The intersection of health care and Big Brother:
Final Stimulus Bill Creates Government Database that Will Hold Every American’s Personal Medical Records

The final version of the stimulus bill, negotiated by the Democratic leaders of the House and Senate, includes a provision creating a federal database that will hold the personal medical records of every American, Katie Grant, spokeswoman for House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-Md.) told Thursday.

The full language of the final package had not been released as of press time. But the bills that passed both the House and Senate created an “Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology” and called for the coordinator to create a national database and a plan for “the utilization of an electronic health record (EHR) for each person in the United States by 2014.”

Its purpose:

The final bill “provides $19 billion to accelerate adoption of Health Information Technology (HIT) systems by doctors and hospitals, in order to modernize the health care system, save billions of dollars, reduce medical errors and improve quality,” the Pelosi summary says.

Further, the bill “strengthens Federal privacy and security law to protect personally identifiable health information from misuse and abuse.”

It doesn’t specify misuse and abuse by whom.  Still, we can trust the government to look out for us, right?

Not so fast. Obama’s proposed medical database in the stimulus pork barrel has implications for Second Amendment rights.  From Say Anything:

But of even greater concern to gun owners is the fact that a government-coordinated database (which government can freely access) will now contain all records of government-provided and private psychiatric treatment -– including, in particular, the drugs which were prescribed.

Remember last year’s “NICS Improvement Act” otherwise known as the Veterans Disarmament Act? This law codified ATF’s attempts to make you a prohibited person on the basis of a government psychiatrist’s finding that you are a “danger” –- without a finding by any court. Well, roughly 150,000 battle-scarred veterans have already been unfairly stripped of their gun rights by the government.

But people who, as kids, were diagnosed with Attention Deficit Disorder… or seniors with Alzheimer’s… or police with Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder… or people who are now theoretically covered by the new law… these people have, generally, not suffered the consequences of its sanctions YET. And the chief reason is that their records are not easily available to the government in a central, easily retrievable, computerized form.

The bailout bill would change all of that. It would push increasingly hard to force your private psychiatrist or government-sanctioned psychiatrist to turn over your psychiatric records to a massive database. This would be mandated immediately if your doctor does business with the government.

But, but, but, that’s not misuse or abuse, right?  It’s for the public good, and that trumps your petty privacy concerns.  It’s just a commonsense precaution.  You act like  like they’re trying to abrogate your rights, like the right to free speech.  This plan is nowhere near that.


Chinese journalists face government blacklist

Chinese journalists who break their government’s reporting rules face being put on a new blacklist, adding to an array of controls used to restrict its domestic media.

State-owned media in China today reported that the body that controls the sector plans to “establish a database of media professionals with a bad record”. China’s state-run media is tightly controlled and regularly censored in its reporting.

According to a report in the China Press and Publishing Journal, reporters who violate the rules or laws will have their press cards taken away.

“Their names will be entered into the list and they will be restricted from news reporting or editing work,” Li Dongdong, the deputy director of China’s General Administration of Press and Publication, was quoted as saying.

That couldn’t happen here, could it?  I mean, our government would never consider expanding the healthcare database into other areas, would it?