota, where the Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) and the Democrat-controlled legislature plan to eliminate all medical privacy rights. Bills being fast-tracked include:
* Genetic Grab: Repeal of hard-won parent consent requirements for government storage, use, and sharing of Baby DNA and newborn (genetic) screening test results for genetic research. The forces supporting repeal (including the Minnesota Medical Association) have boatloads of lobbyists meeting with legislators.
* Control of Doctors: Creation of a new tracking database on heart attack patients and a mandate that government require physician use of "evidence-based" treatment protocols, as defined and determined by MDH.
* Health Equity: MDH-tracking of race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, disability, language, socioeconomic status and more for the purpose of "advancing health equity" and "eliminating health disparities." This could bring civil rights lawsuits into clinics and be used to push single-payer to secure "equity."
* Unconsented Research: New uses of the government's controversial "all-payer claims database" (APCD) to conduct comprehensive research on patients for Big Government purposes. Note: at least 17 states have APCDs. Minnesota's APCD was established in Governor Tim Pawlenty's 2008 health care reform law.
* End of Privacy Rights: Conforming Minnesota true privacy laws to the federal HIPAA "no-privacy" rule, which would eliminate 11 privacy protections that only Minnesota and Iowa have.
In the press conference we held yesterday, Minnesota State Representative Mary Liz Holberg (R-Lakeville), discussed the all-out "assault" on medical privacy this year.
Although some Democrats are not in agreement with all these bills, it feels like the first two years of President Obama. With total control of the legislature and the governorship, the Democrat leadership is eliminating freedom wherever possible before the next election.
The threat to patient privacy and control is nationwide. Most people have no idea how little they have and how much is being taken away. The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) - passed in 1996 - does not protect you; it's an "anti-privacy" law and rule. Most conservative organizations aren't yet tuned into the issue. And too many elected Republicans, listening to Chambers of Commerce controlled by health plans, think our medical data should be shared with the government to create a market in "health care quality" and physician "value."
Citizens must act before medical privacy is a distant memory, and freedom is gone. Privacy is about control. He who holds the data makes the rules. Act now. Refuse to sign the HIPAA form. Ask your state legislators to require parent consent for Baby DNA storage and use. Ask your state legislators to require consent for sharing of patient data through state Health Information Exchanges. If you're a doctor, refuse to share patient data without consent. If you're a patient, find a doctor who refuses to share your data outside the office and pay cash to keep him or her in business - and your data private.
It's time to realize that the purpose of government data collection is government control. Nothing less. Donate today to help us stop government surveillance and control over health care and personal lives!
We are working to keep patients and doctors in control. *