Feds want your medical records to include EVERYTHING and you have no say

Discussion in 'Chit Chat' started by zenouchy, Feb 12, 2009.

  1. zenouchy

    zenouchy Member

    Hi All,

    This post and article below is an FYI and not at all meant to start a debate. (Please disregard if this does not interest you.) If you want to take action, please contact your appropriate Congress people. I personally do not want our federal government to demand my medical records with extremely personal details and not even have the personal freedom to opt out.

    Thank you for reading the article below, and I urge you to contact your appropriate Congress people to let them know that this is unacceptable. Please pass on to friends and family to do the same! Thank you.

    http://www.wnd.com/index.php?fa=PAGE.view&pageId=87322 (That's the web link to the article below.)

    Economic stimulus? Feds want your medical records
    Electronic database to include lawsuit, mental health, abortion, sexual details

    Posted: January 27, 2009
    9:00 pm Eastern

    By Bob Unruh
    © 2009 WorldNetDaily

    A little-discussed provision in President Obama's economic stimulus plan would demand that every American submit to a government program for electronic medical records without a choice to opt out, and it has privacy advocates more than a little alarmed.

    Patients might be alarmed, too, privacy advocates said, if they realized information such as documentation on abortions, mental health problems, impotence, being labeled as a non-compliant patient, lawsuits against doctors and sexual problems could be shared electronically with, perhaps, millions of people.

    Sue A. Blevins, president of the Institute for Health Freedom, said unless people have the right to decide "if and when" their health information is shared, there is no real privacy.

    "President Obama has pledged to advance freedom," she said. "Therefore the freedom to choose not to participate in a national electronic health-records system must be upheld."

    Blevins' organization, one of the few raising the alarm at this point, said the stimulus plan would impose an electronic health records system on every person in the U.S. without any provision for seeking patient consent or allowing them not to participate.

    "Without those protections, Americans' electronic health records could be shared – without their consent – with over 600,000 covered entities through the forthcoming nationally linked electronic health-records network," Blevins said.

    The organization said Americans who care about health privacy should contact members of Congress and the president to let them know about the need for opt-out and consent provisions.

    According to the institute, the measure currently includes plans for:

    An electronic health record "for each person in the United States by 2014."
    A national coordinator to develop a "nationwide health information technology infrastructure that allows for the electronic use and exchange of information."
    The institute said the medical privacy rule established under the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 already allows personal health information to be passed along without patient consent for treatment, payment and "oversight." The recipients of such information could be any of the people in the 600,000 organizations in the industry.

    "Nobody wants to stop the proper use of good technology," Blevins said, "and for some people privacy is not an issue."

    But she said the bottom line is that patients "would end up losing control of his or her personal health information."

    "There's a lot at stake with electronically transferring health data and paying claims within the $2.2 trillion healthcare industry," warned the organization, which works on issues of health freedom in the U.S.

    Another group, Consumer Watchdog, even suggested today Google is trying to lobby for the "sale of electronic medical records."

    The group said, "Reportedly Google is pushing for the provisions so it may sell patient medical information to its advertising clients on the new 'Google Health' database."

    Consumer Watchdog said, "Americans will benefit from an integrated system capable of making our medical records available wherever we may need them, but only if the system is properly used.

    "The medical technology portion of the economic stimulus bill does not sufficiently protect patient privacy, and recent amendments have made this situation worse. Medical privacy must be strengthened before the measure's final passage," the group said.

    WND previously has reported on attempts in Minnesota by state lawmakers to authorize the collection and warehousing of newborns' DNA without parental consent.

    Gov. Tim Pawlenty has been successful in stopping the action there so far.

    The Citizens' Council on Health Care has worked to publicize the issue in Minnesota. The group raised opposition when the state Department of Health continued to warehouse DNA without parental consent in violation of the genetic privacy and DNA property rights of parents and children.

    Twila Brase, president of CCHC, said at the time the problem is that "researchers already are looking for genes related to violence, crime and different behaviors."

    In an extensive interview with WND at the time, she said, "In England they decided they should have doctors looking for problem children, and have those children reported, and their DNA taken in case they would become criminals."

    In fact, published reports in Britain note that senior police forensics experts believe genetic samples should be studied, because it may be possible to identify potential criminals as young as age 5.

    Brase said efforts to study traits and gene factors and classify people would be just the beginning. What could happen through subsequent programs to address such conditions, she wondered.

    "Not all research is great," she said.

    Classifying of people could lead to "discrimination and prejudice. … People can look at data about you and make assessments ultimately of who you are."

    The Heartland Regional Genetics and Newborn Screening is one of the organizations that advocates more screening and research.

    The group proclaims in its vision statement a desire to see newborns screened for 200 conditions. It also forecasts "every student … with an individual program for education based on confidential interpretation of their family medical history, their brain imaging, their genetic predictors of best learning methods. …"

    Further, every individual should share information about "personal and family health histories" as well as "gene tests for recessive conditions and drug metabolism" with the "other parent of their future children."

    Still further, it seeks "ecogenetic research that could improve health, lessen disability, and lower costs for sickness."

    "They want to test every child for 200 conditions, take the child's history and a brain image, and genetics, and come up with a plan for that child," Brase said at the time. "They want to learn their weaknesses and defects.

    "Nobody including and especially the government should be allowed to create such extensive profiles," she said.

    The next step, said Brase, is obvious: The government, with information about potential health weaknesses, could say to couples, "We don't want your expensive children."

    "I think people have forgotten about eugenics [the science of improving a human population by controlled breeding to increase the occurrence of desirable heritable characteristics. Developed largely by Francis Galton as a method of improving the human race, it fell into disfavor only after the perversion of its doctrines by the Nazis]. The fact of the matter is that the eugenicists have not gone away. Newborn genetic testing is the entry into the 21st Century version of eugenics," she said.

  2. Gingareeree

    Gingareeree New Member

    Thanks for posting this. Scary stuff...a very slippery slope. Already too many poeple playing God...Jeanne
  3. therealmadscientist

    therealmadscientist New Member

    it is a bit late to be worried about medical privacy. I suppose if one uses a false name and paid cash then privacy still possible. Otherwise, too late I'm afraid.

    The insurers in USA require diagnoses before paying for medical lab tests, so I get to see the diagnosis of "high risk sexual behavior" put into computer all the time. I did see, for a nice change, a "diagnosis" of "a new partner" recently.

    What I can't figure,....is, where are all these "high risk sexual behavior" girls when I go to the local bar? ! LoL. Sigh, cheers, your mr Bill

    [This Message was Edited on 02/12/2009]
  4. gapsych

    gapsych New Member

    I really think there might be a different scenario or at least I hope.

    The Hippa act protects our privacy and I really think that will not change. Why? Hospitals are afraid that if they gave out information they could be sued.

    Yes, there can be potential for abuse but that can also happen now. Messy medical files can have pages go missing, either intentionally or unintentionally. Doctors and other medical personnel can look for ages to find a piece of important information in a patients file.

    I think a national data base is a great idea, cut down on paperwork and get needed information to doctors and patients. We are in the computer age. Just because something is big government (federal) does not make it negative just like smaller government (states) are not always beneficial. Especially in this day and age when information is accessible much quicker.

    It seems like when new technology comes along, some people first think of Big Brother. Remember when the scans for grocery stores came out some people were afraid that this technology would be applied by having a chip placed under the skin to be scanned for information. It never happened, although I have thought of getting a chip so if I get lost, someone can find me.

    I just have no sense of direction.

    Mr. Bill, half teasing here, but what about the sexual behavior of men? LOL!!

    [This Message was Edited on 02/12/2009]
  5. TwoCatDoctors

    TwoCatDoctors New Member

    Thank you very much for the post.

    If you have applied for Social Security Disability (SSD), then the Feds AND the State already have your medicals, know about any mental health problems you have and know about your weaknesses and defects. If you are in the military and are injured and come back to be treated by the V.A. and seek disability through them the Feds already have your info--then when you seek disability through Social Security Disability, then they have it again. SSD went electronic some time back and records and info are on their computer system "edib". If you hire an attorney to handle your case, then your records are also in the hands of an attorney and truthfully, some lazy people throw sensitive paperwork in the trash can instead of the shred bin (if they have a shred bin).

    If you have had an accident and received bodily injury and made a claim with an insurance company, the insurance bureaus already have you in their system with your information so insurers can look through you up and know you filed claims and what your medical problems were. If you apply for employer medical insurance , the medical insurance company can request additional information and question depression or whatever medical conditions you have as "pre-existing conditions" and put any additional info you provide in their records. Chances are that you may have to provide information for life insurance and they may want to know if you have been terminated or denied insurance from another agency. They can ask for additional information. Most applications you sign for insurance give them the right to do so.

    We are in an age where our information is already in the hands of others and it will only extend into the hands of even more places as doctors are loading their info on the internet and hackers can eventually hack into those records. Let's not forget that even movie stars that get medical work risk workers revealing their medical records for money, so there are no real fail safes.

    I can understand a potential spouse wanting to know about genetic diseases you may have inherited that would impact you or a child. They already have the right to ask about STDs and HIV/AIDS, so if children are of great concern and importance to them, they may want to know about all possible health risks of a potential spouse, just like you may want to know about them.

    Also, Suze Orman has stated many families are one paycheck away from disaster if there is an accident, a disability or a long illness. It may not have seemed important before, but with the economy, it can make or break things financially now and it can break up families. And a sad fact is that not all spouses stay with their significant other when that other becomes permanently disabled--it's sad, but too true and if they knew ahead of time that the other would become permanently disabled, they may not have chosen to marry that person. As a disabled person myself that goes to a local disabled support group, I hear about spouses and friends that have walked away as a disabled other is just too much for them. But on the more positive side, if you knew you carried the gene to become permanently disabled with an ailment, you would probably save more money, look for housing better suited to your needs should that time come, and it would give you an opportunity to prepare your life without losing everything you have later on. It would undoubtedly make it harder to get medical insurance though.

    But there will always be people like me who became disabled in an accident and you can't get away from that.

  6. TwoCatDoctors

    TwoCatDoctors New Member

    Here's an article from 1989 about employers using potential employee accident info to decide on hiring--so obtaining info has been around. P.S. it is a safe site.


    [This Message was Edited on 02/13/2009]
  7. zenouchy

    zenouchy Member

    My view is most similar to Cate Catherine's but I really respect what everyone has to say. It's true that the government already has a lot of our information, which personally, I wish they did not have. As you all know, laws can be reversed and they are all the time. Please understand that my response is based on how passionate I feel about the topic. It in no way is meant to insult anyone or make anyone feel bad.

    While I'm aware that some hospitals, agencies, etc, have our medical records on file and there are no true fail safes, this medical record provision is only going to dramatically compound the problem. It is going to get much more methodical, computerized and coordinated among several hundred of agencies very fast who can exchange our personal medical info in seconds WITHOUT OUR CONSENT.

    Please note that many of these agencies who will have instant access to our detailed health information at the quick touch of a computer mouse we have never heard of before! They might not even be legitimate or ethical. Furthermore, they want to do very odd things with the very information that we have BEEN FORCED TO PROVIDE. Things like genetic testing for kids "so they can come up with a plan" without our consent. (Refer to my original post to read the details again). What kind of plan is this mysterious agency coming up with? I must ask again how this isn't big brother? Someone testing our kids and coming up with a plan without our consent? If this IS NOT big brother, what IS big brother? This is really unnerving to me.

    Obviously, this does not sit well with me at all. There's a huge distinction between the NOW and the PROPOSED FUTURE. Additionally, the implications for identity theft and stereotyping are enormous, not to mention we will be generalized into age groups for the sake of being told what medications we can and cannot take (how else will out country save billions on healthcare and insure everybody?).

    As in forget having medicines that are personalized for you. A national healthcare coordinator----this is the beginnings of socialized medicine. Can someone explain how a national healthcare coordinator IS NOT big brother?

    While the technology is allegedly an improvement as long as our identities aren't stolen (I wouldn't hold my breath---anything computerized is up for grabs), we are taking a giant leap backward in our medical well-being as well as medical privacy.

    Mr. Bill, the sexually available women are afraid of a real mad scientist! ;-)

    Thank you to all who read and responded. I felt I had to post this info because truthfully, it rattles me a bit (if you can't tell), and it takes a lot to do that. Thank you all again.

  8. therealmadscientist

    therealmadscientist New Member

    I'm at the local beverage provider, and .......speaking of providers......my older brother was a really nice guy. I don't understand all this upset over a Big Brother. I mean, it worked well for me! But probably just one of those personal experiences that has warped me irreparably.

    And as for genetic testing........for breeding purpooses.....I mean, look what it has done for dogs. Within just a few hundred years, humans have created chiwawa's (sp.?) and pit pull dogs. In another hundred years, we will probably have dogs with human sized brains and able to talk.

    Meanwhile, I have no idea why fertile females don't want to have my childrend. Maybe it's my fault. hmmmmmm. Oh, well.

    Don't think I'll make it to last call.

    Cheers, your mr mr Bill

    Oh, on the "high risk sexual behavior" of men. Don't think I've ever seen that diagnosis for men. Beats me. Like what is "abnormal behavior" for a natural, normal, pervert? So many mysteries. LOL
    [This Message was Edited on 02/13/2009]
  9. PainPainGoAway

    PainPainGoAway New Member

    Okay, what's this about genetic diseases? I actually have one...I rarely talk openly about it, it's a secret w/ all but my closest friends and I've felt able to mention it on this board...
    But I'd never want just anyone to know about it.

    I had labs done thru Athena in MA...a few states away and it's not a pretty diagnosis. I'm handling things now and wish to share my business w/ no one...not enough is known to predict my future and I'm optomistic enough to feel I have more time than what others might think...

    Mr Bill, am I protected as the law stands right now? I already have kids (they may have it, 50-50 chance but it's adult onset and varies in degree of severity so for now they are too young to deal with it)...I even decided to switch to a separate doctor from them lest they bring it up accidentally...

    For now I've been assured it wouldn't end up in any public documents...I'm not going to let this scare me but I'll have to look into it a bit more...especially for my childrens' future.


    PS Mr Bill, you'd have lovely children...you are so witty! Quit looking in bars!!! LOL!
    [This Message was Edited on 02/13/2009]
  10. TwoCatDoctors

    TwoCatDoctors New Member

    I loved that youtube video and it was hilarious.
  11. PainPainGoAway

    PainPainGoAway New Member

    Lol...that video is hilarious! I saw it on tv before (one of those best commercial shows...)...yeah, he'd better watch out...

    Thanks for your reply...that is so awful regarding the details of ones birth in the school records...I know one day in my doctors office the NP spoke about me in the hallway telling the intern about my "situation" and I was mortified...not that she filled her in, but that she spoke loud enough that anyone in the area could hear her...probably even the waiting room...I stopped going to them.

    I've struggled over the decision to postpone testing for my children for those very reasons. It could affect their ability to get jobs, life insurance, etc...My neruos tried to push it but my main concern is that it will end up following them somehow...and the fact that so little is known about my disease, and variations of life expectancy, etc, I just can't put that on them or me right now.

    I will tell my son when he turns eighteen and help him decide what to do (daughters are younger, he's already 17). Who knows, by the time they are grown up, even if they have the gene there might be better treatment, or they may not get it until they are 70, there's no way to tell.

    Right now there is no cure, no treatment, just management. I was terrified the first year but I've known two years now and my outlook has mellowed out. I still prefer the public not know...it's a slowly progressive thing and it just scares everyone and that doesn't help my outlook! None of my kids have any symptoms of any health problems. I have had my share! I'm careful what I tell my kids but they know I'm not normal, lol! There are no easy answers, that's for sure.

    I'll look more into this and keep in mind the future...

  12. jole

    jole Member

    Many states have already gone to electronic medical records, and believe me, it is NOT good! I worked in medical records at our hospital for years, and the transition was a horrible experience. There is sooo much involved in the transition itself that people don't even think about, much less the follow up down the road.

    For instance, all the nurses charting on computers, when some of them have never had any computer knowledge before....learning and charting at the same time****nurses having to put in codes for different diagnoses when before that was all done by the coders****doctors who have never used computers, or who have very little knowledge because their lives were just too busy.

    And with all the information in the hands of the government, have you ever wondered what's going to happen down the road???? I have, and with the national debt at the rate it is now, and the morals of our country lower than ever, etc. who's to say that euthinasia won't become a norm....if you're not productive, a little hypo is all it will take. May sound far-fetched, but nothing is beyond the realm of thought anymore.

    The only bright side to this is most of it is just x's in boxes and not as much written documentation as before....but no less prone to error. It scares the heck out of me, and many others that saw it in action!!!
  13. TwoCatDoctors

    TwoCatDoctors New Member

    When I first applied for Social Security Disability, I was denied and the denial letter was like something from outer space. The medical in the denial letter stated the exact opposite of what was in my medical records submitted to them and they even said I needed no equipment to walk and that was false and my medical records clearly showed that was false.

    On reconsideration, I was approved. But I can't help but wonder, what happened in reading, coding or whatever of my medical records that they got so out of whack?? I'm glad they got it right the second time, but still it was so mixed up the first time I just kept wondering what was going on.
  14. therealmadscientist

    therealmadscientist New Member

    everyone's medical records are confidential and legally protected. I would never say a word at the local social gathering place!

    Seriously, talking about patients is a sure way to be fired. I don't even acknowledge that someone has visited hospital unless they mention it first. I even go out of my way to not read any charts of someone I might know.

    I think the national medical records idea comes from how well it worked for the Veterans Administration. The revitalized VA hospital system has worked so well that it is somewhat an embarrassment to opponents of national healthcare.

    It took me awhile to find it, but the beer commercial was hilarious. Then I spent the next hour laughing about the other commercials on the site!

    Oh, I did survive Saturday, and made it to the safety of work today. No risky girls shared any behaviour with me. Though, I did play a little cat and mouse with the local sheriff.

    It was probably improvident to raise my hand in a well known gesture after a sheriff's car passed me while walking on the dreaded mainstreet. A rather well known place for police abductions. But, hey, how was I to know he was watching me in a rear view mirror!? (Trouble must just follow me:)

    Anyway, he drove about two blocks, took a left, and circled around (I was watching him too). So anyway I probably could have walked faster, but he caught up with me. I tried to pretend I was a tree, but he saw me(only two other trees around). So, he asked me what I was doing, and me, being the honest sort, told him I was hiding from him. I was also going to retrieve my bicyle, but decided not to mention that.

    He took that fairly well, and his second question was, "Why did you fl*p me off". Well, fortunately, the local cops aren't all that bad. I made definite point that it was nothing personal. And, because we for some reason just happern to know each other by name, he took that well too.
    Very fortunately. especially because tomorrow is a holiday and I wouldn't have gotten out of jail before tuesday. One gets to know about these things in a small town.

    So we actually chatted amicably for a while. I guess he does get a lot of random hostility. I explained that I've always had problem with police, and told him about growing up in Spain under Franco, and how the the Guardia Civil police always were in pairs and carried machine guns.

    I guess I passed, and he told me to go home and to avoid being seen by any other police. Like, I didn't know that already:) Anyway, over the years, Mike and I have sort of become friends, or maybe he just figures I'm hopeless, and arresting me would just be a waste of county money.
    Oh, I did mention that I really was a good guy, and he agreed with me.....which is a really good thing, of course:) Really.

    So, that was my typical weekend and all's well that ends well. lol

    Cheers, your mr Bill. LoL

    (Maybe Privacy will be redefined as a quaint term refering to the archaic belief in being able to keep secrets. Also: A very antisocial attitude.)

    Oh, I don't usually deliberately bother the local police. It was a spontaneous moment he wasn't supposed to see. Also, the bike trail was covered by snow and rain so I had to use main road that I usually avoid on Saturday nights. I guess I can't help looking at the police funny.
    Maybe I've been reading to much David Sedaris humor.

    [<i>This Message was Edited on 02/15/2009</i>]
    [<i>This Message was Edited on 02/16/2009</i>]
    [This Message was Edited on 02/17/2009]
  15. zenouchy

    zenouchy Member

    Thank you everyone very much for your thoughtful posts and taking the time to write. I thought I'd write back and respond again too.

    In regards to the medical records, I'm all for saving money. However, is job discrimination and telling our kids where they can and can't go to school because their medical records aren't protected the best way to do it? I don't think so at all. I believe we can find much better ways to streamline our processes, save money AND safeguard each individual's health.

    Cindy, I'm so sorry you have a genetic disease. Many of us have illnesses that are genetic. Mental illnesses, diabetes---they are genetic as well. However, that in no way takes away from you and what you are going through. I have no doubt that yours is one that is more unusual. I'm very sorry to hear that and hope that your kids do not have it. I wish you continued courage and strength in what you have to deal with on a daily basis.

    It's true, I'm scared and angry at the thought of providing my medical regards without a choice. Many people in our country ARE NOT on SSD and have never had to provide their records to the government. Why do they have to now?

    My thoughts mirror Jole's. We can't be passive and assume that everything will turn out fine just because it largely has during the last 232 years. Slavery was an extremely dark period in the history of our nation. I personally have not experienced direct discrimination because of my race, gender or religion, so it's easier to be complacent. To open a big can of worms and discriminate against people because they have health problems in the name of saving money is an outrage.

    Sadly, some people in powerful governmental positions manipulate facts and leave out important details for their own personal gain. It's how they get elected to office and get re-elected. (As just one of many examples, how many politicians "ooops!" forgot to pay their taxes? Timothy Geitner [who runs Obama's economic team] is one such individual, and he barely got a slap on the wrist. Well, it was just an oversight, but people like us would be severely punished.)

    Now these people with questionable morals will have my medical records. Indeed I do not like it one bit. How do I know they won't manipulate my medical records for their own purposes? How do I know they won't manipulate their friends' medical records to make them look better then they are so that their friends can have better jobs? This is a VERY SLIPPERY SLOPE.

    Morality truly is at an all time low for greedy personal gain. It's sad. Who every dreamed of bailouts even a year ago? The "little people" (us) are often pawns unless we speak up and say NO. And we can do that!

    I'm not trying to have a debate just for the sake of a debate. ***My hope is that those who agree with me will write their Congress people.*** Good, moral people still exist in our country that do listen and want to help. Congress people do not hear from as many people as we think. Thank you so much everyone for listening and your thoughtful comments. ***We can make a difference.***

    Mr. Bill, sadly, there was a massive security breach at the main Veterans Affairs office a few years ago! We just can't win for losing can we? ;-) http://www.securityfocus.com/news/11393
    And stop taunting your local law enforcement! If anyone did that in our county, I can't imagine what would happen. Our cops will pretty much lock you up and throw away the key if you look at them the wrong way. However, if people blow up fireworks at 3 am, they don't care. Go figure. :)

    Have a happy and peaceful day everyone,

  16. gapsych

    gapsych New Member

    Hi, I am kind of playing the devils advocate here. What would you suggest to streamline and save money for the health care system. and to make it more user friendly?

    Yes potential abuses can happen and we need to be active in seeing that does not happen.

    Who are the moral people. Those who did not vote for O'Bama? Bush's term was one scandal after another and his policies did not help our economic crisis.

    This is catastrophizing about things that MAY never happen.

    Again that does not mean we just passively accept things.

    We need to be involved citizens.


    ETA Have you ever seen the medical "records" schools have? Basically a checklist of past diseases which the doctor fills out in about one minute and your immunization record. No other details unless medically relevant for educational purposes.
    [This Message was Edited on 02/17/2009]
  17. therealmadscientist

    therealmadscientist New Member

    I'm sure they exist!! Just wish I could intersect more often!

    I don't know. I don't understand why it's OK to drop bombs in Afganistan, but not to protect the border with a barrier of Playboy magazines and pig grease. Perhaps a few thousand hungry dogs along border might help. Not much of a glorious martyrdom to die in a greasy pile of porn, eaten by unclean dogs. But being killed by a bomb!....now that's the correct way to go!

    Where was I? Oh, I wonder if I can still get Social Security if I'm in prison?

    lol, cheers, thanks, your mr Bill

    (Had some laughter thinking of other ways to seal off the mountain border:
    Instead of killing some 100 thousand coyotes, wolves, and mountain lions a year in USA perhaps they could relocated to the Afgan border. Rattlesnakes like caves. Brown recluses? Skunks? Add a few vultures and the the mountains could resemble a scene out the "Fellowship of the Rings" movies. Probably very few actual casualties, but great deterrent.)

    [This Message was Edited on 02/20/2009]
  18. TwoCatDoctors

    TwoCatDoctors New Member

    --As a caucasion woman, I experienced discrimination in the workplace in the amount I was paid for the work I did.

    --After becoming permenently disabled, the place where I lived refused to allow service animals. HUD and I put a complaint in and finally got it settled (by the way, HUD saw some of my medicals to confirm my medical conditions). I broke the service animal barriers where I live and am the first one to have them. But it was ridiculous for where I lived to prohibit them and go through all that when I got what I wanted after all.

    --I am being discriminated against AGAIN right now because the same place where I live wants to take away one of my parking spaces, which will mean I will not have the room to load/unload my electric scooter on/off my car. I contacted HUD and I'm jumping the preliminary hurdles, including getting a letter from my doctor that I am disabled and in an electric scooter to attach to what I have to initially prepare. I will attend a Board Meeting of my place tonight to attempt to change their minds so that I don't have to start the process again for discrimination. This matter shouldn't even have to go this far to where I'm going to a board meeting to try to change their minds.

    I am someone who lives alone, stays to myself, and does everything myself so I keep independent. I keep a happy spirit and I go to support group meetings, but when does it stop and when will places just "DO THE RIGHT THING" because it is the right thing to do instead of constantly pushing the envelope on it.
    [This Message was Edited on 02/18/2009]
  19. zenouchy

    zenouchy Member

    Discrimination. That's what I mean. Unless we stand up for ourselves, we risk discrimination and more of it. If we do not speak for ourselves, someone else will speak for us. That leads to socialism. Dogpile.com, a search engine similar to google.com shows the most commonly searched phrases of the day, and one of the most commonly searched phrase of today was.....SOCIALISM. I wonder why that is? Are people (besides me?) wondering if our country is heading that way?

    TwoCatDoctors, I completely admire and applaud you for your amazing courage and stamina. You are a silent hero. You have what I like to call an "Erin Brockovich" personality, which means someone who doesn't take no for an answer and stays empowered (definitely a compliment!). If you haven't seen the movie, I very much recommend it. (It's based on the real life person of that name as you probably know.)

    I don't know why we have to fight so hard to get people to do the right thing. Sometimes people just want to see how far you will push them. It's completely exhausting. I don't know why life has to be this way. I've been harassed in the workplace (It wasn't sexual--- more of an intimidation thing. It was awful). It was a very long time ago. I can't get into the story right now, but it was the type of situation in which the person wanted to see if he could push me around. And the answer was NO.

    I hope your board meeting goes very well tonite. I wish I could go with you and support you. Let me know how it goes, and I pray for a good outcome.

    Gapsych, my goal is to prevent problems before they start. Was Hurricane Katrina handled well? Was the concept of a bailout even thought of a few months ago? These ARE catastrophic issues and problems. And they could have and SHOULD have been prevented. We're borrowing this money from Communist China---that's encouraging. One trillion dollars is one thousand dollars bills stacked up 63 miles long. Sometimes people don't think ahead and it can get us into trouble. Thinking ahead is a good thing and prevents us from being caught off guard.

    Healthcare savings. This is complex profession that requires knowledge in healthcare, insurance, and number crunching just to name a few. Those are not my areas of expertise, but I'll take a shot with a few ideas. Thank you for asking my opinion.

    1. Mitt Romney's Universal Healthcare Plan in MA. I haven't heard people complain about turning over extremely sensitive medical info, so I don't think it's an issue. In addition, he has found a way to make healthcare financially viable while covering the vast majority of people in his state. I have a few friends that live in MA that like it (that's not a representative sample I realize, but the feedback I have been given is very positive). We aren't going to have a perfect system, but it's a very good model and one that I think other states should consider trying to emulate.

    2. Stop insuring the millions of illegals immigrants enter our country each year and drain our healthcare system of billions of dollars. Help immigrants who come into the USA legally get a job so that they have a much better chance of being insured. (Yes, I realize that most jobs they take don't offer insurance, but at least they would be employed and see #3.) Hopefully a win-win. I wish we could continue to insure people who don't come to the United States legally, but it drains our healthcare system of billions of dollars annually. We have to do something.

    3. Help small businesses band together and "act" as a big business in terms of healthcare so that they can recognize economies of scale, thereby being able to offer it to their employees just like big companies do.

    USER FRIENDLY Healthcare & More Money Savings

    Improved Training for Healthcare Workers
    1. When I speak to someone on the phone about insurance coverage, I want to know I get the right info. I don't always and that is due to lack of training and sometimes a sloppy work ethic.
    2. Ensure info is recorded and documented correctly.
    3. Fix mistakes quickly so I don't have to babysit the problem and keep calling and making sure it's fixed. This is a waste of a healthcare employee's time and mine (and therefore money).
    4. Make healthcare provider websites more user-friendly. Most of them aren't. Employees tell me that they get repeated questions about how to navigate their websites as well as calls because their servers are down. Software issues are often a problem too.
    5. When it comes to insurance, make healthcare terminology user-friendly and universal. That's not always the case and again wastes the time (and therefore money) of a healthcare employee.
    6. For mail-order meds, put accurate information about drugs on the bottle---it's often wrong and makes me call people to clarify. (IE, the re-order date is wrong at least 50% of the time---not a good thing) Again, more wasted time and money getting healthcare employees on the phone.

    IE, Streamline processes, improve training, and fix software problems, and avoid repeated mistakes---billions are saved. I WOULD consider automating processes that aren't already in place if it will save money in the long run but not at the expense of privacy.

    Gapsych, as you know, these are very complex problems with no easy answers. I'm no expert, but again, I think these are better answers then the one that is being proposed (and the severe privacy invasion---which as you know I don't excuse just because the medical community is already invading some of our privacy). My proposals would save billions of dollars. If I can think of this many ideas (some of which could surely work), imagine what people who are actual professionals in these areas could come up with?

    I'm flattered that you asked me who the moral people are. I wish I could tell you. I think that is something each person has to determine for themselves. Sadly, many people who take positions of power abuse it sometimes. This is a very gray area as most of us know. It's not limited to Democrats, as I think you thought I meant. That's exactly my point. Our political system to a great extent is broken. We have to hope that some politicians choose to take the moral high ground.

    [The economic crisis is a completely different topic. It's chiefly the greedy bank execs who took excessive bonuses while still having their banks bailed out to the tune of billions of dollars at OUR expense, home foreclosures due to faulty loan structuring, the oil cartel that controls gas prices (which we can't control), and the large rise of the middle class in India and China that greatly increased the demand for gas (which also contributed to rising prices in both gas and food) that lead to our economic downturn.]

    Gapsych, you stated that we should stay actively involved citizens, and I completely agree. My question to you is how we should do that? My thought was writing our Congress-people. You may have other great ideas, and I encourage you to share them with us. Thank you very much again for responding.

    Have a great evening and be well,


    [This Message was Edited on 02/18/2009]
  20. gapsych

    gapsych New Member

    I probably agree with you more than disagree. However I still think people are going a bit overboard on the privacy issue.

    Oversight is one thing. Catastrophic thinking is another.

    The first can lead to solutions. The second promotes fear which is not only paralysing but also does nothing productive.

    Please do not think I am specifically talking about your post. I am talking about a lot of information I read/hear/see that makes this leap in reasoning.

    I also believe that ANYONE who needs medical help morally deserves it. How can we turn down the ill just because they were born in a different country. You have no control where you are born.

    This above issue is something I would write my congressperson about.

    I reiterate that by staying actively involved citizens by reading about issues, discussing them, advocating and to be informed is probably something that will help this country.

    This is such a complicated question and I don't think anyone has all the answers.

    I have great hope for O'Bama. I think he is realistic enough and has been forthright that it is going to take a long time for our economy to turn around. I like his platform and what he stands for.I like the idea that he wants to include people who make decisions for the country, regardless if they are democratic or republican.

    I know not everyone agrees with that but it would be a dull world if we all had the same views, eh?

    I am not saying we all need to wear rose colored glasses and ignore issues.

    I guess I am just a techno. geek. LOL!!

    Take care.

    [This Message was Edited on 02/19/2009]

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