SAN DIEGO, February 3, 2013 ― Many friends and followers have been curious as to the strange silence of America’s Medical Society and this author over the past nearly four months. The reader has no idea, yet, of the real story that has unfolded. For what can only be blamed on the hubris and cockiness of those in positions of power in government who feel no shame, my 2007 book “Jihad and American Medicine” (written to save lives and educate) and my strong anti-Obamacare articles, public debates, lectures and rallies clearly ruffled a few feathers.
How sad that our grade school lessons on citizenship and free speech ‒ as elements that elevate and improve society ‒ have been lost on the growing list of occupants of the Oval Office.
If necessary, this author and those who care for him, will publically release details. Trust me when I say this: I grew up in a staunch liberal household—McGovern, Humphries, Carter, Al Gore and the like. I became more conservative and eventually a Republican not because I wanted to impose my will on others, but quite the opposite—because I believed that excessive power in the hands of people in power was a dangerous and slippery slope. My libertarian views have been shaped by a desire to “live and let live,” to allow people enough room in this great, expansive Land to live free lives, bound by a greater dedication to “promote the common defense” and “support national commerce” and preserve “domestic tranquility.”
Both Republicans and Democrats have aided the demise of American freedoms.
Let this be said at this moment: America is on the decline not because of who is President or who is in Congress, but because of the liberties we have increasingly given to those in power as a complicit society. Our fear after 9-11 led to some egregious mistakes, and we have only doubled-down on our poor decisions by allowing relatively unfettered access to spy on American citizens on American soil. Obamacare, for its sake, was always a superb idea, but a horrible blueprint.
Who has read the fine print on the back of the HIPAA/Privacy forms we are all required to sign at doctor’s offices? Although we, the patient, are guaranteed privacy for our medical data in bold print, the small letters detail well over a dozen reasons why essentially anyone can get at our information. Furthermore, the requirement for electronic medical record-keeping only increases the risk that the loss of a laptop can carry with it the release of literally millions of bits of personally identifiable information to prying eyes.
HIPAA is a great idea, if only all parties played by the same rules, but most of us don’t understand the rules the government plays by on privacy and physician practices.
The future of U.S. healthcare and PRIVACY (courtesy of author Howard Hyde)
Recent analyses in the UK show that by 2060 nearly 50% of the national coin will go toward healthcare—is this not the system upon which the Affordable Care Act and CMA Chief Doctor Berwick’s dreams were based?
Medical Privacy: Read the FINE PRINT!
by Howard Hyde
The Scene: a job interview circa 2015
Interviewer: Well, Ms. Smith, we are very impressed with your qualifications, your credentials and your experience, and we think you could be a very good fit for this position and with our organization. We are particularly impressed with how well-travelled you are, and your knowledge of foreign languages. We just have a few more questions and then we should be able to wrap up for today.
Ms. Smith: Thank you. Please go ahead.
Interviewer: Well, first of all, what can you tell us about your long-term career goals? Where do you see yourself in ten or even twenty years?
Ms. Smith: Well, for the next several years I want to continue climbing the corporate ladder here in the private sector, but at some point I would like to transition into public service. I have been inspired by role models like Hillary Clinton, Madeleine Allbright, Condoleza Rice and Susan Rice, and my ultimate ambition would be to become Secretary of State. But that’s a long way off, of course.
Interviewer: Excellent! Those are noble ambitions and by your resume you appear to be building the right foundation to get there. So, back to our immediate objective…
Ms. Smith: Yes.
Interviewer: Can you tell us something about these three cases of syphilis in 2004 and 2005?
Ms. Smith: I beg your pardon?
Interviewer: Well, it has come to our attention that you were treated three times for syphilis during those years, and we just wanted to ensure that your character is up to the moral standards of our organization.
Ms. Smith: With respect, how would you even know that about me, I mean, even if it were true, which it is not, which I deny categorically.
Interviewer: Do you recognize your signature on this photocopied document?
Ms. Smith: Yes, that’s my signature, but that’s a medical privacy notice. What does that have to do with our subject today?
Interviewer: Well, surely you read the notice before you signed it, correct?
Ms. Smith: I can’t possibly read all the fine print of every document I sign, no.
Interviewer: Hmm, I’m not sure what that says about your attention to detail, but in any case if you had read it, you would see that it clearly states under the heading of “National Security,” the medical facility that treats you may disclose your health information to federal officials “in order to protect the President, other officials or foreign heads of state.”
Ms. Smith: You’re telling me that when I signed a privacy notice, I was really signing a public disclosure notice? What choice did I have? How could I have not signed it and still gotten the care?
Interviewer: A very good question. Ms. Smith, are you pro-life or pro-choice?
Ms. Smith: What do my politics have to do with this position?
Interviewer: I suppose that’s an unfair question since we pretty much know the answer already. Based on your two abortions during that same time period, we can be fairly certain you’re pro-choice. Ms. Smith?
Ms. Smith: [shocked silence]
Interviewer: Moving on, on three occasions you were prescribed anti-depressant medication by three different physicians who, upon further investigation, turn out to be psychiatrists. Are you mentally unstable, Ms. Smith?
Ms. Smith: This is outrageous! Anti-depressants! That could be anyone today! Besides, you’re not permitted by law to even ask me such questions, much less go digging for dirt behind my back!
Interviewer: Well, we do background checks on all candidates, and the information is out there, in electronic form, easily transmissible.
Ms. Smith: But it’s private information! It belongs to me and me alone!
Interviewer: Not quite, according to the fine print. What did you think you were getting with Obamacare?
Ms. Smith: You don’t know how I voted!
Interviewer: Actually, based on the record of your campaign contributions, we have a pretty good idea.
Ms. Smith: The point of Obamacare is to provide coverage for the uninsured, nothing more.
Interviewer: Perhaps, but somewhere along the way a tremendous concentration of power has been created, wouldn’t you say? Power to know the most intimate secrets of every individual citizen, to be used however the federal officials judge best, with resources at their command that dwarf the entire American military.
Ms. Smith: But you’re not a federal official! You’re a private-sector corporation! What does this have to do with you?
Interviewer: Let’s just say we have connections. How else are we to obtain our exemptions from the worst mischief that Congress cooks up?
Look, I realize this may be distressing, Ms. Smith, but don’t you think it’s better that you walk through this fire while you’re still in the private sector, before you go for higher-profile public service? I mean, how do you expect your Senate confirmation hearing to go with this information in your file?
Ms. Smith: In my file? The Senate — they would never bring this up in a dignified official hearing.
Interviewer: A person aspiring to an office appointed by the president and subject to confirmation by the Senate should have a better command of history. I suggest you Google ‘Clarence Thomas pubic hair in coke’. Realize that back then, that was just hearsay; he-said-she-said. Thomas could always plausibly deny the charges. But you’ll have a much harder time denying what’s in your official EMR.
Ms. Smith: I’m a Democrat! The Senate would never use dirt like that against me! The Republicans didn’t vote for…not one of them voted for Obamacare.
Interviewer: Nevertheless, as federal officials, Obamacare gave them the power, too. Did you think all this power that was being concentrated would forever only be in the hands of the party that promoted it?
Ms. Smith wakes up. Thank God!, she thinks. It was just a nightmare. Nothing like this could possibly happen in real life.
Not in America!
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(See also: Health info collected to “protect the President”)
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Howard Hyde is a former liberal socialist progressive Democrat from Berkeley who now defends and promotes free markets, limited government and capitalism in English and in Spanish at political clubs, on radio stations such as Univision, and on various online publications including FrontPageMag.com, DiarioDeAmerica.com and his own blog, www.HHCapitalism.com. He is involved in Republican Party outreach initiatives to the Hispanic community.
Look for Mr. Hyde’s new, upcoming 12,000 word pamphlet “Pull the Plug on Obamacare”…
Doctor Dorin is the Founder of America’s Medical Society—look for changes at the new website at www.AmericasMedicalSociety.com.
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