Theodore's World: How Obama's Stimulus Violates Your Constitutional Rights

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July 11, 2009

How Obama's Stimulus Violates Your Constitutional Rights

How Obama's stimulus violates your constitutional rights

Lawsuit challenges government 'guidance' to doctors


A nurse has filed a lawsuit against the medical records provisions of President Obama's stimulus bill alleging it not only gives government officials access to personal health records, it opens the door for bureaucrats to make health care decisions.

The lawsuit was filed in federal court for the Southern District of New York by Beatrice Heghmann, a nurse from Durham, N.H. It targets the health sections of the 2009 American Recovery and Reinvestment Act that demand all health care records be put into an electronic format.

The recently filed claim cites the authorization of the "Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology."

The lawsuit explains the federal law specifies, "The National Coordinator shall perform the duties under subsection (c) in a manner consistent with the development of a nationwide health information technology infrastructure that allows for the electronic use and exchange of information and that among other functions provides appropriate information to help guide medical decisions at the time and place of care."
Using the personal information, the lawsuit claims, "the National Coordinator will monitor treatments to make sure the plaintiff's doctor is doing what the federal government deems appropriate and cost effective."
The lawsuit said the federal plan's goal "is to reduce costs and 'guide' plaintiff's doctor's decisions."

The language is virtually identical to what former Sen. Tom Daschle, D-S.D., prescribed in his 2008 book "Critical, What We Can Do About the Health-Care Crisis" after voters in his state refused to return him to Washington.

"According to Daschle, doctors have to give up autonomy and 'learn to operate less like solo practitioners,'" the lawsuit said. "The National Coordinator will be able to enforce his decision as to what is appropriate treatment through sanctions against health care providers. Health care providers that are not 'meaningful users' of the new system will face penalties. 'Meaningful user' is not defined in the Stimulus Act. That will be left to the HHS secretary, who will be empowered to impose 'more stringent measures of meaningful use over time.'"

The result is that penalties that could be imposed against doctors that would "deter the plaintiff's health care providers from going beyond the electronically delivered protocols should (a medical) condition become atypical," the lawsuit said.

Further, the demand that all health records be kept electronically would put the plaintiff's personal information "a mouse-click away from being accessible to strangers."

That amounts to an unconstitutional release of her personal and private health information, the lawsuit says.

Named as defendants are Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius and other Obama administration officials.

Twila Brase, president of the Citizens' Council on Health Care, has been working on privacy issues related to health care records for years. She's seen some success in Minnesota, where health officials have been taking DNA from newborns and archiving it for eventual research use.

She said while the wording of the stimulus law is convoluted, it appears to set up a requirement for all medical records to be posted online so that government administrators in Washington could review a diagnosis as well as a prescription and apply pressure to the doctor if they felt the treatment was more expensive than they wanted.

Brase said the federal law calls for a single electronic medical record for every U.S. resident by 2014 and providing access to those records to "providers, health plans, the government, and other interested parties."

Worst of all, she said, it appears to eliminate a state's right to impose stricter privacy standards as provided by the current federal law, the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act.
Brase said in a nextgov report that the bottom line is that privacy would be in the hands of a Washington bureaucrat instead of a physician.

Analysts said they believe there will be similar lawsuits over the privacy of medical records.

The lawsuit seeks class-action status, and explained that the plaintiff, as a patient, "was required [on several occasions] and in the future will be required to reveal intimate aspects of her life to the health care provider during the course of consultation and treatment."

Since she never has been covered by either Medicare or Medicaid, her doctors were selected by her and paid either directly by her or in combination with private health insurance she maintained.

"Under the Hippocratic Oath, state law and federal law while the medical records are the property of the plaintiff’s health care providers, the information contained in the records remains property of the plaintiff and the health care providers are required by law to maintain that information in strict confidentiality."

But the new law, the lawsuit said, "attempts to render the privacy provided under federal law, state law, the Hippocratic Oath and HIPAA null and void."


Wild Thing's comment.......

Thank goodness there is finally a lawsuit about SOMETHING these thugs are doing with this.


....Thank you Mark for sending this to me.

3rd Mar.Div. 1st Battalion 9th Marine Regiment
1/9 Marines aka The Walking Dead
VN 66-67

Posted by Wild Thing at July 11, 2009 06:50 AM


And then the government can limit how much care you get for let's say, diabetes or arthritis or ms. God forbid you have cancer, ALS, or really something serious like kidney, liver or heart failure. No, let the weak die. They are the surplus population you know. We don't need them. They are "undesirable." Obamanation wants perfect people in his America. The poor doctors and nurses. He is putting on their shoulders some horrible things. Doesn't the Hippocratic oath say "first do no harm?" This plan is just like what Hitler and Stalin wanted. This man is black-in his heart and on his skin. No wonder Muddy doesn't like him. He's an ass.

Posted by: Lynn at July 11, 2009 07:34 AM

Next thing you know he and kathleen will want 6 feet tall, blond hair and blue eyes.
An individual such as kathleen sibelius, the former governor of Kansas, where I live, should never have power of this kind.
Perhaps Ms, Heghmann has done the very thing that will open the eyes of our fellow countrymen to the agenda of the "annointed one"

Posted by: Glenn Cassel AMH1(AW) USN RET at July 11, 2009 08:40 AM

This recovery act is an extension of the HIPAA law signed by Clinton in 1996 (HIPAA or the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act ). If you have a prescription filled, you have to sign for the script, essentially saying you have read and understand the 1200 page law governing YOUR PRIVACY which amounts to NONE, before paying for it, this is HIPAA. If you call to check on your Mother in the Hospital you need a special code name that the floor nurse knows in order to get the information. When my wife was in the hospital with her Heart Cath, the one they botched, we had a special code word I could use in order to find out, by phone, what her status was. In our case she was on her own floor, the other nurses set her up with her own computer for the hospital so she could see exactly what was going on. She also had a private room, which they held all day for her to come up. This is not the norm of course. She was treated like royalty, for sure. But Nurses like the Marines take care of their own. There was more, but I'll get yelled at if I go on.

This is the Law written by Ted Kennedy, so you know it is restrictive. This is the supposed Privacy Act for patients.

Bottom line only the government can look at your health record. It works like this if a Nurse gives out any information on a patient she can be disciplined and the punishment varies from little to very punitive. Yet any government bureaucrat can demand to see your health record and use that information against you.

This is a heads up play by this Nurse. Now if all the records are put on Government computers, all neeed be done is to dial up your record and see what they can find. This will create more restrictions on personal Liberty. Your life will no longer be private but an open book for any bureaucrat to peek at.

The HIPAA laws should be revoked it is bad law. HIPAA is as much of an invasion of privacy as putting your records on computer.

At the current rate, Nurses lose time with patients for having to comply with all the stupid HIPAA requirements. So from what I can see this is a pile on deal from the government.

This is what we will not see until it is too late. That Nurse saw it because she is directly affected by it and is crying foul. So hopefully, this will throw out all these bogus laws that are severely restricting our freedom.

Posted by: Mark at July 11, 2009 12:02 PM

Good information Mark.

This bill is pure government interference in our medical services. It should not the business of any bureaucrat from any agency what our medical history is.

The government will use this access to our records to limit or deny service. Also, it will be used to tell doctors and nurses how to administer to patients and to punish doctors and nurses.

Of course our lawmakers will have a seperate health care system and will be exempt from this medical records access bill. Wouldn't it be nice to see the medical records of Ted Kennedy or Barney Frank.

Posted by: TomR at July 11, 2009 12:50 PM

Lynn, your so right, Hitler would be
proud of this plan.

Posted by: Wild Thing at July 11, 2009 11:33 PM

Glenn Cassel AMH1(AW) USN RET, exactly,
this is so bad and I wish more people
would see how it is so much like
what Hitler would have wanted.

Posted by: Wild Thing at July 11, 2009 11:36 PM

Mark, thank you so much for that

This nurse was very brave to speak out.

Thanks again Mark.

Posted by: Wild Thing at July 11, 2009 11:38 PM

Tom, I wonder too what else they will use
this for.

Ever since Obama was sworn in the spam for
my blog has increased 10 fold. All drug
companies pushing their drugs for ailments
and it was never like that before. I just
click delete all but I have to do it several
times a day.

Posted by: Wild Thing at July 11, 2009 11:43 PM