Diary

Why Does Obama Want a Centralized Healthcare Database?

Barack Obama may be the worst president in American history, but you can’t deny the man plays the long game.

Throughout his nearly eight years in office, we’ve seen a pattern time and time again. When controversy erupts, he’ll downplay or even outright lie about his true plans. As soon as the outcry dies down, he’s back at it again, working methodically to fundamentally transform this country.

We’re now entering a singularly dangerous period of his presidency: the clock is winding down on Obama, and he’s desperate to cement his left-wing legacy.

Public opinion won’t stop him: he’s not going to be running for office again. You know the law won’t stop him. So it’s imperative for conservatives to scrutinize his actions intensely over the next four months.

It’s in this lens that I found some recent news so interesting: the Obama administration is quietly setting up a massive national health care database to store the medical records of tens of millions of Americans.

The announcement was buried in an obscure regulatory notice cloaked in acronyms, legal terms of art, and generally impenetrable writing, but the gist is clear: Obama wants the government to be able to pull up your entire medical history with the click of a mouse.

It goes without saying that such a database would be a true privacy nightmare. It would include every individual’s medical diagnosis, the hospital or doctor who treated them, and a list of any prescription drugs they are taking. This is highly private information we are talking about.

In 2015, the UK abandoned (at least temporarily) a similar effort after citizens revolted. One particularly damaging revelation was when one consulting firm, given access to patient data, uploaded the entire database to Google. Given how Hillary and friends handle even highly classified national security documents, that would probably seem benign in comparison.

A bigger question about this database is why? Obama is always playing the long game. The mystery is what he’s angling for.

If you doubt that Obama is himself involved in such intricate details, take a gander at a 7,000 word article published in July in the academic journal of the American Medical Association titled “United States Health Care Reform: Progress to Date and Next Steps”.

The article was, astonishingly, published under Obama’s own name, a signal of how closely he’s working on it. (The journal was also criticized for letting Obama evaluate his own legacy).

Deep in the body of the piece, Obama outlines his plans to resuscitate the so-called “public option.” If you don’t remember from the debate in 2010, the public option was an “insurance” plan run by the government that would have competed with private plans. The health care industry was able to kill it as as part of their devil’s bargain to help enact Obamacare with tens of millions of dollars in television advertising. Generally speaking, it would have put the U.S. on a glide path to single-payer.

Democrats including Obama were silent about the public option for years after Obamacare passed. But with the clock ticking on his presidency, here comes Obama with a historically unprecedented article in an academic journal that lays the groundwork for another go at it.

If you are being paranoid, you might think a major push for the public option and a massive centralized health care database have something to do with one another.

Hypothetically, if you were interested in single-payer and/or the government option, a database would help in several ways.

First, it gives you pricing and other business data from health care companies that was heretofore proprietary. A major part of the proposal is for providers to disclose things that have long been held privately. Informational advantage could allow the administration to pick off industry targets that might make it more difficult for them to end the role of the free market in health care once and for all.

Secondly, the data could allow the administration to lay the groundwork for a takeover so that the transition is over quickly, reducing the chances of a public backlash.

Thirdly, you’ve given yourself a handy “opposition research” file on anyone that might get in the way of your plans. Plenty of people wouldn’t want to have their entire medical histories disclosed publicly. Wouldn’t it be a shame if there was a little mishap, and that information escaped into the public? After the IRS scandal, you’re being a Pollyanna if you don’t think they would use it this way.

Let’s just say, I sincerely hope I’m wrong. But in the meantime, you might want to start keeping a close eye on what Obama is up to with four months left in his presidency.