A Journal for Western Man
A National Health ID Card:
Another Assault on the Physician-Patient
Richard G. Parker, M.D.
Issue V- September 19, 2002
In 1996 Congress passed the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (Kennedy-Kassebaum Bill) with draconian penalties for physicians who are merely suspected of having committed so-called “health care fraud.” This legislation also essentially eliminated a physician’s right to due process under the law, one of the most fundamental rights guaranteed by the constitution. By its actions, the American Congress has essentially criminalized the practice of medicine.
Because Congress has now missed its self-imposed August 21, 1999 deadline established by the Kennedy-Kassebaum Bill, unless Congress Acts soon, beginning in the year 2000 the Department of Health and Human Services will enforce government access to each and every private citizen’s medical record and a “unique health identifier” will be issued which will require every private citizen to carry a plastic card encoded with a microchip.
This essentially eliminates a patient’s medical privacy and gives the federal government, employers, insurance companies, law enforcement officials, researchers and others access to every Americans’ complete medical record.
The American people rejected President Clinton’s attempt to nationalize the health care industry in 1994 and yet, through passing such legislation as the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (Kennedy-Kassebaum Bill) and by its failure to act on its own self-imposed deadline, the American Congress has essentially granted the Clinton administration everything it wanted.
While the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (Kennedy-Kassebaum Bill) began the free market idea of Medical Savings Accounts (MSAs) it also vastly increased the government’s regulatory authority over physicians and patients and has moved America closer to a nationalized health care system. By failing to act on its own deadline, Congress has again taken America closer to socialized medicine.
There is no such thing as a “compromise” between force and freedom—in any contest between a gun and free will, only a gun can win. Such package-deal legislation as the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (Kennedy-Kassebaum Bill) that combines the destruction of freedom with elements of free market principles ultimately only serves the purpose of those who wish to destroy the moral foundation of the American dream and the essential element of a great nation—individual freedom.
Health care is not a right, and by destroying a free market in health care, Congress is destroying the quality and availability of health care in America. Quality and availability of services are the products of freedom, not the enslavement of physicians to the government and the destruction of a patient’s right to self-determination. The physician-patient relationship is a vital element in the practice of medicine--by destroying the confidentiality of a patient’s medical records, Congress is destroying medicine.
The American Congress can begin to demonstrate any commitment it may still have to individual rights and quality health care for all Americans by rescinding the draconian criminal provisions of the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (Kennedy-Kassebaum Bill) and acting now to rescind all public access to a patient’s medical records.
Dr. Richard Parker, a practicing emergency physician in the Dallas, Texas area, is a senior writer for the Ayn Rand Institute in Marina del Rey, Calif. The Institute promotes the philosophy of Ayn Rand, author of Atlas Shrugged and The Fountainhead. He is also a writer and editor for Objective Medicine, an site devoted to presenting intellectual fuel to doctors and other rational individuals who wish to contribute to reversing the destructive nationalization of medical endeavors. You can visit Objective Medicine at http://www.objectivemedicine.org.
This TRA feature has been edited in accordance with TRA’s Statement of Policy.
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