Do-it-yourself medical records put to the test

Do-it-yourself medical records put to the test

“Can using personal health records, or PHRs, actually make you healthier? The government is spending millions on the first studies to find out. ”

This makes me nuts. In a day of massive deficits, this is the type of useless junk that needs to be cut. Instead they are cutting necessities to people and to our country’s infrastructure.

“The idea: Put records from every health encounter in one patient-controlled spot, such as a password-protected Internet site. Then if you travel, change doctors, or a disaster destroys paper charts — like when Hurricane Katrina flooded doctors’ offices — you’ll always have on hand information that could prove crucial.”

First of all, we are always hearing about Dems being the party of big centralized govt. This nifty idea is a product of the Republicans and Bushie administration. And they are spending millions to find out how to make their idea law. Just another intrusion into privacy. The Republican party has become and is TODAY the party of BIG BROTHER GOVT!

“such as a password-protected Internet site” — Don’t they know there is no such thing? Haven’t they learned from the millions who have had their identity stolen off hacked sites?

I read an article not too long ago about how a woman almost died because someone had used her identity in the hospital. Can you just imagine the ramifications of what would happen if this site was hacked?

Please stop wasting our tax money of such foolishness. Let the capitalistic system make the way for new ideas and new products.


  1. almandine

    I would have to respect you to feel slighted… not a chance. And – there’s no attack there. Statement of fact. I’d be defensive too if I held your views.

  2. JoyfulC

    Yeah, I pretty much figured that most of what you said was intended to be a vicious personal attack — something designed to take me “down a notch” — but if I’d come right out and said that, you’d have denied it to the heavens and called me paranoid.

    It’s much better to have you admit it yourself. You might feel slighted when you read my comments, but that’s your own issue. It’s got nothing to do with me. I’d guess that happens to you a lot.

  3. almandine

    Hi –

    The tree hugger thing was me talking TO you… nothing about being brainwashed by business/advertising. The hubris thing was me talking ABOUT you. Every time I read one of your missives I come away thinking, “how can she think she’s the ONLY one to understand the way the world works?” And yeah, I had my own C-172 that I flew around until the baby came and then like so many others I chose “balance”. (But I won’t choose 54-59 F. if I can help it.) As for robust – it wasn’t G.W.’s administration – but him – I was talking about. You know, like Stalin, Ghengis Khan, Hitler… a robust character.

    I think you get easily overwrought sometimes… and, I don’t think you’ve ever encountered an alternative opinion that you seriously considered. I know that means you’re a robust character, too, but it doesn’t mean you’re right.

  4. JoyfulC

    The tree hugger thing has more to do with unbridled hubris toward the rest of us miscreants.

    That’s what’s been drummed into us by businesses who have the money to buy out news media, buy up “warm and fuzzy” advertising, etc., but it’s just not true.

    Would it surprise you to know that I skydived for 24 years, and have more than 2500 skydives? My husband worked in the sport. Now, with respect to gratuitous use of petroleum products and gratuitous polluting, you can’t get much more flagrant than taking a perfectly good airplane to 10,000 feet just so you can get out of it. But would I have done it any differently? Nope. I cherish every one of those jumps.

    So if I need to keep my thermostat between 54 and 59 F during the winter months to save on heating oil; if I need to stay overnight at the office in town 2-3 nights a week to save the gasoline involved in commuting when I’d really only have enough time at home to get up, eat and go to work, or get home, eat and go to bed; if I hang my clothes out on the line to dry and have replaced all my lightbulbs, then I hope you’ll understand that for me, it isn’t hubris, but an attempt to find balance. I figure maybe I’ve used up the majority of my share with my extravagances, but where extravagance doesn’t really do much for me, I think it serves to be thrifty. I have this thing about staying within budget, and one of the realities of that is, if you go over in one area, you have to be prepared to cut back in another.

    Would you call it hubris to try to stay within a budget? Would you call it hubris to try to balance out your excesses with some sacrifices? Do you think that would be a bad thing for either individuals or businesses to do?

    Corporate industry has been pissing and moaning over environmental regulations since the 70s. To hear them tell it, we’re completely hindering their ability to be viable and it’s really no big deal anyway.

    And maybe you believe that.

    But I don’t. Because I look at what’s happened in parts of the world these corporations have flocked to where there is no environmental regulation. These companies aren’t even bright enough to operate in such a way as to be sustainable. Look at China — pollution is so bad there that various industries are tripping over one another environmentally. It’s the pollution there that’s building to the point of not allowing some or all businesses to be viable — not the regulation.

    I wouldn’t call the Bush administration “robust.” To me, that word denotes health, vigor, capacity for endurance. This administration might overbearing, it might be bold in its attempt to defraud the American people and the world, but if anything I think it’s overextended itself and thereby left itself more vulnerable and weak. As it says in the Tao Te Ching, “strong rains don’t fall all morning, strong winds don’t blow all day” (or vicey-versa — you get the drift). The Bush administration is the pendulum swung to an extreme we haven’t seen before, but that just means we’re due for it to start swinging back hard in the other direction.

    If we were very smart, we’d make every effort to dampen that swing a bit, to make sure that things don’t swing too far in the other direction in response. There’s something to be said for balance.

  5. almandine

    Hi Joyful… been expecting your reply. Will proceed apace.

    “a balance between enjoying one’s life and prospering, and reducing one’s impact”. All laudable – not mutually exclusive – and hopefully, one’s vocation can provide all three. If not, welcome to the crowd. The tree hugger thing has more to do with unbridled hubris toward the rest of us miscreants.

    As for “robust” gov’t, the goal is the biggest problem. Let’s face it… G.W. is as robust as they come… got Congress by the short hairs… and it’s as criminal an enterprise as the corporate fraud you cite. I’d like a little less gov’t, please. And the way to do that? Just like those business crooks you make so much of – put them in jail NOW – EVERY TIME. That would – as a general approach – eliminate much of that. (Ever notice that nobody in business goes to jail anymore ? Martha Stewart notwithstanding.) Those scammers are the people for whom cold-heartedness is the best plan.

    Having solved that problem… we could then turn to the legitimate functions of government, which are rooted first in self-defense. Having solved that… we could chase our “wildest” dreams – as we see fit – as individuals.

  6. pollchecker

    see you’re comparison of the govt programs to a parent is a perfect example. It’s laughable in fact. Govt is not a parent. I’m not even going to go there. It’s just too Orwellian for me tonight.

    Once again you take us off subject which was spending money on govt studies while cutting services to people. So let’s rephrase here. You advocate that it is more important to spend the money on a study than it is to spend the money of helping people get hospice or home care from Medicare or Medicaid, right?

    Because That literally is the choice we currently face. GW wants to spend money on studies like this while cutting necessary services to health care.

    And then you advocate for another govt program. As Charlie Brown would say “Good Grief”.

  7. JoyfulC

    I say fix what we have now before we start adding more.

    Are you a mother? Then it seems to me that you should know better. You might have made mistakes when your kid was six, then when she’s eight, it’s time to deal with the problems she has at eight. You can’t put them on hold while you figure out how you should have handled things when she was six. That’s just a recipe for failure.

    Of course big government programs are less than perfect — what do you expect?? Could you do better?? But just as you’d never use your shortcomings as a parent when your kid was six as a reason to not even try when your kid is eight, no reasonable society can use the shortcomings of programs past as a reason not to even try to fix them or make new, timely programs to meet today’s needs.

    I believe that nothing can change your view, and that’s because your mind is closed and locked. Too bad! But eventually, the world will pass you by.

  8. pollchecker

    “I see the importance of a robust government”

    See that’s where we differ. And that is not going to change no matter what we debate here.

    I don’t believe in the importance of a robust gov’t. I want a lean govt that is run efficiently.

    I want them to fix the problems with the programs we have right now, instead of making more programs to fix them the first set of problems.

    We have seen what happened when you consolidate a multitude of programs into one agency here in the USA as has been evidenced by the Homeland Security Bureau.

    Talk to the Katrin victims that were suppose to benefit from consolidating FEMA into Homeland Security. I can go on and on.

    Maybe in other countries like Canada, you have it all figured out how your govt programs are efficiently run but here in America, that’s a joke as evidenced with Medicare, Medicaid, Social Security, the Veterans Admin, etc.

    These are all great programs in concept except that they have become ripe with problems.

    YOu advocate for more govt to fix these problems. I don’t agree.

    You can lecture me at will on your position but it isn’t going to change my view regarding the importance of MORE govt. Quite frankly. I think more govt scares the hell out of most Americans (whether rightly deserved or not).

    I say fix what we have now before we start adding more.

  9. JoyfulC

    Yeah, I suppose you could call me a treehugger. I feel it’s a virtue to try to keep a balance between enjoying one’s life and prospering, and reducing one’s impact on the planet. You think it’s a bad idea to feel that way?

    I think perhaps you’re reading what you want to believe into what I say. I am very much in support of honest business and prosperity — indeed, I have my own business! — but again, I think it’s important to keep things in balance. Unlike you two, I see the importance of a robust government.

    I feel that most of the problems facing the US today are a direct result of business attempting to buy out, corrupt and tie the hands of government, or government failing to do the job of regulating and enforcing regulation effectively. When you look at the news these days, you have to see that this isn’t even serving business all that well. In fact, probably the only people who are served by this are the scam artists — you know? Like the guys who took advantage of deregulation of S&Ls under Reagan to cook up every kind of scam to line their own greedy pockets. Or some of the scurrilous CEOs who cooked the books to screw both investors and employees. Or take this recent subprime debacle, where credit was being handed out irresponsibly, then bundled up and sold as “securities” cleverly disguising the risks involved.

    Now, I’m not sure what you call business, but most of that I just described, I’d be more likely to call “fraud” at worst, or “irresponsible and unethical” at best. I truly believe that we could have intelligent regulation and enforcement that would never hurt any decent, honourable business or individual — but might save us a world of hurt from the disasters caused by those who behave irresponsibly and unethically. Do you not believe this to be true?

    I also believe that we shouldn’t limit ourselves to just what business is willing to provide — because not every service that would be of value to people would be profitable for businesses to provide. Some services are simply better provided by government, funded by taxes. I agree it would be wrong for government to compete with for-profit services that are offering effective solutions — but I don’t see where that’s happening.

    Maybe I’m misunderstanding the comments that some people here make, but it almost seems like some people are saying that they’d be quite comfortable living in a society where those who make poor choices or have bad luck suffer. I’m not so coldhearted. On the one hand, I have always felt very strongly about standing on my own two feet, and being a contributing member of my family and community. But on the other hand, I have never been comfortable in situations where there is a wide disparity between the haves and the have-nots. I’ve seen a few such situations, and I’m not entirely convinced that personal responsibility is the only factor at play. While some might make poor choices such as substance abuse, failure to educate themselves and acquire useful skills, etc. which result in their being poor, it’s not entirely uncommon that people who make unethical or predatory choices end up being rich. I have no problem with anyone getting rich — as long as they do it honestly and ethically. But again, would you agree with that? Or is it “any which way you can” with you?

    If you know your history, then you know that the original founding fathers fully intended for government to keep corporate business on a leash — not the other way around. From the beginning of our country until after the Civil War, corporations were at the mercy of state legislatures, and very strict restrictions. After that, businesses began to work to change the system to allow them more latitude — and to some degree, this was necessitated by technology and an expanding nation — but whether through greed or paranoia, the balance swung too far, leaving government with inadequate control over potentially harmful situations. We need to bring things around again, and hopefully this time, we’ll do a better job of achieving balance such that decent and honourable businesses and individuals thrive, and only the scam artists and irresponsible operators are affected.

    So that’s why it really irritates me that those who want to even further emasculate our governments, at every level, go about suggesting that this is somehow the American way. It is INDEED NOT! And anyone who suggests that it is, is ignorant or hoping other people are.

  10. pollchecker

    almandine — Have you noticed there are some people that just like to be right all the time? I gave up on this thread. I think she just likes to have the last word.

  11. almandine

    Joyful –

    Saw a movie today that reminded me of a line from D.H. Lawrence…

    “I never saw a wild thing feel sorry for itself. Even a small bird frozen on a bough, will have died never feeling sorry for itself.”

    How it fits here, I’m not sure, but maybe it’s that gov’t exists for many to keep from feeling sorry for themselves. Big daddy, and all.

    I can recall when the goal of individuals was to get by… enhance their lives as best as they could… and (their) business was the means by which they did that. Their profits were their livelihood – without them they suffered – they didn’t eat – they didn’t pay the rent – they didn’t make it. They ended up working for someone who could get it right.

    Same thing today… those who need to work for someone else, instead of farming, selling, servicing, whatever, make it by working for someone else. That’s most often the way people actually make it today! You make that sound as if the ones who give them “jobs” have somehow made them whores, corporate slaves, servants, or whatever. A good employee will INCREASE COMPANY PROFITS to make his/her future more secure.

    The government’s role in all this has been most interesting – and antithetical to your proposition – by lowering scholastic standards, changing instruction from the 3 R’s to socialization issues, as if socialization would put food on the table. Public school students now learn more about homosexuality than history. AND – it’s way more ignorant than that. Get this – AND DO YOU BELIEVE – that 50% of graduates from Ivy League schools (Harvard, Yale, Princeton, etc) believe that it is lawful for the President to suspend the Bill of Rights? Try that for gov’t support of the individual.

    Interestingly, and if I hadn’t grown through the 60’s, your palpable… palpable… palpable… disdain for business – and your blind faith in gov’t (business support notwithstanding) would seem pretty strange. But I’ve seen it before… for lack of a better term, I’ll call it the Tree Hugger thing (shorthand). And I hate it, because… it’s clear you’ve never felt the exhilaration of being a “wild thing.”

  12. JoyfulC

    Service for profit is just great — as long as providing a service generates a profit. But when it doesn’t — or when providing a service interferes with profits — then businesses won’t be of much help. In fact, it can be said that businesses have no business providing solutions that don’t generate a satisfactory return on investment.

    But I think if there was a profitable opportunity here, private business wouldn’t be the last to hear about it. Therefore, if they’re not doing it or attempting to do it, then it’s probably because they’re not interested. Just because business isn’t interested in providing a service in no way means that people aren’t interested in having access to a service — and that’s a place where government comes in.

    With respect to regulation/moderation and the “interests of government,” obviously the interest of government is to find solutions that work and improve the lives of citizens, whether or not they generate a profit. And some of the things that communities, societies need to do aren’t necessarily profit generating. But that’s the difference between a human being and a business. A human being’s goal is to improve quality of life. A businesses goal is to increase profits. If the two can be done simultaneously, then that’s great — and often they can be. But sometimes the rights and interests of individuals conflict with the rights and freedoms of businesses — and that’s when we need government to sort things out, through regulation and moderation. I think you would agree that the interests of individuals should not always hold sway over the interests of business — how would we prosper, otherwise? But at the same time, the interests of business cannot always hold sway over the rights of individuals — or else humans can never be free.

    Let’s never forget that slavery wasn’t a government program — it was a commercial enterprise. It’s not unheard of that some human beings get out of control and attempt to extort, exploit, massacre and starve/drought out other humans. And usually this happens as a result of a business venture. We need governments to enforce that individuals behave lawfully and responsibly towards other individuals, that individuals behave lawfully and responsibly towards businesses, that businesses behave lawfully and responsibly towards individuals, and that businesses behave lawfully and responsibly towards other businesses. And in the meantime, government needs to ensure that we all behave lawfully and/or responsibly towards this planet and all living things on it.

    That’s the role of government.