Wednesday, February 11, 2009

This One's Really Scary

One of the provisions buried in the "stimulus" package (or the Generational Theft Act) is for a new government position called the National Coordinator of Health Information Technology. And it's the most terrifying thing the government could possibly do.  

See, the NCHIT and his office will be allowed to review all medical records in the United States and evaluate your doctor's actions--to determine if treatment is "appropriate and cost-effective."  

Remember the good old days when your medical treatment was between you and your doctor? When the government had to get a court order to find out about your medical treatment? Those are now gone.

That should scare the crap out of you.

First of all, for a government that's over $10 trillion in debt and runs a company (Amtrak) that has failed to show a single dollar of profit in over forty years to determine what's "cost-effective" would be laughable if the situation weren't so serious.  

Is there anyone else who's really, really uncomfortable with the government finding every medical treatment you've ever had, with neither your permission nor probable cause for a subpoena? It's my body, not the government's. What right do they have to decide if I'm getting "appropriate" treatment? Shouldn't I be able to determine that? By my standards, if I start out sick, receive treatment, and get not-sick-anymore, that's appropriate treatment. That's all that matters. I don't think that treatment should then be subject to government review.

And if the government review finds that the treatment wasn't appropriate or cost-effective, what are they supposed to do about it? The treatment can't be undone. It's not like I can get sick again and give the doctor a do-ever, but this time make sure to use government-mandated treatment. I guess they'll slap the doctor with punitive fines. What's that going to do to health care? You already have doctors closing up shop for fear of malpractice suits. If you add government review and potentially ruinous fines to the mix, how many more doctors do you suppose will decide to close their doors and go back to teaching, or something?  

This NCHIT is another argument against universal health care--because, of course, when the government pays for your treatment, the government has a right to know what it's paying for. Which means your right to any sort of privacy is gone. Call me crazy, but I'd rather pay the insurance premiums than give the government access to every detail of my medical history.

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