Have Elected Republicans Joined the Left on Health Care?

June 3, 2015

 
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“Why isn’t any Presidential candidate talking about it?” That’s the question I heard on the phone last week. An Ohio woman called our office incensed by a violation of privacy she’d just experienced from a health care system and incredulous that no one on the national level is talking about the extraordinary privacy violations allowed under the federal HIPAA rule.
 
Her question is a good question. Protecting patient privacy is key to preventing the takeover of health care – which elected Republicans claim to oppose.
 
Alternatively, eviscerating patient privacy rights is foundational to the takeover of health care. So the failure of elected Democrats to be transparent about how HIPAA is destroying health freedom is not a surprise. Case in point:
 
  • HillaryCare’s national electronic health records (EHR) system (Health Security Act 1993, Title V, Subtitle B, Part 1).
  • President Obama’s EHR mandate to create a “nationwide health information technology infrastructure that allows for the use and exchange of information...” (HITECH 2009, Section 13101).
 
But what’s up with elected Republicans? The Fourth Amendment against government search and seizure of homes, persons, papers and effects is still prized by main street Republicans, and millions of independents, libertarians, mainstream Democrats and young adults.
 
So why aren’t elected Republicans working to tell the truth about HIPAA and to remove this powerful takeover tool from the hands of government and its collaborators? Why are they trying to give government and corporations more access to medical records under HIPAA (see last week’s 21st Century Cures Act)? Why are GOP Committee Chairs pushing an intrusive international treatment coding system (ICD-10) to allow detailed profiling of patients and doctors through data?
 
Why would the GOP agree to use statistics to judge and pay physicians? Have they never read Thomas Sowell’s “Lying Statistics”? H.R. 2, the “Doc Fix” bill recently signed into law (only 41 GOP voted no), mandates paying doctors according to a vague “value” system based on statistical interpretations of data instead of actual services provided. Sen. Tom Cotton (R) valiantly tried to stop this new form of legalized theft, but didn’t get enough votes. As physicians quit and leave their patients behind, why are so many elected Republicans silent about the fact that legalized theft, the government EHR mandate and data reporting requirements are the reasons for their exit? 
 
The solution is ending government-run health care, including Medicare (while protecting the elderly still dependent on it), not secretly embedding it further into law and practice using HIPAA-empowered, data-based controls.
 
Talking about, or making claims about plans to repeal Obamacare, may help Republicans get re-elected, but if these same Republicans are working to scuttle health freedom by scuttling health privacy, why would someone who cares about freedom and privacy elect a Republican?
 
Who are the GOP’s biggest donors? Do they include managed care corporations and consolidated health care systems profiting from access to and use of patient data? Chambers of Commerce in cahoots with health plans? The health IT data industry, which got an infusion of $30 billion from Obama’s 2009 EHR mandate? Research institutions, medical device manufactures, and genomic institutes who often view patient consent as an impediment to their research-based growth strategy? Google, Microsoft, Apple or wearable manufacturers hoping to participate in “population health” through 24/7 data tracking?
 
Or is it possible that Republicans see cost control through surveillance and data-based payment controls as their only solution to $43 trillion unfunded mandate called Medicare? Is that why there is no talk about the federal takeover of health care through HIPAA?
 
He who holds the data makes the rules. Let’s repeal HIPAA and stop the takeover.
 
Protecting freedom through privacy,
 
Twila Brase, RN, PHN
President and Co-founder
 
P.S.  Again, he who holds the data makes the rules. Join with me today to call on Congress to repeal HIPAA and stop the takeover: (202)-224-3121.