Obamacare’s Database and Patient Navigators: The Death of Privacy

Stephen T. Parente and Paul Howard, writing in USA Today, offered the following observation: “If you think identity theft is a problem now, wait until Uncle Sam serves up critical information on 300 million American citizens on a platter.” Despite the name of the journal in which that remark appeared, it wasn’t “today.” That was written in 2012. Before the weight of the government’s boot on our necks began to penetrate our awareness.

This aspect of the Obamacare problem is the new, Federal Data Hub. It is a central agency that collects every scrap of personal data about us from sources such as the IRS, Social Security Administration, Homeland Security, Department of Defense and even the Veteran’s Administration. Not just some of us. All of us. Mr. Parente and Howard stated, accurately, “The federal government is planning to quietly enact what could be the largest consolidation of personal data in the history of the republic…” What they didn’t know, at the time, was who would have access to the database.

It is enough of a hair-raising concern that any one entity in the government can collect such data on 300 million people. To whom the Lyin’ King’s trash heap of an administration is entrusting such data is even worse.

According to John Fund, in Monday’s National Review Online, the Department of Health and Human Services is about to hire a legion of “patient navigators.” They will have access to every scrap of data the government has on file for every American; social security information, income data, everything. Unlike the IRS and Census Bureau, HHS will not require background checks for their “patient navigators.” It would, therefore, be possible for someone who has committed a felony and been arrested to have access to every sensitive facet of our lives.

Say, for instance, someone who had previously been convicted of identity theft. Says HHS: “…despite the fact that navigators will have access to sensitive data such as Social Security numbers and tax returns, there will be no criminal background checks required for them.” HHS won’t even require their navigators to have a high school diploma.

HHS will only require that navigators take a “20-30 hour online course” on the 1,200 page Obamacare law. Mr. Fund put it in a nutshell: “(that) is like giving someone a first-aid course and then making him a med-school professor.” He cited Marilyn Tavenner, head of the HHS Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services promise: “I want to assure you and all Americans that, when they fill out their [health-insurance] marketplace applications, they can trust the information they’re providing is protected,” In the age of Wikileaks and IRS abuses, somehow that isn’t very comforting.” If Rachel Jeantel, say, is any example of the quality of non-high-school-diploma-navigator fitness, it’s much scarier than that.

About the author: Marilyn Assenheim

Marilyn Assenheim was born and raised in New York City. She spent a career in healthcare management although she probably should have been a casting director. Or a cowboy. A serious devotee of history and politics, Marilyn currently lives in the NYC metropolitan area.

View all articles by Marilyn Assenheim

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