Our New Reality

Last week, I took my daughter to the pediatric ophthalmologist, a physician she has seen for several years.

Upon arrival, the receptionist gave me three additional forms to fill out. These were not the usual address update forms, but paperwork requiring specific demographic information. I wondered why my daughter’s eye doctor needed to know the color of our skin.

Next, the doctor came into the examination room and proceeded to ask me a series of questions, all invasive, such as “Does anyone smoke in the home?” and a few others along those lines. I said to my good Republican doctor – “What gives? Why do you need to need know whether or not I smoke?” 

He said that the forms contained new requirements under Obamacare. That additional data, he explained, is collected and then entered into a “government database.”

I mentioned this to several friends in an e-mail conversation and, to my surprise, this is developing into a pattern. A friend in Pennsylvania took her twin boys to the pediatrician and was asked similar questions. Another friend in Virginia thought she was having informal girlfriend chat with her physician and suddenly realized that her doctor was writing everything down.

If the government requires doctors to ask more invasive questions, and our private information is being recorded and entered into some government database, there are troubling implications. Does anyone remember HIPPA (the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act), which addressed security and privacy of health data? A lot of time and money was spent passing HIPPA, but I question its effectiveness in the era of Obamacare.

A government database does not enhance a feeling of security with respect to my, or my family’s, private medical data. Government has a spotty record of keeping confidential information out of the wrong hands. I do not want my medical information to be the target of some overeager hacker who wants to make a big score and get bragging rights by cracking the code of the federal government’s huge medical information database.

If my visit to my daughter’s ophthalmologist is any indication, we’re heading towards a future of more paperwork, less time spent between doctors and patients, and more invasive questions being dumped into a “government database.”

Welcome to the Nanny State – it has arrived.