October 2011 brought an overlooked, but devastating, ruling by the Secretary of Health and Human Services (HHS), an unelected bureaucrat, to further damage your Constitutional rights. Kathleen Sebelius decreed that all private health insurance companies must turn over to the federal government their medical records on all patients insured by them to be included in the federal health information database without patients’ consent.
The traditional American view is that you, the patient, are the owner of the information in your medical records that reside with your personal physician. You control to whom your information is released. Under the new Sebelius ruling, the government will control your medical information on federal computers in a federal database. Thus, your personal medical information is open to anyone with access to the system.
Traditionally, doctors released information only with the patient’s specific consent, which was often given as a condition for getting an insurer to pay. Americans have always had the right to pay for medical care themselves and not allow the doctor to release their medical records and personal information to an insurance company.
The October ruling has not gotten the press attention that it deserves. Besides violating other fundamental liberty rights, it violates the 5th Amendment to the Constitution, which states that “No person…shall be deprived of life, liberty, or property¸without due process…nor shall private property, be taken for public use, without just compensation.”
With the HHS new rules for medical records, your personal property of your medical information is simply being taken by the government to be used for “the collective, or public, good” without compensation to you for the use of your data.
Worse, your own data may be used to keep you from getting treatments you and your doctor think you need! The federally run Comparative Effectiveness Research bureaucracy and Independent Payment Advisory Board (IPAB) will use this data to decide how to allocate finite medical resources. The Progressive view is that medical decisions should be made by elite, unelected, politically-appointed “experts” whose focus is on “population health,” not your health or your life.
These bureaucrats’ job is to ration medical care, not based on individual needs, but on government criteria, such as:
- cost of treatment
- effectiveness as determined by government experts, not necessarily medical specialists.
- your “quality life years” remaining, based on your age
- your value to society.
Beyond privacy issues, there is major concern about safety of your medical information. An expanded federal medical database makes millions more people vulnerable to loss of health information and medical identity. Hackers stole millions of medical records from the Veterans Administration and patients were at risk for identity theft. David Blumenthal, M.D., the former “health information czar,” admitted “No infrastructure exists in most areas of the country for secure exchange of health information exchange among providers and between providers and consumers.”
The federal government has now expanded beyond the capability of its employees to manage their responsibilities properly. Our Founders knew that if we allowed such vast expansion of federal authority, it would make eunuchs of state and local governments… which actually better met the needs of local communities. People would wait for Washington to satisfy our every need. We are already learning the wisdom of their concerns, for example, in the failure of the federal government
- to properly regulate our financial institutions,
- to efficiently run the Postal Service without hemorrhaging red ink,
- to effectively administer programs such as veteran’s health care, Medicare, and Medicaid to keep costs under control,
- to improve quality and improve access to medical care, and
- to control Medicare and Medicaid fraud.
It is particularly dangerous to have government bureaucrats control our health information and treatment options.Do we really need to suffer more lives lost just to gain more proof that big government control and central planning does not work?
We have no voice in the regulation of our medical care by unelected bureaucrats. Instead of taxation without representation, we now have medication without representation.
Confiscation of your medical records property is another example that when something is “free,” the real cost to you is staggering.
© Elizabeth Lee Vliet, M.D. April 21, 2012
Dr. Vliet speaks as an independent physician,
not as an official spokesperson for any
organization. Dr. Vliet has no financial ties to
any health care system, pharmaceutical company,
or health insurance plan. Her allegiance and
advocacy is to and for patients. Her medical
website is www.herplace.com.
Elizabeth Lee Vliet, M.D. is a women’s health
specialist and the Founder of HER Place: Health
Enhancement Renewal for Women, Inc. with medical
practices in Tucson AZ and Dallas TX. Dr. Vliet
is President of International Health Strategies,
Ltd., a global healthcare and education service
company whose mission is twofold: liberty and
privacy in the choice of treatment options and
preservation of the Hippocratic tradition of
focus on the individual patient.
Dr. Vliet is the 2007 recipient of the Voice
of Women award from the Arizona Foundation for
Women in recognition of her pioneering advocacy
for the overlooked hormone connections in
women’s health. Dr. Vliet has appeared on FOX
NEWS, Cavuto, Stuart Varney Show, Fox and
Friends and syndicated radio shows across the
country addressing these critical issues. She
has been an invited speaker for numerous
healthcare Town Hall presentations, and guest
speaker at international conferences on how
healthcare regulation changes affect both
physical and financial health.
Dr. Vliet's books include: It’s My
Ovaries, Stupid!; Screaming To Be Heard:
Hormonal Connections Women Suspect-- And
Doctors STILL Ignore; Women, Weight and
Hormones; The Savvy Woman's Guide to PCOS,
The Savvy Woman’s Guide to Testosterone.
Dr. Vliet received her M.D. degree and
internship in Internal Medicine at Eastern
Virginia Medical School, then completed
specialty training at Johns Hopkins School
of Medicine. She received B.S. and M.Ed.
degrees from The College of William and Mary
in Virginia. Dr. Vliet is a Director of the
Association of American Physicians and
Surgeons, and member of The International
Menopause Society, The International Society
of Gynecological Endocrinology, American
Society of Reproductive Medicine, The
Heritage Foundation, The Jamestown Society,
Daughters of the American Revolution, Order
of First Families of Virginia, and the Order
of Descendants of Ancient Planters.
Dr. Vliet’s medical and educational
website is www.HerPlace.com For more on
healthcare reform, go to
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Vliet for interviews, healthcare talks, or
for permission to publish articles, call