Ghosts in the Health Care Matrix

The next time you visit the doctor for a routine check-up, you may sense there is another person in the exam room with you.

The uninvited guest will not be a physician assistant or a nurse, but the shadowy specter of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology.

You will not actually see him, though, because he will be hiding inside your doctor's computer.

Of all the hidden agendas that are buried within Obamacare, the one controversy that received the least attention involves the widespread adoption of electronic health records by hospitals and physicians across the entire country.

The lack of furor makes sense. A screaming pack of demonstrators who are foaming at the mouth over "DEATH PANELS!" will always get more media airtime than some Geek Squad conspiracy theorist who is mumbling about "a nationwide interoperable health information technology infrastructure."

Booooring!

Try fitting that one on a cardboard sign. "Infrastructure" doesn't even rhyme with anything scary.

The truth is that the Obamacare program does include financial incentives – bonus payments from Medicare, in other words – to reward health care providers who computerize their patients' medical records.

Under the new law, these forward-thinking providers are called "Meaningful Users." Now there is a euphemism that would make George Orwell's physician roll over in his grave. By definition, the opposite of a Meaningful User must be a Meaningless Waster.

After a few years, the bonus payments will be replaced by penalties for any holdout providers who still elect not to use electronic records. Their

reimbursements from Medicare will be cut. Doctors literally will be forced to comply or pay a price.

Under Obamacare, the Secretary of Health and Human Services is also granted the power to use "increasingly stringent measures to enforce compliance."

"Increasingly stringent measures" sounds an awful lot like "enhanced interrogation techniques."

Is the Surgeon General going to waterboard Marcus Welby, MD?

The mastermind of the new healthcare matrix will be the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology. This unelected political appointee is in charge of making sure that electronic health records fulfill their promise to reduce the wasteful healthcare spending caused by "inefficiency, medical errors, inappropriate care, duplicative care, and incomplete information."

Critics argue that Obamacare is just one step closer to Big Government telling doctors what to do. The most fearsome example would be those now infamous "death panels" who decide whether your grandma will live to see her next birthday.

The real danger is not some bogeyman death panelist who is dressed like the Grim Reaper. Individual decisions on a case-by-case basis will never result in the cost savings necessary to rescue the Medicare program from going bankrupt. Your grandmother's care does not even add up to a rounding error in the Medicare budget.

According to the government's most recent estimate, Medicare is expected to collapse by 2029. In orderto rescue the entire program from going bust, Medicare needs to start squeezing the savings out of millions of grannies.

This is why the real threat to your grandmother's health is the new Czar for Health Information Technology. Big Brother is not going to bother making life-or-death decisions one blue-haired grandmother at a time, not when he has the power to create information technology standards that can affect the treatment of more than 46 million Medicare patients at once.

Eligibility to become a Meaningful User is based on whether providers fully implement and use government-approved health information technologies that meet certain standards of efficiency and effectiveness. That means once electronic medical records have been imposed on providers across the country, the Czar will be in a position to influence the design of the entire health information technology infrastructure.

For example, electronic record systems include programmed clinical alerts to warn doctors of potential safety problems. Sometimes the warnings are based on clinical factors, like a possible allergic interaction with certain medications.

Other types of helpful alerts are based on insurance coverage policies. For example, the system may warn a doctor before he orders a lab test that is not covered by Medicare.

As Medicare creeps closer to the verge of bankruptcy with every passing year, the pressure will become enormous to start using electronic record systems that also warn doctors before they enter orders that are deemed to be inefficient or not cost-effective.

For instance, the Czar for Health Information Technology and an independent panel of experts could recommend that all electronic record systems should be programmed to warn Meaningful Users to consider whether it is reasonable to withhold certain types of treatment from elderly patients.

After all, that expensive artificial hip is designed to last 10-15 years, and the remaining life expectancy for Mrs. Jones is not nearly that long.

According to some studies, as much as one quarter of the entire Medicare budget is spent treating elderly patients in the last year of their life. Academic eggheads point to this as clear evidence of wasteful or ineffective treatment. Presumably, these eggheads do not like their grandmothers very much.

Perhaps the little old lady does not really need a new titanium hip just to spend the rest of her days watching The Price is Right from a nursing home bed. So the computer decides that Mrs. Jones doesn't get anything more costly than two aspirin and warm tapioca.

Asking for a second opinion will be futile, because all clinical information systems will be loaded with the same "age-appropriate" treatment protocols. Mrs. Jones could be seen by a dozen different specialists, but the computers will always spit out the same answer. No hip for you.

You can save untold thousands of dollars with a simple, inexpensive injection of potassium chloride. No fuss, no mess. No more grandma.

Keep in mind that electronic records will be used in the treatment of all patients, not just the elderly. To eliminate all inefficient and inappropriate waste, the Czar will need to look at other types of patients who also require particularly expensive care, such as people with a family history of Alzheimer's or multiple sclerosis.

In fact, the matrix computers could automatically order a genetic screeningtest for all newborns. Based on each baby's statistical predisposition to develop certain conditions in the future, the computers will crunch the numbers and calculate everybody's fair share of limited health resources. Once you exhaust your capped lifetime reserve, the system refers you to a managed care counselor named Kevorkian. Game over.

In order to maximize the overall benefit for society as a whole, the matrix can limit the quality of care for every individual to a cost-effective level. The Czar's matrix will not let doctors order anything above that well-defined level of care, because a team of economists concluded it would be Bad Medicine. Only a Meaningless Waster would dare to practice Bad Medicine. Meaningful Users always deliver pre-approved Good Medicine.

There is another word for "Good Medicine" like that. It is called "eugenics." A fashionable idea among Progressives in the early twentieth century, eugenics is basically the theory of perfecting humankind by selectively weeding out the bad seeds that produce undesirable traits.

Advocates of this theory included Margaret Sanger, the founder of Planned Parenthood. Even Sanger's plan was somewhat less ambitious than the most well-known champion of eugenics, though. Here is a hint. His first name was Adolf.

Back then, the theory of selection was based on prejudice and propaganda. The modern return of eugenics may be based on footnotes in a cost-benefit analysis.

The Czar for Health Information Technology just types a few keystrokes into his matrix, and then lets the computers do all the work.



<< Return to the October 2010 Index

It's been a tough year, America. Our news media is inundating us with images of destruction, violence, and division in attempts not only to desecrate our nation, but to make us turn our backs on it. That's why now, more than ever, we need to take an up-close look at America's history to remember what it is we're fighting for and how to fight for it with practical action.

Join Glenn Beck, broadcasting from Standing Rock Ranch, as he takes us to Plymouth, Gettysburg, and Federal Hall on an important journey through America's remarkable history to inspire a brighter future. Glenn asks the hard questions of every American. Is this system worth saving? Is there a better way? Where do we go from here, and how do we answer those questions?

Featuring performances from the Millennial Choirs and Orchestras, David Osmond, a very special children's choir, and guests Bob Woodson, Tim Ballard, David Barton, Burgess Owens, Kathy Barnette, Anna Paulina Luna, and Tim Barton.

Watch the full special presentation below:


Want more from Glenn Beck?

To enjoy more of Glenn's masterful storytelling, thought-provoking analysis and uncanny ability to make sense of the chaos, subscribe to BlazeTV — the largest multi-platform network of voices who love America, defend the Constitution and live the American dream.

"Restoring Hope" has been a labor of love for Glenn and his team and tonight is the night! "Restoring the Covenant" was supposed to take place in Boston, New York, Philadelphia, Gettysburg and Washington D.C. but thanks to COVID-19, that plan had to be scrapped. "Restoring Hope" is what was left after having to scrap nearly two years of planning. The Herald Journal in Idaho detailed what the event was supposed to be and what it turned into. Check out the article below to get all the details.

Glenn Beck discusses patriotic, religious program filmed at Idaho ranch

On July 2, commentator Glenn Beck and his partners will issue a challenge from Beck's corner of Franklin County to anyone who will listen: "Learn the truth, commit to the truth, then act on the truth."

Over the last few weeks, he has brought about 1,000 people to his ranch to record different portions of the program that accompanies the challenge. On June 19, about 400 members of the Millennial Choir and Orchestra met at West Side High School before boarding WSSD buses to travel to a still spring-green section of Beck's ranch to record their portion of the program.

Read the whole article HERE

The current riots and movement to erase America's history are exactly in line with the New York Times' "1619 Project," which argues that America was rotten at its beginning, and that slavery and systemic racism are the roots of everything from capitalism to our lack of universal health care.

On this week's Wednesday night special, Glenn Beck exposed the true intent of the "1619 Project" and its creator, who justifies remaking America into a Marxist society. This clever lie is disguised as history, and it has already infiltrated our schools.

"The '1619 Project' desperately wants to pass itself off as legitimate history, but it totally kneecaps itself by ignoring so much of the American story. There's no mention of any black Americans who succeeded in spite of slavery, due to the free market capitalist system. In the 1619 Project's effort to take down America, black success stories are not allowed. Because they don't fit with the narrative. The role of white Americans in abolishing slavery doesn't fit the narrative either," Glenn said.

"The agenda is not ultimately about history," he added. "It's just yet another vehicle in the fleet now driven by elites in America toward socialism."

Watch a preview of the full episode below:


Watch the full episode only on BlazeTV. Not a subscriber? Use promo code GLENN to get $10 off your BlazeTV subscription or start your 30-day free trial today.

Want more from Glenn Beck?

To enjoy more of Glenn's masterful storytelling, thought-provoking analysis and uncanny ability to make sense of the chaos, subscribe to BlazeTV — the largest multi-platform network of voices who love America, defend the Constitution and live the American dream.

Acclaimed environmentalist and author of "Apocalypse Never" Michael Shellenberger joined Glenn Beck on the radio program Wednesday to warn us about the true goals and effects of climate alarmism: It's become a "secular religion" that lowers standards of living in developed countries, holds developing countries back, and has environmental progress "exactly wrong."

Michael is a Time "Hero of the Environment," Green Book Award winner, and the founder and president of Environmental Progress. He has been called a "environmental guru," "climate guru," "North America's leading public intellectual on clean energy," and "high priest" of the environmental humanist movement for his writings and TED talks, which have been viewed more than 5 million times. But when Michael penned a stunning article in Forbes saying, "On Behalf of Environmentalists, I Apologize for the Climate Scare", the article was pulled just a few hours later. (Read more here.)

On the show, Micheal talked about how environmental alarmism has overtaken scientific fact, leading to a number of unfortunate consequences. He said one of the problems is that rich nations are blocking poor nations from being able to industrialize. Instead, they are seeking to make poverty sustainable, rather than to make poverty history.

"As a cultural anthropologist, I've been traveling to poorer countries and interviewing small farmers for over 30 years. And, obviously there are a lot of causes why countries are poor, but there's no reason we should be helping them to stay poor," Michael said. "A few years ago, there was a movement to make poverty history ... [but] it got taken over by the climate alarmist movement, which has been focused on depriving poor countries, not just of fossil fuels they need to develop, but also the large hydroelectric dams."

He offered the example of the Congo, one of the poorest countries in the world. The Congo has been denied the resources needed to build large hydroelectric dams, which are absolutely essential to pull people out of poverty. And one of the main groups preventing poor countries from the gaining financing they need to to build dams is based in Berkeley, California — a city that gets its electricity from hydroelectric dams.

"It's just unconscionable ... there are major groups, including the Sierra Club, that support efforts to deprive poor countries of energy. And, honestly, they've taken over the World Bank [which] used to fund the basics of development: roads, electricity, sewage systems, flood control, dams," Micheal said.

"Environmentalism, apocalyptic environmentalism in particular, has become the dominant religion of supposedly secular people in the West. So, you know, it's people at the United Nations. It's people that are in very powerful positions who are trying to impose 'nature's order' on societies," he continued. "And, of course, the problem is that nobody can figure out what nature is, and what it's not. That's not a particular good basis for organizing your economy."

Watch the video below to catch more of the conversation:

Want more from Glenn Beck?

To enjoy more of Glenn's masterful storytelling, thought-provoking analysis and uncanny ability to make sense of the chaos, subscribe to BlazeTV — the largest multi-platform network of voices who love America, defend the Constitution and live the American dream.