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

Following the U.S. Supreme Court's decision to overturn Roe v. Wade, a transgender activist called for a "Supreme Court Assassination Challenge" on Twitter, according to screenshots captured of the now-deleted tweet.

Activist Eli Erlick, a founding member of Trans Student Educational Resources (TSER) and creator of the controversial "gender identity" teaching tool for children called the "Gender Unicorn," tweeted and later deleted the disturbing remark on Friday, according to the Washington Free Beacon.

Sen. Marsha Blackburn (R-TN) also caught a screenshot of the tweet before it was deleted.

"The unhinged radical left is calling for the assassination of our Supreme Court Justices. That's not the way to disagree with a decision in America. It is unacceptable, and Biden’s DOJ must immediately act," Blackburn responded on Twitter.

Erlich then tried to play off her call to assassinate Supreme Court justices as a hilarious joke only Gen Z and Millennials would understand, apparently not understanding the seriousness of the attempted assassination of Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh just three weeks ago.

Erlick isn't the only Left-winger to make incendiary calls since the Supreme Court's Roe v. Wade decision. Here are just a few examples:

  • Rep. Maxine Waters (D-Calif.) called on people to “defy" the Supreme Court.
  • Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) called for people to get “into the streets” alongside radical communist leader who wants to 'overthrow' the American system.
  • Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot (D) yelled "F*** Clarence Thomas" on a public stage for all to see and hear.
  • House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) suggested that Supreme Court Justices Neil Gorsuch and Brett Kavanaugh lied to Congress.
  • And of course, "TheView" host Whoopi Goldberg issued a disgusting racist threat toward Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas.
Filling in for Glenn Beck on the radio program, BlazeTV hosts Pat Gray and Stu Burguiere took a look at these and other stunning examples of leftist lunacy over the Supreme Court's decision to overturn Roe v. Wade.
Watch the video clip below. Can't watch? Download the podcast here.

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Many members of the far-left already are calling for a ‘Night of Rage’ after the Supreme Court’s 6-3 decision to overturn Roe v. Wade, and the White House has been discussing plans to defy the ruling too. In fact, one idea floated by Biden Administration officials, according to the New York Times, includes providing abortions on military bases. So, will America experience another summer of riots? Are YOUR taxpayer dollars at risk? And what does this mean for deep-blue states? Josh Hammer, legal expert and opinion editor for Newsweek, joins Glenn to discuss what may come next...

Transcript

Below is a rush transcript that may contain errors

GLENN: Josh Hammer, he's the opinion editor of Newsweek. He's the host of the Josh Hammer show. He is really quite brilliant. One of the leading minds in the conservative movement, I think. Josh Hammer joins us now.

To tell us, what did you find in this decision?

JOSH: Glenn, great to be back with you, on such a momentous, and really such an emotional day, honestly. So, you know, look, as you said, this dropped recently. Funny enough, I was in the middle of getting a guest lecture from an organization on the advisory board as to when it drops. So I barely had any time to kind of skim through, let alone guess the concerning dissenting opinions. But it looks like this looks very similar, to the draft opinion that was leaked, by the Politico story, a month and a half ago, in early May. And I think those of us who were praying that the five justices from this leaked draft opinion, would have the fortitude to stiffen their spines against this unprecedented assault. Now knows that our prayers were answered, Glenn. That's really my takeaway right now.

This looks a lot like the leaked opinion. Justice Thomas and Justice Kavanaugh have some reconcurring opinions.

But unbelievable. And really just holding aside the constitutional law stuff for a second hear. Just speaking as pro-lifers, on a day like today, I think we really just need to pause. And I tweeted this out earlier. We need to just be grateful for our half century of pro-life activist forbearers. You know, this -- Glenn, this issue could have gone away after 1973. That was a long time ago. 1973. I mean, this issue could have just gone away. We owe a tremendous debt of gratitude to the pro-life moral activist. Political activist. And, of course, yes. Legal activist. Who fought day in and day out, that makes sure this great injustice stayed front and center of our national, political conscience. And in many days, the culmination of a half century of fighting for truth and justice. But in many ways, it's also a new beginning for the pro-life fight as well, interestingly.

STU: How do you mean a new beginning for the fight? I just it's going to turn, I think we're going to see abortion turn even darker in those states that allow it. Is that -- is that what you're meaning by this?

JOSH: Well, look, for a half century now, Roe vs. Wade, and its project any, specifically, the Planned Parenthood versus Casey case of 1992.

They took away from the states obviously. They arrogated authority away from the states, the ability to attempt to nationally codify one view of the morality of abortion.

It happened to be a profoundly immoral view. So these -- the fight now shifts to the states. And the pro-life activists. And all the 50 states. Especially, obviously in red states. Purple states. I mean, admittedly some blue states like New York and California, probably won't be able to touch them there.

But we have to make sure that our side is well positioned in the state Capitols for every red, purplish, probably even light blue state, to make sure we fight for successful, cogent, and morally consistent pro-life legislation. The state of Oklahoma, actually, just north of Texas. Right where you are now, Glenn. They have been leading on this actually. Governor Kevin Stitt signed into law, a fantastic pro-life bill there in Oklahoma. A few weeks ago. Maybe a month ago or so at this point, that basically just bans abortion straightforward from conception. And there are some -- you know, obviously, likable the mother. So forth. But we really need to start thinking about trying to craft legislation now, at the state level. But to your point, I do fear that the blue states will only double down in their radicalism. Unfortunately within that will only lead to an ever greater divide, in our country, that we have today. But obviously, at the end of the day. We're going to save at the end of the day, millions and millions of unborn children. We are going to save human beings who can grow up to cure cancer, who can win Nobel prices.

I mean, this is just a tremendous win for the human species. I don't know how to say it other than that.

GLENN: I will tell you, I saw the stat, that I think it was last year or the year before. 20 percent of all pregnancies ended in abortion. 20 percent.

JOSH: Wow.

GLENN: That is -- that is a shocking number. And we do have our -- our work cut out for us. Because I -- I think that these states are going to double down. But I think, you know -- God doesn't waste anything. You know, there is no waste with God. Even the -- even the worst things that could possibly happen, turn out to be something good. You know what I mean? You're like, holy cow, how did that just happen.

And I think that evil is going to fully come unmasked. I'm telling you, Josh. I don't know how you feel about this. I think this could be the day of America's Kristallnacht. I can see these pro-life centers being burned to the ground today. They're calling for a night of rage around the country. I think evil is going to show itself. And that will scare the American people, hopefully.

JOSH: You know, I've been thinking about this a lot this week, actually. Because I've been bracing for a new kind of George Floyd summer of love, happening this summer. Coming to a city or suburb near you. Unfortunately, myself. Look, I live in Florida. I know, Glenn, you live in Texas. It is in moments like this, where I do think that where you live matters. And who your mayor is. Who your governor is, matters.

Because law and order and rioting and anarchy is not really a federal issue. It is to a limited extent. June 2020, Tom Cotton wrote this op-ed that was pretty controversial at the time.

I happen to agree with it. Where he said, quote, unquote, send in the troops. And there is some federal legislation from the reconstruction era that would justify that.

But most kind of quelling and quashing of anarchy does happen. Constitutionally speaking, at the state and local level. So at a moment like this, where I fear that you're probably not wrong. I take some solace. That Governor DeSantis is my governor. I think Texans should take some solace, that they are represented by -- by a Republican governor. The legislature there as well. So I -- I fear that you are right. I pray obviously, that no one -- it's hard.

I fear that it's something -- that something bad is happening. At the end of the day, of course. It does not mean that justices cannot do what they are supposed to do. So thank God they did that.

GLENN: So, Josh, have you looked into what the White House has been saying? The White House yesterday. In fact, do we have a clip of -- of this?

What the White House said yesterday, about the guns. And then they were turned to the -- the Scott us ruling, for Roe vs. Wade. Do we have that, please?

JOSH: Will the president accept this decision, even if he disagrees with it?

VOICE: I think it's going to come from the Supreme Court. So it's a decision we certainly are going to respond to. I'll leave it at that. Just like any other Supreme Court decision. Just like the one they did today on guns.

GLENN: So the White House won't say that they're going to accept it.

Which I don't think they will. They're talking now about taking doctors and moving them into places like Oklahoma or Texas, where abortions will be outlawed. And putting doctors on our military bases to perform abortions.

I mean, where does this go, when you have a government, that is in defiance of -- of one branch of the government?

JOSH: So there's a lot to unpack here. So we should start from first principles. The idea of judicial supremacy, and this is a peculiar thing, to say on a day like today, where such a pro-life victory has happened in Italy. But if we're going to be consistent here, the idea of judicial supremacy. The idea that the justices, have the sole and exclusive ability to interpret the Constitution for themselves. And no other Constitutional actor, in article one or article two, let alone the state. Has the ability to tentatively interpret it. That is erroneous. In fact, actually it was really Abraham Lincoln actually, who in the Dred Scott case, famously opposed judicial supremacy and flouted the Dred Scott ruling, at least as it pertains to everybody other than Dred Scott himself. I have actually argued, a former legal scholarship, in a law review article actually, that the Laconian view of how each branch of government should interpret the Constitution for itself, is correct.

Having said that. Having said that, there is a thing called prudence. And there is a thing called comedy. And in a moment like today, when it really does look like -- and I agree with you, that we are now bracing for riots through the streets. When the political rhetoric is at DEFCON one. When people are trying to assassinate Supreme Court justices. I think it would be -- at its bare minimum, a profoundly imprudent act. For the Biden administration, to try to undermine this ruling.

Now, what they might do, is they might try to kind of issue some kind of executive orders, or issue some regulations, that might try to kind of undermine it, at the edges here. But at the end of the day, the idea that this returns to the state. There's not really a whole lot they can do about that. Basically, at this point, throughout the country. Kentucky within West Virginia. Kansas. Whatever. If they want to go ahead and ban abortion, what can the Biden administration literally do about that? I mean, short of sending in the National Guard, to protect Planned Parenthood, if the state legislature of Kentucky goes ahead and bans it. There's not a whole lot they can do. And it's very difficult to envision a world, in which the Biden administration literally sends in troops to red states, to protect Planned Parenthood, if that state legislature goes ahead and bans it. So for practically speaking. This is a lot of tough talk and rhetoric. Obviously the campaign here in 2022. There's not really a whole lot that practically speaking, they can do to actually prevent red and purple states from enacting pro-life legislation.

GLENN: I'm glad to -- I'm glad to hear that. I know that they have been working on things. I mean, he has said, you know, there's executive orders, that I can employ. There are things that I can do. He's talked about a national public health emergency. Which I think is just -- is crazy. But I would hope, that the president would come out and say, we strongly disagree with this. And you're right. The court is not the end all. But the court did not end abortion. It just said, the people should decide. I think that's the best kind of court ruling, on any of it. The people should decide what this is. And send it back to the states. Josh, I thank you very much. Appreciate your time. Was there -- there was another ruling, that came out today. Was it important?

JOSH: Oh, no. In comparison to this. A total nothing burger. A 5-4 decision on Medicare reimbursement related. So nothing, honestly.

GLENN: Great. Thank you very much. Appreciate it, Josh. Josh Hammer, opinion editor for Newsweek. And the host of the Josh Hammer show.

GLENN: There are two things trending on twitter right now.

Number one is praise God.

Number two trend is Night of Rage.

Good verses evil.

Build up or tear down.

'Lord, we are SORRY it has taken us this long': BlazeTV hosts react to historic Roe v. Wade decision

Photo by Yasin Ozturk/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

The Supreme Court of the United States officially overturned Roe V. Wade, and the debate over abortion rights has been given back to the states. On this historic day, BlazeTV hosts celebrate the Supreme Court's incredible decision and take a look at some of the insane reactions as the left comes completely undone.

Jason Whitlock: Today will forever stand as a pivotal moment in our nation’s history

The Supreme Court of the United States overturned Roe v. Wade. The decision and the reaction to it have already revealed a lot about our people and politics. Pro-life groups celebrate, pro-choice groups call for “a night of rage,” and Nancy Pelosi just seems completely confused by the United States Constitution.

Glenn Beck reacts LIVE to Roe v. Wade ruling: 'Lord, we are SORRY it has taken us this long'

I never thought that in my lifetime, I would see Roe v. Wade be overturned. But today, that day has come. The Supreme Court has voted 6 to 3 to return decisions about abortion to the states. But this fight isn't over. We are about to see good versus evil side by side. Many states will stand with the unborn. But others will become abortion mills. It's your turn to choose now, America!

Allie Beth Stuckey: 'Praise God, Roe v. Wade is overturned!'

I don't know about you, but I just had the most euphoric feelings. It almost seems too good to be true. I didn't think there was any way that this would actually happen, especially with all the backlash, intimidation, and violence toward the Supreme Court justices. And yet, here we are. Roe v. Wade has been overturned. This is an amazing day!

Dave Rubin: Big disagreement on what happens next now that Roe v. Wade is overturned

Dave Rubin, Libby Emmons, Jeffrey A. Tucker, and David Reaboi debate what will happen in the wake of the Supreme Court’s breaking decision on Roe v. Wade. Now that abortion rights have been pushed back to the states, will there be a summer of massive riots or not? Will the Roe v. Wade ruling make America’s political polarization significantly worse?

Stu Burguiere: Here are the reasons SCOTUS overturned Roe v. Wade

I never thought this would happen. I never thought I would see this day. I just never ever ever ever never ever believed that Roe v. Wade would actually be overturned. I really didn't. But let's take a look at the reasons this day has finally come ...

The Rick & Bubba Show: 'This is history! Unfortunately we're 60 million lives too late'

We were live on the air when news broke of the Supreme Court decision to overturn Roe v. Wade.