Thursday, July 15, 2010

Electronic Surveillance of Your Fat

No, this is not a joke. Universal adoption of electronic health records (EHRs), as outlined in the 2009 stimulus law, must now include a yearly updated BMI, or Body Mass Index rating. But really, that's just the tip of the iceberg. It is suddenly becoming all too apparent what the real meaning behind the universal healthcare law really is. It has nothing to do with making sure everyone who needs care, gets the care they need. It has nothing to do with making sure everyone has little or no cost insurance. It has nothing to do with regulating costs, or cutting waste. It has everything to do with making sure every last man, woman, and child has the parameters of their physical being tagged and profiled for a government database exchange.

Before we get off and running here though, it should be pointed out that the new healthcare laws passed under the Obama administration are not as partisan as the partisans would have you believe, or most mainstream media sources for that matter, but there were a few nuggets of truth left out there for us to find. Most folks are completely unaware of the fact that the Obama health insurance requirement was taken from the GOP. (That story has since been pulled from a few different media websites, but is still available linked there for the time-being.) Digging deeper, we can see that this government program to profile and tag each and every one of us has roots going back to at least 2004. This excerpt can be found on the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services website:
On April 27, 2004, President Bush issued Executive Order (EO) 13335 “to provide leadership for the development and nationwide implementation of an interoperable health information technology infrastructure to improve the quality and efficiency of health care.” EO 13335 established the position of a National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (IT) within the Office of the Secretary of Health and Human Services...The timeframe of the Plan is 2008-2012.
How convenient for politics sake that the plan didn't go into affect until his last year in office. Another example of how the illusion of partisan politics in the U.S. is maintained, and how policy is dictated from behind the closed doors of groups like the Council on Foreign Relations, the Trilateral Commission, and the Bilderberg group. No one paid any attention to some backwater little Executive Order that the press never even picked up on at all, surprise surprise, yet it was laying out the foundation and infrastructure for a liberal successor who would take on the mantle of healthcare reform. When Obama entered office, the economy was at the forefront of the public's mind, but the truth of the matter is that the President of the United States actually has very little influence over the economy going back even to the years of FDR and the Great Depression. Still, it was the perfect political cover for Obama's healthcare reform initiatives.

The February 2009 stimulus bill, which subsequently became law, included a provision to create an “Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology," called for that coordinator to create a national database and for that person to create a plan for “the utilization of an electronic health record (EHR) for each person in the United States by 2014.” Of course, they can't make electronic health records for everyone in the U.S. if everyone in the U.S. isn't seen by a doctor or healthcare professional of some sort. So clearly it was very important for Obama, and the agenda, to pass a bill that would require everyone to have healthcare insurance, thereby guaranteeing that every person in America would get at least the "once over" by a drug-pushing doctor. And although every last Republican made a good political circus side-show by voting against a bill that they had first drafted, it was a shoe-in and all according to plan.

Well now that we have gotten all of that cleared up, the title of this piece seems quite over-simplified. Truthfully, it was from the start. BMI does not measure fat directly, but is really a height to weight ratio calculation. Someone who has high bone density or muscle mass may be in perfect health and still have a high BMI rating, but according to the Centers for Disease Control, who will be a primary consumer of this data, "BMI provides a reliable indicator of body fatness for most people and is used to screen for weight categories that may lead to health problems." The military also uses this criteria. Someone who joins the Army may be in great physical shape, but have muscle mass that will deny them entry or cause them to fail inspection. That's right, it's possible to be Army too strong. So it seems that the government wants us all to fit a fairly specific set of parameters, or at least to be flagged for falling outside of those parameters for whatever reason.

If you have not done so already, be sure to read the article "Let them Eat Cake!" and the Boiling Frog Syndrome relating to obesity and public health. For now though, let's continue and look at what else has just become law...
“Electronically record, retrieve, and transmit syndrome based public health surveillance information to public health agencies,” the regulations read.
That Orwellian quotation stands in stark contrast, appearing to be an outright contradiction in fact, to what was being said when the stimulus bill was being passed in February of last year. On the website of Senate Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus (D-Mont.) the question was posed in the FAQ section if the government would have access these electronic health records. The answer was an unambiguous sounding, "No. Federal law makes your medical records--whether they’re on paper or in a computer--confidential to you and your health provider.” But clearly, there most certainly is some ambiguity there that has yet to be explained.

It also seems to contradict this provision...
"Enable a user to electronically record and display patients' insurance eligibility, and submit insurance eligibility queries to public or private payers and receive an eligibility response..."
...when you consider that data like this is being collected as part of the new regulations...
"Enable a user to electronically record, modify, and retrieve the smoking status of a patient. Smoking status types must include: current smoker, former smoker, or never smoked."
So much for fair and equal treatment. What these new laws should have done was make it illegal to even check for insurance information in the first place, until the expense bill is finally sent, and then the insurance information should be provided if the patient does happen to have insurance. Does the mailman get to check what sort of homeowner's insurance you have before he walks through your gate and gets bit in the leg by Bowser? Do you have to provide your auto insurance info to your mechanic? Certainly not. In fact, even at the scene of a minor traffic accident, often times folks will shell out a few hundred bucks to cover damages rather than submit an insurance claim.

The new regulations include the aforementioned calculation of BMI, as well as standard vital signs such as pulse and blood pressure. These records will also be required to include growth charts for patients from 2-20 years old. Any lab work you have ever had done, or medications you have ever taken, must all be included. The new regulations also...
"Enable a user to electronically select, sort, retrieve, and output a list of patients and patients’ clinical information, based on user-defined demographic data, medication list, and specific conditions."
It is no exaggeration to say that the government has now passed all the laws and regulations necessary to tag, profile, categorize and monitor even the most intimate physical and mental details of every last person in the United States. Oh yes, the mental details. Psychiatric well-being is also a public health issue. On a recent visit to her eye doctor, a pleasant, 80-something years young woman found this at the bottom of her visit summary:
Mental Status Exam
Orientation: Oriented to time place and person.
Mood and affect: no depression, anxiety, or agitation.
Since when do ophthalmologists concern themselves with mental health examinations, and then include that in the documentation of a routine visit? Not something this woman had ever seen before, unusual indeed, but sad to say not unexpected in this day and age with new laws like this that will allow "users" to evaluate, analyze, categorize, compute, process, tag and profile the thought processes and every last physical detail of every last American. Are we all supposed to think that this is being done for our own good? To make things better for us? Hmmm, yes, so we've heard. A recurring theme popping up in the articles posted here at the MSMR. Even if we could expect the government to not exploit this data to their own ends, could we really trust them to keep the data secret, safe, secure? Doubtful when you read details in articles with titles like, "Ohio collects millions selling driving records with your personal information."

A recent article posted here at the MSMR questioned the integrity of DNA collection and processing. These new health codes will no doubt make the collection, processing, and dissemination of private DNA information that much easier for whatever purposes, without the individual even knowing about it or requiring their permission. The distribution of any of this information is not a matter of choice by the private individual, but is a matter of government policy that outlines who will and who will not be allowed to access this information. You have no say in the matter. Just as an insurance company can look at your credit score rather than your driving record to determine the rates you will pay for this government mandated service, so too will private companies be looking into our genetic coding, our mental health, our physical well being, when they decide to issue an insurance policy, give you a job, rent you an apartment. It's just around the corner now.

There was a time when conspiracy theorists imagined the day would come when we were all forced to take the Mark of the Beast, that we would all be implanted with a biometric chip to relay our health data to the government, and that every facet of our lives would be inspected and controlled. Between the cameras on every street corner and in the skies above, to the statutory undermining of everything the Constitution of the United States once stood for, and now this healthcare reform that will peer into the most minute details of who we are as a person, it seems that no stone has been left unturned, and that we will foot the bill ourselves for our own complete and total enslavement as human beings to this singular fate before us. There is no need to be implanted with some chip, they've already got us by the balls now, and this is not science-fiction.


Citations from this article were taken from here...

Subpart C—Certification Criteria for Health Information Technology

e-CFR data current as of July 14, 2010.

Special thanks to the Lunaticoutpost discussion forum and its members for sharing relevant material that made this article possible.


  1. I remember being in middle school and all the students (in my grade at least) had to take an exam covering weight and a survey about daily habits (food and activities). Of course, the collection of data was probably good-intentioned (some statistical study?), no parents consented to this. It was just sprung on us students.

    This is similar to this new program, however, it contains many alarming overtones. I am not comfortable with having my health records in the hands of the doctors', let alone any other official who would have access to this system!

    Also, the military does admit or refuse based on BMI - initially! Basically recruiters won't send you to MEPS (health inspection) if you don't satisfy BMI requirements (too high; too low). But the armed forces use body fat percentages to determine if someone is healthy for military service. Also, I just want to say there is something to being "too army strong." The problem with being uber-bulky is that your weight limits you mobility/agility. The muscle basically interfers with carrying your sack with the required speed because the weight is too much. Soldiers have to find a good balance between being strong but also agile.

  2. TacoBelle, that stuff about schools is scary. They've been doing stuff like that for a long time though. All sorts of little "surveys." Back in the 80's we were all fingerprinted without parental permission. Supposedly it was in case we ever got kidnapped. As kids we all thought it was great. Got to hang out with policemen, play with their squad cars. Downright devious. No wonder why kids grow up feeling betrayed and hating the world.



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