Gut Rumbles

May 06, 2006

this is spooky

Yeah, it's spooky, but it's not surprising. You didn't think the nanny-state would stop protecting us from ourselves with mere bans on smoking, did you? When we allowed (and even cheered) that kind of violation of personal liberty, we should have known that it wouldn't end there.

In mid-January, the city began legally requiring laboratories that do medical testing to report to the Health Department the results of blood-sugar tests for city residents with diabetes ó along with the names, ages, and contact information on those patients.

City officials are not only analyzing these data to assess patterns and changes in diabetes prevalence in the city, but are planning "interventions." Simply put, diabetics will soon receive letters and phone calls from city officials offering advice and counsel on how to effectively deal with their medical condition. If you wish to keep your medical data confidential, you cannot.

See how much government cares about its citizens? Once it starts holding interventions for unhealthy diabetics, government can do the same thing with all sorts of bad lifestyle choices. After all, it's for our own good.

And if interventions don't work to make you mend your errant ways, well....

When the government's phone calls and letters nagging people to eat better, quit smoking, and be more physically active don't work, the next phase of the war on chronic disease may be a harshly punitive one, with fines and other restrictions on those who fail to heed the health warnings. The message will be: Live a healthy life or the government will punish you.
If you applauded when the lifestyle police went after smokers, you'll just love what's coming next.


Oh, Yay!! It's not Going to happen, it already has.

Just ask Rush about privacy and medical records.

Posted by: Wes Jackson on May 6, 2006 01:20 PM

The Founding Fathers would be so proud of what their country has become.

Posted by: rightisright on May 6, 2006 02:22 PM

I'm ready and waiting for 'em. The only way any liberal will get my meat is from my cold, dead hands.

Posted by: Cappy on May 6, 2006 04:05 PM

This isn't liberalism. This is in the interest of trying to save the insurance companies from having to pay up.

And it's wrong, wrong, wrong, wrong, wrong.

Posted by: BabsRN on May 6, 2006 04:58 PM

Wow. What's next? "You've got a fine." " a fine."

Don't we already pay enough fines just by paying for health insurance? Oy.

Posted by: DogsDontPurr on May 6, 2006 06:52 PM

It's absolutely the liberal "we are mentally superior to you plebeian slobs, and we will have the government do for you commoner morons that which you are too stupid to do for yourselves."
The smoking ban frenzy had everything to do with ruining the tobacco industry, as this has to do with their desire to destroy the industries that profit from the killing of poor, poor animals.
They (liberals) will not rest until we all drive a Prius, are vegetarian, do not encroach on wild animal ecosystems or build in floodplains. Oh, I almost forgot the EVIL oil companies. Oh, and we Must wear shoes made from soybeans, not leather. Oh, I meant ORGANIC soybeans. Oh, I almost forgot, they want to Control what you say and think.

Did I miss anything?

Posted by: Wes Jackson on May 6, 2006 09:34 PM

After they finish with the smokers, they are definitely going to go after the overweight, and obese. I saw one of them on the Fox news saying that overweight parents are unfit because they set a poor example of healthy living for THE CHILDREN!!!

Imagine how much fun they'll have if they ever get their socialized medical system in place. I shudder to think about it.

Posted by: Heather on May 6, 2006 10:15 PM

Turn on the showers and fire the ovens....

Posted by: unmisinformed on May 6, 2006 10:35 PM

I still say it's the money. It's all part of "managed care" (something I get a little bit of an insider's view on). Anything to appease the insurance companies who are supporting political campaigns.....

Posted by: BabsRN on May 6, 2006 10:50 PM

You're right Babs, it is the money, big time PAC money flowing like a sewer pipe from lobbyist row to Capitol Hill. All this nanny shit is about keeping the insurance industry and the pharma corps and the Wall St. crowd happy and fat on profits. They're turning into health police because they're spending too much on treatments. Cuts into profits and profits are what matter to them, not the public health.

It's no different than the Bankruptcy bill that was passed to keep the credit industry happy. Jeez and that was put forward and passed by, no it wasn't liberals. It was freaking GOP conservatives or so they call themselves.

It's not liberals that selling you out. So called conservatives are the ones spending like there's no tomorrow right now and they're in charge of everything. All you guys complaining about liberals, you're the folks that put the conservatives in who are in office right now and they're the ones that are getting all the shit passed in the last five years.

The problem isn't liberals or conservatives -- it's farookin career politicians. It doesn't mean a damn thing what they call themselves - they're going to sell all of us out to the corporate interests with the big bucks.

I'm thinking the short term answer is to kick out all the incumbents with more than two terms and get some fresh people in there, no matter which party they are. The common ground we got is that we're all fed up with the fat cats in DC. That would send a message to these people that we're unhappy with the way the country is being run and if they can't do the job, we'll find somebody else who will.

Posted by: Libby on May 6, 2006 11:39 PM

One thing they"ll NEVER fine is AIDS...can't risk losing the queer vote, and anyway, it's discrimination against a "lifestyle choice."

And to be fair, Republicans have gotten just as bad as the liberal Democrats about this sort of nonsense. Even during the so-called Reagan Revolution, govt spending and interference went up and up. The problem is not one of ideology at this point, but habit--the legacy of the New Deal and Great Society is that we have become a nation of dependants, expecting the govt to fix every problem, serious or mundane, and thus nobody has any initiative in this country. You want to know why we lag behind every other first-world nation in math and science? Parents expect the schools to raise their children, and teachers don't demand anything of their students, particularly minority ones, for fear of being labeled "insensitive" or "racist". Want to know the real reason why New Orleans turned into such a disaster post-Katrina? Everyone from the feds on down twiddled their thumbs waiting for someone else to deal with the impending disaster.

It almost makes me wish for a complete government collapse--the people who actually have a responsible bone in their body will be the ones to carry on while everyone else dies off because they can't figure out how to do anything useful without somebody holding their hand.

Posted by: Chris on May 7, 2006 04:08 AM

good lord. can they really do that? it seems like HIPAA laws would prevent them from being able to force labs to give out their names and contact information. but apparently when you're the government, your privacy means nothing. that makes me pretty damn nauseous.

Posted by: girl on May 7, 2006 07:33 AM

Libby, I agree, most of this type of stuff is just the gov doing the insurance companies bidding.

Posted by: Heather on May 7, 2006 11:16 AM

Sure seems to me it's coming from both sides of the aisle on a lot of issues - bankruptcy, illegal immigration and now insurance companies for example. The politicians are working for their business masters and donors, gussying it up by saying "it's for your own good." Never mind the constitution, it's dying a slow and painful death.

The Democratic party abandoned me years ago, and now the Republican party is working to the same end.

Posted by: Jeffro on May 7, 2006 01:18 PM

If you wish to keep your medical data confidential, you cannot. If you want to avoid the "interventions," you can go online and fill out forms requesting that you not be contacted ó that is, if you even know the program exists, and you have the sophistication and technology to access the governmentís "do not contact" forms.

When the government's phone calls and letters nagging people to eat better, quit smoking, and be more physically active don't work, the next phase of the war on chronic disease may be a harshly punitive one, with fines and other restrictions on those who fail to heed the health warnings.

Oh, I can't wait for this to happen everywhere. It's all for "The Common Good".

"Think of the money 'we'll' save!"

Thank the non-smoking crowd and the Super Nanny States for keeping watch over us!

Great find of a story, Rob. Wouldn't have seen this item anywhere if not for your blog.

Posted by: David Drake on May 7, 2006 07:37 PM

...the government's phone calls ... nagging people to eat better, quit smoking, and be more physically active...

I'll turn off my phone. Assuming Big Brother will let me.

Posted by: McGehee on May 7, 2006 10:34 PM

Does that mean they're gonna pay my phone bills?
Will they give me a new phone if necessary?
Are they supplying the "healthy" food, the exercise equipment, the time away from home, family, work?
Is it likely the goverment will do anything more than find a way to spend our money on ever more inane and mindless things?
They may call, doesn't mean it'll get answered.
Why are they so bleeding damn insistant on trying to counteract people competing for the Darwin Award ( ) or making life style decisions for themselves.
Leave us alone. If someone wants to eat themselves to death, smoke, drink, do drugs, let them. They're fools to think they really could prevent it anyway.

Posted by: Aquila on May 8, 2006 01:13 AM

Nothing new here ..

Certain diseases and conditions are 'reportable.' See: New York Public Health Law Sec. 2101: Every physician shall immediately give notice of every case of communicable disease required by the department (New York State Department of Health) to be reported to it, to the health office of the local health district where such disease occurs.
. . . the full name, age and address, of every person apparently affected with a communicable disease or any outbreak of communicable disease, together with the name of the disease within twenty-four (24) hours from the time the case is first seen by him or her . . .

Reportable diseases:
Chlamydia trachomatis infection
[Drug-resistant Streptococcus pneumoniae invasive disease]
E.coli 0157:H7 infections
Gonococcal infection
[Granuloma inguinale]
Group A Streptococcal invasive disease
Group B Streptococcal invasive disease
Hemolytic uremic syndrome
Hemophilus influenzae invasive disease
Hepatitis (A;B;C[non A, non B] )
[Histoplasmosis, new cases]
Hospital-associated infections (as defined in section 2.2 of this Part)
[Kawasaki syndrome]
Lyme Disease
Lymphogranuloma venereum
Other (specify type)
Pertussis (whooping cough)
[Reye's syndrome]
Rocky Mountain spotted fever
Congenital rubella syndrome
Streptococcus pneumoniae invasive disease
Syphilis, specify stage
Toxic Shock Syndrome
Tuberculosis, current disease (specify site)
Yellow Fever

The difference in reporting DM is that it is not communicable. It is a huge public health issue, however.

Posted by: DJSloan/Houston on May 8, 2006 01:01 PM
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