October 2011 brought an overlooked but devastating ruling by the Secretary of Health and Human Services (HHS), an unelected bureaucrat, to further damage your Constitutional rights. Kathleen Sebelius decreed that all private health insurance companies must turn over to the federal government their medical records on all patients insured by them to be included in the federal health information database without patients’ consent.
The traditional American view is that you, the patient, are the owner of the information in your medical records that reside with your personal physician. You control to whom your information is released. Under the new Sebelius ruling, the government will control your medical information on federal computers in a federal database. Thus, your personal medical information is open to anyone with access to the system.
Traditionally, doctors released information only with the patient’s specific consent, which was often given as a condition for getting an insurer to pay. Americans have always had the right to pay for medical care themselves and not allow the doctor to release their medical records and personal information to an insurance company.
The October ruling has not gotten the press attention that it deserves. Besides violating other fundamental liberty rights, it violates the 5th Amendment to the Constitution, which states that “No person…shall be deprived of life, liberty, or property without due process…nor shall private property, be taken for public use, without just compensation.”
With the HHS new rules for medical records, your personal property of your medical information is simply being taken by the government to be used for “the collective, or public, good” without compensation to you for the use of your data.
Worse, your own data may be used to keep you from getting treatments you and your doctor think you need! The federally run Comparative Effectiveness Research bureaucracy and Independent Payment Advisory Board (IPAB) will use this data to decide how to allocate finite medical resources. The Progressive view is that medical decisions should be made by elite, unelected, politically-appointed “experts” whose focus is on “population health,” not your health or your life.
These bureaucrats’ job is to ration medical care, not based on individual needs, but on government criteria, such as: cost of treatment effectiveness as determined by government experts, not necessarily medical specialists, and your “quality life years” remaining, based on your age or your “value” to society.
Beyond privacy issues, there is major concern about the safety of your medical information. An expanded federal medical database makes millions more people vulnerable to loss of health information and medical identity. Hackers stole millions of medical records from the Veterans Administration and patients were at risk for identity theft. David Blumenthal, M.D., the former “health information czar,” admitted “No infrastructure exists in most areas of the country for secure exchange of health information exchange among providers and between providers and consumers.”
The federal government has now expanded beyond the capability of its employees to manage their responsibilities properly. Our Founders knew that if we allowed such vast expansion of federal authority, it would make eunuchs of state and local governments… which actually better met the needs of local communities. People would wait for Washington to satisfy our every need. We are already learning the wisdom of their concerns, for example, in the failure of the federal government
- to properly regulate our financial institutions,
- to efficiently run the Postal Service without hemorrhaging red ink,
- to effectively administer programs such as veteran’s health care, Medicare, and Medicaid to keep costs under control,
- to improve quality and improve access to medical care, and
- to control Medicare and Medicaid fraud.
It is particularly dangerous to have government bureaucrats control our health information and treatment options. Do we really need to suffer more lives lost just to gain more proof that big government control and central planning does not work?
We have no voice in the regulation of our medical care by unelected bureaucrats. Instead of taxation without representation, wenow have medication without representation.
Confiscation of your medical records property is another example that when something is “free,” the real cost to you is staggering.
Elizabeth Lee Vliet, M.D. is a preventive and climacteric medicine specialist with medical practices in Tucson AZ and Dallas TX that take an integrated approach to evaluation and treatment of women and men with complex medical and hormonal problems. Dr. Vliet is also President of International Health Strategies, Ltd., whose mission is twofold: liberty and privacy in treatment options and preservation of the Oath of Hippocrates focus on the individual patient. Dr. Vliet is the 2007 recipient of the Voice of Women award from the Arizona Foundation for Women for her pioneering advocacy for the overlooked hormone connections in women’s health. Dr. Vliet received her M.D. degree and internship in Internal Medicine at Eastern Virginia Medical School, then completed specialty training at Johns Hopkins Hospital. Dr. Vliet is a Director of the Association of American Physicians and Surgeons. Dr. Vliet has appeared on FOX NEWS, Cavuto, Stuart Varney Show, Fox and Friends and syndicated radio shows across the country addressing the economic and medical impact of the new healthcare bill. Dr. Vliet’s books include: It’s My Ovaries, Stupid!; Screaming To Be Heard: Hormonal Connections Women Suspect– And Doctors STILL Ignore; Women, Weight and Hormones; The Savvy Woman’s Guide to PCOS, The Savvy Woman’s Guide to Testosterone. Dr. Vliet’s medical and educational website is http://www.HerPlace.com.