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Guest Commentary: No Opting Out of MyWY Health

Modified: Wednesday, Sep 25th, 2013




We in Wyoming love America and our state and we hold dear the values, freedoms and liberties our Founding Fathers secured in the Constitution. But we must be on guard for the creeping agenda to transform our country and our state into something different.

Governor Mead has repeatedly told citizens he believes Obamacare is not good policy and not good for Wyoming and that he isn’t ready to set up a state health insurance exchange. He even joined the lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (called Obamacare). Then, he led the establishment of the key infrastructure needed for government-run socialized medicine in Wyoming.

Even the publication, Government Health IT, noted this misrepresentation: “Yet, Mead has recommended state-based proposals that sound familiar to the federal law.”

On June 14, 2013, Mead’s designated organization called Wyoming e-Health Partnership, launched Wyoming’s health information exchange (HIE). It’s being marketed as enabling our health information to be shared “safely and securely” among healthcare professionals in order to “help coordinate our care.” It’s been given the surreptitious, feel-good name “MyWY Health.” But marketing is not reality.

The HIEs being set up by States as part of Obamacare are part of the largest consolidation of personal data in the history of our country. Also known as health information technology (HIT) or electronic medical records (EMRs), HIEs are another in a long list of government surveillance and tracking systems that link not just to the State, but to a federal centralized database hub through which all government agency partners — including the IRS, DOJ, HHS, SSA, DHS and even the NSA — have real time access to a huge array of private and personal data about us (health information, drug and alcohol use, social welfare, tax information, diet, gun ownership, income and employment, and soon even the genetic code of every newborn).

Wyoming’s HIE program is no different from other HIEs across the nation. It’s not “our own” state-run program, but as the e-Health Partnership weblink states, it’s actually “administered by the federal Office of the National Coordinator for HIT.” All of our personal information will automatically become part of this government database without our consent by 2015…even if we Opt-Out.

MyWY Health claims “you can trust your medical records are safe and secure” because “the system is remarkably secure” and “HIPAA-compliant.” Most of the public mistakenly believes the privacy of their personal health information is protected under HIPAA (you know, those privacy rules we are led to believe we have to sign when we seek healthcare). But HIPAA is actually a disclosure rule that facilitates access to and sharing of information collected electronically by doctors, hospitals, clinics, laboratories, pharmacies, government agencies and vested interests. HIPAA allows about 600,000 entities to gather, store, use and share our private information for endless reasons, including in the name of “public health.”

Worse, as part of Obamacare, an additional 1.5 million entities were given access to this electronic data without patient consent, as part of the HIT for Economic and Clinical Health (HITECH) Act passed in 2009. But, via those HIPAA disclosure forms, we’ll have been “notified” that our personal information can and will be used in virtually any way by any entity with access. Opting-out merely helps limit access to our personal information to those beyond HIPAA regulations.

Not only is the privacy of our personal information no longer safeguarded, but security breaches of EMRs are increasing at an alarming rate since the passage of Obamacare, and have put tens of millions of Americans at risk of medical and financial identity theft. There have been 477 large data security breaches of medical records reported to the HHS, compromising the private health information of about 21 million people. IT security assessment firms saw the number of breaches nearly double just between 2010 and 2011 and have warned that encryption of electronic protected health information is requisite. Last month, the HHS Office of Inspector General reported it has found multiple security vulnerabilities, and absent fraud prevention and security safeguards throughout the Obamacare health exchanges data system.

That failing has been clearly demonstrated in MyWY Health. Despite years in development and $4.8 million of federal funding, the electronic Opt-Out form provided by MyWY Health was not even a secured link! This inexcusable oversight put Wyoming residents at risk for identity theft and proved that the State has little awareness of protection of our personal information.














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