My life? My health? My doctor?

My doctor in California -- an internist I have been seeing since the 1970s -- is a real doctor. By that I mean he has a private practice and is not beholden to some faceless institution which treats doctors like apparatchiks and their patients as little more inventory in a public policy study. His records are private and not stored in any database, and he is acutely aware of the consequences to his patients of recording information which can and will be used against them. In short, he is a doctor in the finest traditions of the Hippocratic oath.

As my goal is to eventually return to California, today I heard some distressing news. My doctor does not like Obamacare, and he does not intend to hand his medical records over to a giant federal database. Sounds great, except after 2014, he will be up against a federal mandate requiring him to rat out his patients to this Orwellian electronic database.

So he says he is simply going to retire. He's not that old either.

While I have complained about the Electronic Health Records mandate before (as "the most monstrous invasion of privacy I have ever seen") this is not a political take on a statistical analysis, damn it. It's a real life hardship. For me.

When I return to California, where the hell am I supposed to find another real doctor?

Obamacare is making them an endangered species.

I am not alone. Even ordinary people (you know, the kind who join the Tea Party?) are getting pissed off, as this news program reveals:


I'm also drawn to something from my earlier rant: that now seems eerily prescient:

just how long do you suppose it will be before citizen's EHRs are integrated into gun buyer's background checks?

These people are relentless. (Unfortunately, blog posts cannot stop them.)

And now they have Jared Loughner as an excuse.

I can just hear the chorus saying "Just think how many lives will be saved with an electronic medical records database!"

Can I be allowed to decide whether or not I want to save my life by giving up more freedom?

It is still my life, isn't it?

posted by Eric on 01.18.11 at 07:13 PM


I'm not trying to be snarky, I just literally cannot wrap my head around it--why in the world would you want to go back to California???

John S.   ·  January 19, 2011 11:37 AM

John S.:
I live at latitude 40 N, in Northern California, and it was 70 F. here yesterday, with another sunny warm day today.
Columbus, Ohio is at the same latitude, and it will be 4 F there Friday morning.

Any questions?

Frank   ·  January 19, 2011 12:23 PM

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