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What Are We Really Giving Up? March 3, 2009

Posted by federalist in Healthcare, Natural Rights.

Carrot or stick.  Silver or lead.  Government, like organized crime, tends to present you with immediate rewards and penalties that leave any reasonable person with no choice but to comply with their wishes.  It does not often make it clear what the true long-term cost of compliance is in terms of liberty.

I have pointed out how government-provided healthcare naturally and morally justifies government intervention in unhealthy personal behavior.  Now James Bovard at PA-AAPS points out the darker side of government-mandated computerization of medical records.  Granted, there are good arguments for this movement — improved healthcare efficiency, error reduction, cost savings.  The current government has decided that it has an interest in forcing the issue, so it is offering the carrot of funding for the transition and suggested that it will soon apply the stick of financial penalties to healthcare suppliers that resist.  But Dr. Bovard warns: Once government has paid for your private information, it owns it.  And don’t be surprised if it chooses to use it in ways you dislike.



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