Written by Timothy Baldwin
Now that the healthcare bill has passed and been signed into law, one must inquire: How will the federal government keep track of the millions of persons in America now (supposedly) required to operate according to the federal government's healthcare program?
Now that the federal government is responsible to ensure that millions of people's health concerns are treated or eliminated, how will the federal government distribute, execute, and ration its resources paid for by tax dollars? Now that the federal government has a vested interest in the health of hundreds of millions of Americans, how will they ensure that the system itself can be maintained by the government?
What is the RFID chip? It is a small electronic computer device placed into the skin of a person that can be used for identification, tracking, information storage and interfacing with external sources, such as for financial, business, commercial, governmental, educational, and medical institutions. In other words, an RFID can be utilized for every area of life.
Many legitimate and natural questions have been raised about RFID chips, like: What are the societal risks of the RFID chip? What are the foreseeable or likely governmental abuses? How does its implementation relate to the principles of freedom in a Constitutional Republic? Will I be able to maintain my rights of privacy and other liberties if I have an RFID implanted in my skin for societal and governmental purposes? As we will show, the answers are very relevant, because it is known that the federal government will likely mandate that these RFID chips be implanted into all persons in America.
The German IT industry group BITKOM recently conducted a survey that found that one out of four Germans would willingly, without force of law, have a RFID chip placed inside their skin for societal and governmental purposes. Perhaps those in the United States are not much different. The idea of a microchip being implanted into your body for these purposes has been around for several years and is only becoming more popular and accepted.
Advocates for RFID for Societal and Government Purposes
Some of the most well-known and widely listened to news commentators and political leaders have advocated the use of RFID chips for societal and government purposes. Andy Rooney, news commentator on CBS's 60 Minutes, said on February 10, 2002: "Something has to change. They have to find a better way to identify the bad guys or the rest of us are gonna' stay home and watch the world go by on television.... We need some system for permanently identifying safe people.... I wouldn't mind having something planted permanently in my arm that would identify me.''
While interviewing Scott Silverman (Applied Digital CEO), Sean Hannity said on October 24, 2008: "[Parents are saying:] we can't even allow our kids to play in the front yard. Is there anything - technologically speaking - that [parents] can do that can help the situation, like a kidnapping. Is there, for example, a microchip...we can use for our kids?" In the interview, Silverman describes a PLD, which is an acronym for "Personal Locating Device," which is an RFID chip. This PLD is to be implanted into the body of the "child or someone you are interested in tracking."
While Hannity initially presents the RFID's use into the context of "protecting children from being kidnapped," Silverman quickly admits the multi-function purpose of the RFID: "It is the first implantable microchip for humans that has multiple security, financial and healthcare applications." Sean Hannity's response: "I love this idea, Scott." Security, financial, and healthcare: These are the vast categories of use which would encompass all of human life and activity in America.
Three years earlier, Silverman already outlined his ambitions for revolutionizing healthcare in the United States. A July 25, 2005 WebMD article opened with this bold query: "They're here. They have FDA approval. But are Americans ready to get chipped?"
According to WebMD, Silverman offered the following statistics as support for his company's technology in relation to medical care:
"When we first announced VeriChip, a network poll asked people if they would put one in their bodies," Silverman tells WebMD. "Only 9% said yes. After FDA approval, 19% said yes. When former HHS Secretary Tommy Thompson joined our board, the rate went up to 33%. But our own study shows that if you ask people whether they would have a VeriChip implant to identify their medical records in case of an emergency, the positive response goes to 80%."
WebMD concluded its report with this unsettling thought: "... Silverman says, some 2,000 people worldwide are using them for medical or security purposes. But soon he expects that millions of people will get VeriChip implants every year."
On July 31, 2005, in an articled titled "'Health Chips' Could Help Patients in US," The Business reported: "President Bush's former health secretary Tommy Thompson is putting the final touches to a plan that could result in US citizens having a radio frequency identification (RFID) chip inserted under their skin." Thompson's purpose in doing so? According to The Business: "The RFID capsules would be linked to a computerised database being created by the US Department of Health to store and manage the nation's health records."
Two months before these scattered news reports made less-than-noticed headlines, Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist (R-Tenn.) and Senator Hillary Clinton (D-N.Y.) introduced S. 1262, the "Health Technology to Enhance Quality Act of 2005." During a press conference at George Washington University Hospital, Senator Clinton stated: "This legislation marries technology and quality to create a seamless, efficient health care system for the 21st century." Senator Frist characterized it as "an interoperable national health information technology system." The only way to have an interoperable information system is to have a unique identifier for each person in the system, which can't be altered, lost, stolen, or tampered with. In 2005, Clinton and her allies sought to lay the technological infrastructure for just such a system. Now that health care has been nationalized, why would they approach things any differently?
So, will the "common person" in America accept the implantation of an RFID for societal and government purposes? Some already are. Daniel Hickey, a retired Navy Commander, expresses his of-course-attitude when interviewed by Channel 5, WPTZ news: "They've been putting them into dogs and cats for years. It's about time they put them into human beings." Perhaps like Germany, the numbers of those who accept this idea in America will only continue to grow.
Plans for RFID Chips for Healthcare
The facts already establish that certain infrastructure in America is being implemented to incorporate the use and application of the RFID chip. Today, hospitals throughout America are already implementing RFID technology and have begun implanting RFID chips into their patients for medical purposes, such as those who suffer from Alzheimer.
Openly, "a number of U.S. hospitals have begun implanting patients with RFID tags and using RFID systems, usually for workflow and inventory management." There are various groups that openly advocate for the use of RFID chips for all medical patients. As a result of this movement, many predict that the investment value of RFID technology will increase exponentially and dramatically, making many people very rich.
Even "the Department of Homeland Security has indicated it likes the concept of RFID chips," CNN reported several years ago in an article about the Real ID Act. For what purpose does Homeland Security like RFID chips to be implanted into people's skin? You name it. The same CNN report also noted that the Real ID Act required that "the IDs must include a 'common machine-readable technology' that must meet requirements set out by the Department of Homeland Security." - which could very well have meant RFID chips, though as the article pointed out, other possibilities could have included magnetic strips or enhanced bar codes. The Real ID Act requirements were derailed by a firestorm of resistance from the states. But there is, without question, a push by the private industry, investors, and the federal government to accept and (as time will tell) force this type of technology for "security, financial and healthcare" purposes.
Pre-Obama Nationalization of Healthcare and Use of RFID
What few people know is that the federal government has been making attempts to national the healthcare system for years, relating back to the Clinton administration's push to create a National Identification for medical purposes, and which continued during the Bush administration.
To effectuate a national healthcare system, the federal government advances the use of RFID technology to be used in each medical patient for healthcare purposes. More than just for the treatment of the patient, the federal government proposes a "nationwide electronic health care information network for research and disease prevention."
Without equivocation, on October 19, 1992, Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Louis W. Sullivan, said: "It is our intention to act on our own and with the private sector in every area where we have authority to bring the new electronic network into being." It was this same "electronic network" of healthcare that was advanced by G.W. Bush during his administration: "Strengthening the health care safety net is a necessary part of improving American's access to care."
To the federal government, the purpose of creating a nationalized electronic safety network was to "research to improve the prevention, detection and treatment of diseases." As became law under the Medicare Prescription Drug Improvement and Modernization Act of 2003, the federal government recognized their role in "disease management programs" through their healthcare safety network. Then, one year after the FDA approved the full use of the RFID chips in humans, by executive order in 2005, G.W. Bush ordered HHS "to create a nationwide interoperable health information technology infrastructure."
In conjunction with and to the end of creating a nationwide health information infrastructure, HHS is to advance "the development, adoption, and implementation of health information technology standards nationally through collaboration among public and private interests that are consistent with current efforts of the Federal Government [for the prevention, detection and treatment of diseases]." This collaboration with public and private interests easily identifies the method by which this national safety network system will be effectuated: RFID technology.
Some of the most highly influential medical groups and organizations propose not only that the private industry utilize RFID technology, but also that the federal government use its "policy-making" power to advance its use of an electronic healthcare safety network and to abandon the old methods. In short, each patient would and should be required to possess an RFID chip before getting medical treatment.
The New Healthcare Application
Today, the federal government has more motivation and incentive than ever to create and mandate a national safety network system. They have been working on it for 20 years or more, but its reality is with us today. The federal government now has the responsibility and power to control much (if not all) of the regulations and systems used in the medical industry, including how patients will be identified, processed, and treated through the system. Its vested interest in the entire medical industry and in the cost of healthcare for each person will undoubtedly create a system of control upon the lives of those within its system.
To do this, facts reveal that the federal government will utilize RFID chip technology and will require every person within the healthcare system to receive this chip into their bodies. For some Americans, this may be acceptable, just as it is for one out of four persons in Germany. For others Americans, this is going to be a serious and fundamental line in the sand.
Consequently, these questions must be asked. Who will submit? Who will resist? What will the states do to protect their citizens from these mandates? What will the states do to require their citizens to comply with these mandates? What will the individual do to receive medical treatment who does not take this chip? Where will the individual go to receive quality medical treatment if all medical facilities require that you have this RFID chip? What penalties will be imposed upon those who do not take this chip?
These are all questions which must be answered and realized, because inevitably, the federal government will do all that it can to implement a RFID chip system.
The New American, a biweekly magazine, is the essential news source for freedom-loving Americans.
Our editorial point of view is guided by our support of the U.S. Constitution and the principles upon which our Constitution is based. Specifically, we want to restore and retain the values and vision that made America great - limited government under the Constitution, the freedoms our Constitution guarantees, and the personal responsibility a free people must exercise to stay free. In the area of foreign policy, our editorial point of view is based on avoiding foreign entanglements and going to war only when necessary to defend our country and citizens. Our purpose is encapsulated by the slogan appearing on the cover of The New American "That freedom shall not perish."
Identifying the means and methods by which the government will accomplish their task is less than speculative. Though the legislation itself does not mandate this technology to be used, as we reported five years ago, the implantation of Radio Frequency Identification chips (RFID) into all persons within the government's healthcare system for purposes of "prevention, detection and treatment of diseases" is a primary objective of a number of government officials and industry proponents. Whether or not they will be successful in doing so remains to be seen.