Orwellian Medicine on the Horizon
Big Brother is ready to watch you as you hop from doctor to doctor, treatment to treatment, and you have reason to be worried. Action Alert!
Congress has moved us one step closer to establishing a unique patient identifier (UPI) system. The UPI is meant to act like a passport into the healthcare system and to aid healthcare institutions in matching patients with their medical records.
A unique number assigned to every American that gives access to that person’s full medical records to every doctor, hospital, researcher, and public health department in the country. What could go wrong?
If this sounds ominous to you, you’re not alone. This all started with the passage of the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA, which required Health and Human Services (HHS) to issue every citizen a UPI. The Act, which allegedly protected patient privacy, actually gave legal access to your records without your knowledge to an estimated 800,000 parties. After a public outcry, Congressman Ron Paul (R-TX) added language to a spending bill in 1998 prohibiting federal funds from being used to develop UPIs. This language has prevented the development of UPI—until now.