The federal government is paying doctors to gather information about your sex life as a part of Obamacare.
The New York Post reported that the Department of Health and Human Services has already paid medical professionals $12.7 billion to gather a wide variety of data about their patients.
Some of the questions that doctors are required to ask under Obamacare include:
- “Are you sexually active?”
- “If so, with one partner, multiple partners, or same sex partners?”
All doctors, including cardiologists, will have to ask questions, according to The Post. The questions are required under the portion of the Affordable Care Act that promotes the use of electronic health records. Clinics that refuse to ask the questions won’t get incentive payments now — and could face financial penalties from Medicare and Medicaid in 2015.
The Largest Consolidation of Personal Data
The “largest consolidation of personal data in the history of the republic” is how critics Stephen T. Parente and Paul Howard described Obamacare in a USA Today column last year. Parente and Howard believe that Obamacare will create a massive data base that will share information, including the answers to the sex questions, with a wide variety of federal agencies. Parente is a finance professor at the University of Minnesota, while Howard is director of the Manhattan Institute’s Center for Medical Progress.
They say that the IRS, the Treasury Department, and the Department of Homeland Security would have access to the data, which would also be shared with state governments. It’s not just your sex life doctors will have to ask about. They will also ask about drug use.
Turning Doctors into Government Agents
“The president’s “reforms” aim to turn doctors into government agents,” columnist Betsy McCaughey wrote in The New York Post. McCaughey believes that the questions violate the Hippocratic Oath, because doctors are not allowed to keep the answers confidential.
Some doctors agree with McCaughey. New York cardiologist Adam Budzikowski described the sex questions as “insensitive, stupid and very intrusive,” yet Budzikowski believes he has no choice but to ask the questions.
Doctors will have to ask the questions whenever somebody uses insurance to pay for a medical service, The Post said. Since most Americans have to use insurance to pay for health care, that means most people will be faced with these questions sooner or later.
Unfair to the Poor
Such questions are particularly unfair to poorer individuals that will have to use the Obamacare exchanges, Medicaid or Medicare. Rich people can avoid the questions by simply paying cash for medical services. Working people will have to answer the questions and have their personal information put into the database.
A major concern here is that some people might avoid going to the doctor and getting the health care they need because of such questions. In other words, some people might become very sick or die because they don’t want to answer the sex and drug questions.
These questions also present a real problem for Christians and others with strong beliefs about sexuality – and strong beliefs about privacy.
The Post’s Betsy McCaughey suggests that people simply not answer the questions.
“Patients need to defend their own privacy by refusing to answer the intrusive social-history questions,” she wrote. “If you need to confide something pertaining to your treatment, ask your doctor about keeping two sets of books so that your secret stays in the office. Doctors take the Hippocratic Oath seriously and won’t be offended.”
One has to wonder what is the real purpose of such questions. After all, Obamacare was supposed to be about increasing access to health care — not violating privacy. How is a policy that turns doctors into government snoops supposed to increase access to health care?