Jewish World Review July 23, 2010 / 12 Menachem-Av, 5770
Big Brother is Watching . . . Your Weight
By Greg Crosby
The new federal regulations stipulate that the electronic health records--which all Americans are supposed to have by 2014 under the terms of the stimulus law that President Barack Obama signed last year--must record not only the traditional measures of height and weight, but also the Body Mass Index: a measure of obesity. That's right, the government is going to rate every American by his and her fatness. We will all have an official government "obesity rating."
So you better be good, you better not cry, you better stop eating cookies, cake and pie, government food sanctions are coming to town. This new obesity-rating regulation states that every single American's electronic health record must, and I quote, "Calculate body mass index. Automatically calculate and display body mass index (BMI) based on a patient's height and weight."
And the law also requires that these electronic health records be available--with appropriate security measures--on a national exchange. Get it? Anyone will be able to access this information on you. Your weight is no longer your own private business; it is now the government's business and anyone else who they'd like to share it with.
This is the first step in the government's goal of universal adoption of electronic health records by 2014 as outlined by Obama's 2009 economic stimulus law. Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius issued these new regulations last week along with Dr. David Blumenthal, the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology. Wow! How do you like those Orwellian job titles they have? Spooky. The regulations define the "meaningful use" of electronic records.
Under the stimulus law, health care providers--including doctors and hospitals--must establish "meaningful use" of electronic health records (EHR's) by 2014 in order to qualify for federal subsidies. After that, they will be subjected to penalties in the form of diminished Medicare and Medicaid payments for not establishing "meaningful use" of EHR's.
This mandate requires that all EHRs keep track of a person's Body Mass Index (BMI) score. Body Mass Index is a ratio between a person's weight and height, and is used to determine whether or not someone is overweight or obese. It is the preferred method of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) for measuring obesity. According to the CDC, "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."
As government gets bigger and bigger more and more regulations and mandates such as this will be issued over individuals. With every new regulation we lose a bit of our individual freedom. Step by step the government will gain total control until one day we wake up to find that we have lost our liberties completely.
Collecting personal information on us is a way for the feds to control the citizens. Big government may not care who and where the illegal aliens are in this country, but isn't it interesting just how much time and money is spent on collecting information on all of us legal citizens? It's all about control. It's all about power over the people.
Today the government is keeping tabs on your weight. They will be able to tell you if you are too fat based on their government mandates. Your weight to a great extent is determined by what you eat, so it is not far fetched to assume that one day the government will tell you what you can eat and what you cannot eat, period. It's already happening with local restrictions and various state laws with the trans-fat thing and forcing restaurants to include calorie counts on their menus.
I'm sorry, but if I want a double-double burger with fries, or a donut or a hot fudge sundae, I don't care what the calorie count is. I know it's fattening, leave me alone. And if there are grown-ups who don't know that these things are fattening, then they're way too stupid to read calorie counts anyway.
Hey big government, keep my boarders safe and secure. Maintain a strong military, take care of the interstate highways, and go after the bad guys who want to destroy my country. But stay the hell out of my bathroom and my kitchen. And don't tell me how much I should weigh. It's none of your business. My body does not belong to the state. Not yet.
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© 2008, Greg Crosby