May 24, 2013

"Bachmann’s absurd claim of a vast IRS health database of 'sensitive, intimate' information."

WaPo's Fact Checker Glenn Kessler gives 4 Pinocchios to Michele Bachmann's stirring up of deep fears about big government.
The picture she has sketched is pretty frightening — that the “most personal, sensitive, intimate, private health-care information is in the hands of the IRS” via a vast database....

Since the health care mandate is effectively a tax — most Americans will either need to have health insurance or pay a penalty — the IRS was given an important role in administering various tax credits and penalties that are part of the law....

[T]he official descriptions of the “Data Services Hub” show that it is not what would generally be considered “a database.” It will not actually store information, but will be used so that health exchanges, which are being creating [sic] for the purchase of health insurance, can ask questions about application information. The Hub will be built by the Department of Health and Human Services, with the IRS in a supporting role.
All right then... "official descriptions"... it's a "hub," not a database... IRS only in a "supporting role."

Kessler quotes congressional testimony from a "nonpartisan and independent" tax expert named Nina Olson who said this wasn't "an unprecedented expansion of IRS powers but rather an unprecedented expansion of IRS work." She said it was "my understanding... that we would get the information from insurers whether or not that taxpayer was covered, and essentially nothing else — the amount of the premium paid — and that would be it. Nothing about their state of health or anything like that."
 “The Affordable Care Act maintains strict privacy controls to safeguard personal information,” said Joanne Peters, spokeswoman for the Department of Health and Human Service. “The IRS will not have access to personal health information. Application for financial assistance will be part of applying for coverage on the Marketplace and will take place in near real time."
It's not a great time for feeling reassured by assertions about "strict... controls" within the IRS. Obviously, we have reason to be skeptical and to fear abuse of power. With health care so intricately interwoven with the tax authority, we have to worry. That doesn't justify politicians like Bachmann misstating the facts, however.
[Bachmann spokesman Dan Kotman] also pointed to a recent lawsuit, described in a news report as “a lurid but vague class action accuses corrupt and abusive IRS agents of stealing 10 million people’s medical records without a warrant — including ‘intimate medical records of every state judge in California.’”  The claims are interesting, but they are simply unproven allegations at this point. It is not clear what the allegations have to do with the health care law.
We need to keep the facts straight. There are things to fear, and that creates political opportunities to aggravate fear in all sorts of screwy ways. Those who oppose "big government" might think they can get away with a lot more inaccuracy. Just foment mistrust, and you'll win people to your side. Those who promote big government desperately need our trust and must allay our fears... or maybe they think all they need to do is make us see Bachmann and her ilk as liars and nutcases.

122 comments:

Michael K said...

It's hard to figure Bachmann out. She may be a nut but the people who trash her are not what I would call trust worthy.

pm317 said...

We don't need Bachmann's fear mongering for this case. It is serious enough without it knowing that the same person from tax exemption division who went off against a group is now heading the Obamacare effort. Bachmann should use that woman's name instead of wholesale fearmongering and bring her in for hearings.

Matthew Sablan said...

We could restructure the costs by making it simply a sales tax on insurance instead of the current set up. That would ensure anonymity.

Matthew Sablan said...

Assuming, of course, we have to keep it.

Ignorance is Bliss said...

Those who promote big government desperately need our trust and must allay our fears...

They don't really need to allay our fears. They just stoke different fears, fears of things that we need government to protect us from.

Gabriel Hanna said...

Bachmann has said silly things before, like vaccines making kids retarded.

That being said, the fact that the IRS has no such database NOW is no guarantee that, given a role in determining who has appropriate health insurance, that they will not in the future.

Reflect on how many people and agencies have required you to give your Social Security Number, which was never intended to be-and, we were assured, never would be--a de facto national ID.

jacksonjay said...

IPAB is not a "Death Panel", it is an advisory board! Sarah Palin was just trying to stir-up fears about big government!

Ann Althouse said...

She needs to be accurate. At least learn how to say things so that you don't assert a fact that you don't know. There are so many ways to express your fear that something might be true without needing it to actually be true. Use questions. Say that this situation creates an opportunity for something bad to happen or there are no safeguards to insure that X does not happen. She doesn't know how to speak competently.

Mark O said...

With the IRS supporting, I feel safe, don't you?

Why do people ever believe what the government says?

James said...

Michelle Bachmann was an IRS tax attorney for several years before entering politics. I would trust what she says about the IRS over anything Glenn Kessler professes.

Pogo said...

It's going to be worse than Bachman can imagine. Use and abuse of medical records by the government will grow and metastasize.

They will be used to confiscate weapons, without a doubt.

We are descending into a tyranny by faceless, corrupt, and unaccountable bureaucrats.

I do not believe it can be stopped. Secession is becoming a very attractive recourse, if not the only one.

bpm4532 said...

A "hub" is a common point for the exchange of information. As pointed out, it will be used by insurance companies to obtain information about applications. What this really means it is a common point of access to a database about applicants. The information that is available will likely be the detailed demographic, financial, and health information provided by applicants in the 3-25 page form they fill out.

What's unsaid is what else is accessible via the hub about historical medical claims or other data that can be used to predict future medical expenses. All of this would be useful in pricing policies.

With all this information flowing, an increased workload/involvement by the IRS, and more health data stored in electronic form (predominately EPIC), it would be hard to believe it will be secure and not used for mischief.

jr565 said...

If you are going to digitize all medical records, and if the govt is going to be in charge of healthcare then ipso facto, the govt is going to have a vast database of your medical records. How else would they administer Obamacare?
And if the IRS is in charge of Obamacare to some capacity, then they will have access to those records.

That may or may not be a good thing.

But, why then 4 pinocchios? At this point I think, if they give less than 4 pnocchios they're afraid that people aren't going to read their columns.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

Death panels? Everyone laughed at Palin when she used that term. Ha ha ha....what a flake. Stupid cow from Alaska.......But it is now acknowledged by Krugman that death panels aka Advisory Committee would be able to save a lot of money by denying care to certain people. Old people who are useless anyway...right? Disabled people....what a drain on society they should just die. Tea Party? Republican? Enemies of the State?

Brave New World indeed.

Mark O said...

It was also silly to say there would be "death panels."

jr565 said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
AllenS said...

What James said.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

LOL @ Mark

Great minds think alike!!

Cath said...

I work in technology in this very field - master data management, which is the management of huge, disparate sets of data such as patient records, financial records, homeland security data, etc.

A "hub" is just what you might guess it would be. It's not necessarily a discrete database located on a particular physical server somewhere. It's more like a nexus point where data from many different sources/physical locations can be pulled together, synthesized, and yes, viewed and acted upon, without necessarily "touching" or changing the source data.

This is absolutely Big Brother stuff.

Tank said...

It's unfortunate to get sidetracked by the issue of whether what Bachmann said was strictly true.

The more important point is that she is essentially correct. As medical records are digitalized and computer stored and gov't becomes more and more involved in administering and paying for it, the people who work there WILL use that for partisan purposes in a variety of obvious and not so obvious ways.

As Pogo says, tyranny.

Big Mike said...

Here is a link to facts about the Federal Data Services Hub. The fact that the Hub does not itself store data does not mean that Kessler is right. If it can extract and integrate data from other databases, which it can, then from an IT perspective Bachmann is more right than he is.

It is certainly true that the IRS seized the sensitive patient records for 10 million individuals is troubling to those of us who understand HIPAA privacy requirements. But Bachmann is wrong to conflate the two cases.

So one Pinocchio for Bachmann, and send Kessler off to a good, higher level, Computer Science class on data management.

Matthew Sablan said...

"It's unfortunate to get sidetracked by the issue of whether what Bachmann said was strictly true.

The more important point is that she is essentially correct."

-- So, fake but accurate?

traditionalguy said...

The control over incomes and health care service denial gives the Government That Must Not Be Called a Tyranny more power than any tyrant has ever dreamed to have. Hmmm.

campy said...

Advisory Committee would be able to save a lot of money by denying care to certain people. [...] Tea Party? Republican?

You should be so lucky that they'll only deny you treatment. You will probably be singled out for treatment you don't want.

I wonder what color the "Cure For Conservatism" ribbon will be?

traditionalguy said...

The control over incomes and health care service denial gives the Government That Must Not Be Called a Tyranny more power than any tyrant has ever dreamed to have. Hmmm.

Rit said...

I'm astounded that people can read a gibberish explanation about a "Data Services Hub" and not understand the underlying technology. No, the IRS won't have one massive database to probe, the system is designed to allow the IRS access to multiple databases containing all kinds of personal and sensitive information.

It's clear to me that no one posting here has a clue as to what is being constructed and the scope of information this benign little "hub" is designed to provide to the IRS.

Tank said...

Matthew Sablan said...
"It's unfortunate to get sidetracked by the issue of whether what Bachmann said was strictly true.

The more important point is that she is essentially correct."

-- So, fake but accurate?


Not fake, but poorly stated, AND accurate.

El Pollo Raylan said...

People who enjoy dissing Bachman tend to have a gay agenda ax to grind--have you noticed?

As for the IRS and the implementation of Obamacare, it will be interesting to see who screams the loudest first. Will it be the indigent who suddenly face a tax bill; the young and well off who discover that their high deductible plan doesn't qualify; or the mounting numbers of payers who face paying even more.

Big Mike said...

@Cath, I think you and I are in agreement. However I have friends who work with and for the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) and their take is that CMS staff are very aware of their responsibilities to safeguard personally identifiable information (PII) and protected health information (PHI), and do a very good job of it.

Rose said...

Couple this with Common Core, and the database is going to be bigger and more 'intimate' than you think. "Moving Forward" - kids (and their parents) are going to have no privacy whatsoever, and this IRS thing is a very clear example of how their power can be used against those who don't toe the line.

Being timid, unwilling to challenge them, complacent and trusting, is what will allow it to burgeon into something we don't even want to imagine.

I'd rather over-react now and PREVENT it from happening. You've seen the extent of the questionnaires just in this IRS thing, just how much they can overreach, and this is when they're going AGAINST the law, what happens when they're ALLOWED to go further?

Man's inhumanity to man knows no bounds - and our thin veneer of civilized society is all that protects us. I'd rather applaud Michele Bachmann for at least trying to point out that we need to protect our right to privacy at all costs. Along with all of our Constitutionally-declared God-given rights that are under assault on every front right now. Because that little piece of paper - that living, breathing document - is all that stands between us and inhumanity.

Really - the IRS went against the law, the DOJ apparently went against the law, re: the press, Obama SUED Arizona for trying TO enforce a law he doesn't like, they use every opportunity to lie about guns in their assault on the 2nd Amendment... I'm mystified how we get tied up in the weeds, not seeing this picture.

tim in vermont said...

Let's see, a government agency leaks tax information but it is a stretch to imagine that same agency leaking health information, say a Republican once sought help for anxiety, where a Democrat can seek psychiatric help for a serial killing problem and will have nothing to worry about from disclosure.

This whole thing stinks and Obama and his political ilk are the least trustworthy kind to run this kind of program.

I am actually so angry about this as I type that I can't believe it.

BTW, ask Obama if you need to be 100% accurate to get elected. We need to demagogue a little with an electorate like we have now.

Marshal said...

So the IRS won't have this database and it's not included in the project she mentions, instead some other unaccountable government bureaucracy will have it.

It seems a small distinction to make such a big deal over. The bottom line is still that the government is going to have your medical records.

But that's a standard leftist tactic of distraction. Attack the weakest opponent and make the issue entirely about their errors. Never engage the broader policy. [See any comment by phx for examples]. The right needs to get people like Bachman together and explain how they're killing us.

viator said...

Nothing to see here, move on, move on...

"According to news reports filtering out of Washington, the IRS will begin employing new technology this year that can track a taxpayer's online activities ranging from Facebook and Twitter posts to credit card and PayPal transactions"

Accounting Web

"you can expect the data will be used to:

*Chart and analyze social media like Facebook and Twitter.
*Target audits by matching tax filings to social media or electronic payments.
*Track individual Internet addresses and e-mail patterns.
*Sort data in metadata categories.
*Analyze relationships based on Social Security numbers and other personal identifiers."

The IRS is watching Althouse.

pm317 said...

send Kessler off to a good, higher level, Computer Science class on data management.

Pinocchios for liars, what should it be for ignorant people?

Achilles said...

She is so misspoken! The gall! Only a college professor and a sycophantic reporter could find anything wrong with what she said.

There will be a database. Or a "hub."

The IRS will have access to all of your medical information.

The IRS is the primary enforcement mechanism of the mandate.

It is obvious that Kessler is an Obama water carrier trying to deflect on this issue. Is this post supposed to be "cruel neutrality" on the part of the host?

tim in vermont said...

How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the IRS.... They have safeguards, honest they do.

Hagar said...

So, the IRS will determine whether I have medical "insurance" or not, and if so, if that "insurance" is adequate for me (on an individual basis?), and if not will instruct me as to what insurance to get (and where and for how much?), or they will levy a fine on me which they will deduct from my Social Security checks.

And I should not fear this?

The only thing that gives me hope is that I do not believe they are capable of setting up this system as designed by Sen. Reid & Assoc.
I do not think they could do it even if everybody wanted it and would willingly cooperate, and I certainly do not think they can do it with 2/3 of the country against them and half of those strongly against and decidedly uncooperative.

tim in vermont said...

To quote Garafalo, we are "Dooomed... Doooomed!"

Astro said...

AA said: She needs to be accurate. At least learn how to say things so that you don't assert a fact that you don't know. There are so many ways to express your fear that something might be true without needing it to actually be true. Use questions. Say that this situation creates an opportunity for something bad to happen or there are no safeguards to insure that X does not happen. She doesn't know how to speak competently.

In other words, she needs to weasel-word her comments. Throw in some 'if's and 'perhaps's.
--Though it seems to me she did that when she used the qualifier 'potentially'.

viator said...

"To monitor compliance with these rules, the IRS and HHS are now building the largest personal information database the government has ever attempted. Known as the Federal Data Services Hub, the project is taking the IRS's own records (for income and employment status) and centralizing them with information from Social Security (identity), Homeland Security (citizenship), Justice (criminal history), HHS (enrollment in entitlement programs and certain medical claims data) and state governments (residency)."

WSJ

Hagar said...

And I think it is irrelevant whether the IRS maintains the database, or the "insurance" companies do, or it is just up there in the "cloud."

wyo sis said...

Nothing politicians say is true anymore.
If it ever was.
A critical mass of spinners has made it impossible to determine the truth of any political statement. By the time you examine it line by line it's so complicated the average listener just gives up and assumes the worst possible explanation must be the true one.
This is called experience.
This is why older people tend to become conservative and tend to be correct in their assessment that whatever politicians say in not believable.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

that same agency leaking health information, say a Republican once sought help for anxiety,

So the ultimate result of all this information gathering will be to do as I do.....don't go to the doctor unless I am bleeding profusely and need stitches or have a compound fracture. No....really. Other than a semi annual mammogram, a general check up every year or so {last one was 2 years} and a broken foot a couple of years ago, I don't go to the doctor and need not take any medications.

The less information anyone, especially the government, has about us....the better off we will be. Instead of getting actual help, people will be afraid to get medical attention since the data can be accessed and used against you.

I plan to pay the penalty for not having insurance until I am forced to pay for Medicare, then I will consider a Med Sup plan to cover extraordinary costs if the government will allow me to even have medical care. Maybe.

Ann Althouse said...

"Michelle Bachmann was an IRS tax attorney for several years before entering politics. I would trust what she says about the IRS over anything Glenn Kessler professes."

When did lawyers get such a reputation for truthfulness?

I don't even believe she could have been a very good lawyer -- quite aside from her truthfulness -- because she doesn't know how to use language to craftily avoid falling into problems where she's said something that isn't backed up factually.

She blew her presidential campaign in part because she was trying to interact with some lady who was worried about vaccines and she ended up saying something that was unscientific.

Lem said...

Lem said Althouse is a college professor.

Lem gets 3 Pinocchios…

Althouse is a Law School professor.

tim in vermont said...

One safeguard against leaking health information is that we will know for certain where it came from and everybody will be outraged..

Bwaha ha ha ha ha! It is too late, the only way out of this mess is to kill Obamacare by starving the beast that aims to create it.

Terry said...

I have seen Bachmann maligned so often, her words taken out of context and twisted, that I simply will not accept what any mainstream liberal publication has to say about what she says.
You cannot trust liberal opinion writers (and Kessler is an op-ed writer) when they write about conservative women.

wildswan said...

Eugenics is back and Obamacare is its ticket to ride. These data bases are the way it will be worked to give a false veneer of science to the usual racism.

Here's how it will work:
Several of the data bases are integrating social surveys with genetic information. For instance, "The University of Michigan Health and Retirement Study (HRS; NIA U01AG009740) surveys more than 20,000 Americans over the age of 50 every two years. Since its launch in 1992, the study has collected information about income, work, assets, pension plans, health insurance, disability, physical health and functioning, cognitive functioning, and health care expenditures." This social survey collects a DNA biomarker and conducts genome wide analyses of the DNA. The results can then be integrated with the social information in the rest of the survey. Then this can be used to make statements about the relationship between DNA and social outcomes. The lead in devising this survey was Eileen Crimmins of the USC/UCLA Biodemography Center, the long time secretary of the American eugenics society. She is presently a director of that society whose current name is The Society for Biodemography and Social Biology. http://www.biodemog.org/

cubanbob said...

A hub isn't a database? Sure. Ann is right about Bachman not being a good lawyer. She doesn't hedge her statements with a boatload of qualifiers. A good lawyer has at least a dozen hands.

cubanbob said...

A hub isn't a database? Sure. Ann is right about Bachman not being a good lawyer. She doesn't hedge her statements with a boatload of qualifiers. A good lawyer has at least a dozen hands.

John Gout said...

ZeroCare is like when Hitler invaded Poland as far as I'm concerned. So what if Bachmann was off just a little bit about the IRS?

Hagar said...

And these "facts" were provided by the same people who are supposed to supervise the drug manufacturers and the drug wholesalers?

When did they get such a reputation for truthfulness?

wyo sis said...

People who use language "craftily" are the reason we're lost in this morass of half truths and spin.
Think of the people we highly respect who use language
"craftily."
Can't think of any?
Neither can I.

jacksonjay said...


What Lem said once!

What cubanbob said twice!

cubanbob said...

Eugenics is back and Obamacare is its ticket to ride. These data bases are the way it will be worked to give a false veneer of science to the usual racism."

If we are going to do the job lets do it right and quickly and efficiently. Abolish welfare and needs based programs. The recipients will either sink or swim. Win-win solution.

Michelle Dulak Thomson said...

Kudos to Rose for being the only person so far in this thread to use both of Michele Bachmann's names and spell them both correctly. One "l," folks, and two "n"s. (Sorry to pick nits, but as I use three names and all three are prone to being misspelled, I notice these things.)

AJ Lynch said...

I have one employee. For 2013, I will be required to report to someone [my insurance company, or the IRS or DHS] detail by month of who was insured, the type of insurance, the total premium cost by employee by month and how much the employee paid by month.

That is a BFD for me and I only have one employee. And who knows where the info goes after I submit to either my insurance company or the IRS or DHS? So to make Bachmann out to be a kook is just doing the old "Squirrel" routine.

Lastly, I was thinking of using a summer employee [college student] but did not want to bother due to ridiculous paperwork required just to add to my payroll service and do not want to run afoul of Obamacare reporting overkill.

edutcher said...

Um, maybe I'm wrong here, but wasn't there a post just this week about the WaPo upgrading its Pinnochios regarding the other IRS scandal?

"[T]he official descriptions of the 'Data Services Hub' show that it is not what would generally be considered 'a database.' It will not actually store information, but will be used so that health exchanges, which are being creating [sic] for the purchase of health insurance, can ask questions about application information."

Sorry, kids, we're splitting hairs here. If it allows access to the DBs (plural) which do store the data, that makes it just a bigger DB. Think data warehouse

"The Hub will be built by the Department of Health and Human Services, with the IRS in a supporting role."

Oh, no, nothing to worry about.

The Gestapo merged with the Shakedown Queen.

Anybody really think the IRS, which will police ObamaTax, won't have both hands up to the elbows in it?

PS Remember, in military parlance, the SS supported Barbarossa.

Achilles said...

Ann Althouse said...
""Michelle Bachmann was an IRS tax attorney for several years before entering politics. I would trust what she says about the IRS over anything Glenn Kessler professes."

When did lawyers get such a reputation for truthfulness?"

So is she a liar because she is a lawyer or she is questioning the government?

"I don't even believe she could have been a very good lawyer -- quite aside from her truthfulness -- because she doesn't know how to use language to craftily avoid falling into problems where she's said something that isn't backed up factually."

You question her truthfulness because she is a lawyer then say she would be a bad lawyer because she can't lie correctly but fail to point out what she lied about?Whiskey Tango Foxtrot?

"She blew her presidential campaign in part because she was trying to interact with some lady who was worried about vaccines and she ended up saying something that was unscientific."

I am not much of a Bachman fan but this is stupid. Obama was on record with inflating your tires to stop global warming. There are numerous examples that Obama is not particularly smart on certain topics. Bachman blew her chances because there is a double standard people like you apply to her.

What did Bachman say that was wrong? How is this "hub" not a database? How will the semantic wriggling Kessler is doing change the basic fact that what she said is true? And I am curious when you will treat Hilary by the same standard you treat Bachman as far as saying stupid crap.

rhhardin said...

There's intimate details about nutcases too.

jacksonjay said...


When does crafty speech become Newspeak?

Crafty Barry says: Journalists Should Not Be Subject to Criminal Action in Leak Cases

dreams said...

I'd put more trust in Bachmann than a liberal fact checker (liberal lier) and notice he gave her 4 pinocchios and he was just recently being praised by even some conservatives here for giving the Obama crooks 3 pinocchios.

James said...

When did lawyers get such a reputation for truthfulness?

I don't even believe she could have been a very good lawyer -- quite aside from her truthfulness -- because she doesn't know how to use language to craftily avoid falling into problems where she's said something that isn't backed up factually.

She blew her presidential campaign in part because she was trying to interact with some lady who was worried about vaccines and she ended up saying something that was unscientific


So does that disqualify her from commenting about the IRS, her previous employer? One would think that even if she didn't have full command of the technical language she at least understands the culture of the IRS.

gerry said...

Kessler is a journalist. He may be a member of journolist. His assertions are not facts, as many have pointed out here: a "hub" that does not actually store data is still integrating and querying data from multiple sources, and it is still massive intrusion into private information.

For example, Microsoft Report Server typically links mutiple databases in multiple locations into a central report repository. It's a "hub". Users with proper security can save the data available at Report Server in a variety of formats, including Excel, PDF, Word, CSV...so they can use it as they see fit, save it to local computers, e-mail it, and so forth. They can also use a report developer to build custom reports.

Kessler's distinction about "hub" versus database is one without a difference. He is an ignorant journalist with an agenda.

wildswan said...

Cuban Bob
You say we could work faster by abolishing welfare but we could work even faster than that by abolishing government. Or we could behave like humane and rational beings and say the government is too big and start devolving power.

Jay said...

“Data Services Hub” show that it is not what would generally be considered “a database.” It will not actually store information, but will be used so that health exchanges, which are being creating [sic] for the purchase of health insurance, can ask questions about application information

Hilarious.

If data is not stored, how then will the data be retrieved to "ask questions "?


And yes, a "data hub" is often assumed to be a "data base" by non IT people - and in fact business owners of applications.

This is embarrassing even for someone like Kessler.

Jay said...

Yes, "data hub" is the new "data warehouse" in terms of IT jargon.

Kessler has completely beclowned himself with this one.

Jay said...

the Federal Data Services Hub will have a physical and logical design.

It will also have a BI & reporting layer - to enable queries, real time ad-hoc reports, and the transfer of information. All of which happen when you build a "database"

It is by all intents & purposes a "database" and it will be physically impossible for it not to store data, for at least a few seconds.

This attack on Bachmann is a piss poor attempt to change the subject.

bagoh20 said...

Althouse continues the concern trolling.

Give it 10 years without anyone listening to "incompetent" speakers and it will be worse than she says. She's is essentially right, and if you look at the history of our government you will see that these "crazy" people are inevitably right in the long run, and that the smart level-headed elites are wrong, but just move on to their concern trolling the next issue they will end up wrong about.

Illuninati said...

Althouse said:
"When did lawyers get such a reputation for truthfulness?"

I prefer to judge lawyers like I judge everyone else, as individuals. I believe Ms. Bachmann is probably more honest than most politicians.

"She blew her presidential campaign in part because she was trying to interact with some lady who was worried about vaccines and she ended up saying something that was unscientific."

I thought she blew her chances by attacking Rick Perry too much. When you are one among a fairly large group trying to get attention, it is probably better to present your own strenghts rather than attacking someone else.
Her statements about vaccine were included in her attacks against Perry and backfired. I believe she was arguing that parents should have been required to opt in rather than opt out or something like that. In any case, in my opinion, she failed to make a convincing argument against Perry.

Scientifically, I don't think she was too bad. At one time, the possibility that vaccine contributed to autism was a plausible hypothesis. It is difficult to disprove a negative, but after several major studies trying to link vaccine and autism it appears that any possible link between the two, if one exists, is very weak. I'm not sure a lawyer would necessarily understand the medical implications of these studies. In fact, many trial lawyers are probably more effective because they don't understand the science behind their claims.

The fact that she made mistakes in her campaign does not in any way discredit her stand on other issues.

bagoh20 said...

The law mandates what is provided, and how. There is no way they won't "need" to know the details of your health care to do the job they want to do... for our own good.

Seeing Red said...

Vodkapundit post from a couple of days ago:

Longtime VP reader Toadold sent a link an an Austin Bay piece I somehow missed over at StrategyPage yesterday. It’s column-length, and as always Read the Whole Thing™, but here’s a little something on “System D” and the underground economy to get you started:


Apparently Greece’s government still doesn’t understand that spurring entrepreneurial creativity is absolutely essential to economic recovery. In a recent Bloomberg View economics column, Megan Greene dismissed headlines touting a Greek turnaround. Greece’s business operating environment “remains unattractive because of high levels of red tape, an unstable regulatory environment, an opaque legal system” and judicial corruption.

Greene’s list of Greek business afflictions would resonate with Neuwirth’s System D entrepreneurs. Rejecting poverty, they operate beyond the reach of crooked politicians levying confiscatory taxes. Rejecting poverty, they sidestep expensive legal business registration costs.

Fair bet The Great Recession and our onerous “authorized regulatory administrations” have vexed American debrouillards. Indeed, our System D has grown. In a recent New Yorker column, James Surowiecki asked why Americans didn’t report $2 trillion in income to the IRS. Economist Edgar Feige mentioned red tape and distrust of government. Irked Americans want to avoid regulators’ “elaborate hoops.”

This dovetails perfectly with something Glenn linked to a few years ago, but I can’t find the link. But I do remember the author’s main thrust, which is that when the middle class gives up on lawfulness, then it’s really all over for a country.

What Bay has written is yet another clear sign that that’s exactly where the middle class is headed.

Unknown said...

That Bachmann woman, she's crazy. What sort of lunatic believes that a United States Government agency would use its authority and power to harass and intimidate citizens whom the government finds inconvenient.

CEO-MMP said...

wyo sis said...

People who use language "craftily" are the reason we're lost in this morass of half truths and spin.
Think of the people we highly respect who use language
"craftily."
Can't think of any?
Neither can I."


Brilliantly said, thank you.

Heh. It's funny--if you don't use language craftily you get accused of not using reason.

cubanbob said...

You say we could work faster by abolishing welfare but we could work even faster than that by abolishing government. Or we could behave like humane and rational beings and say the government is too big and start devolving power."


Wild swan in medicine the difference between a poison and therapy is the dosage.

Ann's equating lawyers with liars is a howler. Folks it's official. We are now at peak bullshit.

Unknown said...

That Bachmann woman, she's crazy. What sort of lunatic believes that a United States Government agency would use its authority and power to harass and intimidate citizens whom the government finds inconvenient.

dreams said...

"This attack on Bachmann is a piss poor attempt to change the subject."

And yet even conservative pundits validate these liberal fact checker frauds by referring to them as fact checkers without providing a disclaimer that these people are actually advancing their opinions not facts.

bagoh20 said...

"Bachman blew her chances because there is a double standard people like you apply to her."

To be fair, Althouse and other liberals do that with all the non-Obama candidates.

Has there ever been a President or a candidate who lied at the Obama level we have become accustomed to, ever?

cubanbob said...

Apparently Greece’s government still doesn’t understand that spurring entrepreneurial creativity is absolutely essential to economic recovery. In a recent Bloomberg View economics column, Megan Greene dismissed headlines touting a Greek turnaround. Greece’s business operating environment “remains unattractive because of high levels of red tape, an unstable regulatory environment, an opaque legal system” and judicial corruption."

Seeing red: years ago when I did a lot of business in Italy Naples was the main source of glove making in the country yet there weren't any formally registered glove makers in Naples. The moral being excessive red tape and taxation drives people in to the underground economy. It's also one of the main reasons the third world never really is able to grow. It's just too difficult for entrepreneurs and small business to start and grow business legally. They just work outside of the formal economy at the expense of ever really being able to grow.

Ignorance is Bliss said...

The difference between a data hub and a database is immaterial. So is whether the IRS is in a lead or supporting role.

The only question is if the system could allow a government employee using a government system to access either your medical records or your insurance company's claims records ( since records of claims will contain information about tests, treatments, and prescriptions, which will reflect a person's medical conditions. )

The system being created may prevent access to medical and claims records. Or it may not. I don't know. But that is the only fact that Kessler needed to check.

Lem said...

Didn’t Google tell some European entity that it, Google, was just a hub?

Google collected wifi data while doing their street-view sweeps and kept it for months after getting found out and promissing to loose it, get rid of it, flush it into the eather.

dreams said...

When you think about it, its really perverse to have the dishonest liberal media providing us with these so called fact checkers.

Inga said...

JD from Oral Roberts University!

Terry said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
bagoh20 said...

"The system being created may prevent access to medical and claims records. Or it may not."

To even imagine a system that would both have information necessarily accessible to others (thousands of bureaucrats in this case) and also be secure is delusional at best. You can't even trust your own family to keep your secrets, how can you trust your political enemies to?

This is probably one of the most obvious delusions alive in people throughout history.

edutcher said...

Lots of people have been saying it, they just used Bachmann's remarks because they've already painted her as a flake.

Inga said...

JD from Oral Roberts University!

And Choom's is from Haavahd. As is Moochelle's, the Short Shortstop, and our esteemed Chief Justice.

At current, which school produces more lousy lawyers?

El Pollo Raylan said...

Inga interjected:

JD from Oral Roberts University!

She only respects the Anal Roberts variety JD.

jacksonjay said...


Unknown:

Johnny McRino calls them "wacko birds"! In Texas, we call him the Honorable Senator Cruz!

Chip S. said...

cubanbob said...

Folks it's official. We are now at peak bullshit.

I'm afraid it's a plateau, not a peak.

Rusty said...

I think our hostess meant "craftily"
as in to "craft together" rather than sly or cunningly.
A better choice of words would have been ,"accurately"
as in "with precision"
Or I'm fulla shit.

James said...

JD from Oral Roberts University!

I suppose a JD from Waukesha County Technical College is superior. Bachmann, like other lawyers in MN, had to pass the state bar.

Ignorance is Bliss said...

To even imagine a system that would both have information necessarily accessible to others (thousands of bureaucrats in this case) and also be secure is delusional at best.

If the data hub does not contain the data, but can only send queries to the insurance company system, then the insurance company system can limit the queries that it will answer to only information about what coverage a customer has. This would be an easy limit to enforce.

( Could someone with enough skill hack around that limit? Quite likely. But someone with that level of skill could likely hack into the system entirely from the outside too, so the government system would not increase the chance of such disclosure. )

You are never going to be able to stop a serious enough political operation from getting to confidential records. They could hack into an insurance company system. They could try to get someone hired into the company. They could break in. They could bribe somebody with access.

What you need to do is to make it hard enough that some government employee can't go peeking at people's records just because they want to.

Inga said...

James, a JD from Florida State requires one to take the bar and pass it in Wisconsin. We have lawyers that attended law schools all over the country in Wisconsin, go figure.

James said...

James, a JD from Florida State requires one to take the bar and pass it in Wisconsin. We have lawyers that attended law schools all over the country in Wisconsin, go figure.

I fail to see how that is even remotely relevant to this thread's subject. Bachmann doesn't practice law in WI and isn't seeking to practice here.

Inga said...

James, dear, I was merely responding to your ridiculous statement about a law school at WCTC.

Sayyid said...

So let me get this straight...

What Bachmann said: the IRS is personally assembling a 'database' that will make all of your intimate medical history available to those with access to the 'database'.

What actually is happening: The IRS is helping DHS to jointly assemble a 'hub' that connects to a vast array of outside databases, and that will make all of your intimate medical history available to those with access to the 'hub'.


So... What you're saying is ... I should be upset about the language Bachmann used that created this terrible inaccuracy?

Ignorance is Bliss said...

Sayyid said...

What actually is happening: The IRS is helping DHS to jointly assemble a 'hub' that connects to a vast array of outside databases, and that will make all of your intimate medical history available to those with access to the 'hub'.

Has anyone shown that people with access to the hub will have access to your intimate medical history?

Sayyid said...

"Has anyone shown that people with access to the hub will have access to your intimate medical history?"

That's the entire point of the system. It will provide "relevant information" to providers of health insurance about seekers of health insurance.


If it won't provide a medical history, they could just as well hook up the DMV databases for information on height and weight, then call it a day.

Aridog said...

What Cath, Rit, Big Mike, Cubanbob, edutcher, and some others have said....a "Hub" is a database live linked to multiple other databases via Open Database Connectivity (ODBC) of one type or another. The "Hub" itself doesn't have to retain specific individual information, but can contain pre-set queries and allow for ah-hoc queries, which can be saved or downloaded elsewhere.

We have discussed this concept before here, at least I know I have in my comments. I've designed and implemented several "Hub" Db's joining multiple global databases within DOD. The access can be managed, by competent IT managers, by coordination with external DBM's and assignment of appropriate "roles & permissions" for each external database, as well as for queries and reports on the "Hub" DB.

Call this functionality a "Hub" and saying it is not a data base is a bold faced lie.

Chip S. said...

James, dear, I was merely responding to your ridiculous statement about a law school at WCTC.

Inga, you li'l ol' bug-eyed sprite, you simply restated the point James made, substituting "FSU" and "WI" for "ORU" and "MN".

James said...

James, dear, I was merely responding to your ridiculous statement about a law school at WCTC.

Its no more ridiculous than you snidely attempting to discredit Bachmann by pointing out that she earned her JD at Oral Roberts.

Kirk Parker said...

Pogo,

"Secession is becoming a very attractive recourse, if not the only one."

Nothing attractive about it, for the simple reason that this time around there isn't a somewhat clear regional divide. Instead, it will be Bloody Kansas x 50. I have no doubt that the Bad Guys would lose; much less confidence that there would be any real Good Guys left at the end to restart things.

Chip Ahoy said...

Rose!

Inga said...

WCTC doesn't have a law school, lol.

Inga said...

It's a tech school, duh.

Chip S. said...

Isn't it your alma mater?

Inga said...

Nope.

El Pollo Raylan said...

Isn't it your alma mater?
I thought Inga was schooled by the Jesuits: "Tomorrow I shall condemn thee, and burn thee at the stake as the worst of heretics."

Ignorance is Bliss said...

Sayyid said...

That's the entire point of the system. It will provide "relevant information" to providers of health insurance about seekers of health insurance.

Since pre-existing conditions cannot be considered, I don't see how medical history would be relevant. If you have a source that shows otherwise, I'd be interested in seeing it.

The best source I've found, linked by Kessler is here

For all marketplaces, CMS is also building a tool called the Data Services Hub to help with verifying applicant information used to determine eligibility for enrollment in qualified health plans and insurance affordability programs. The hub will provide one connection to the common federal data sources (including but not limited to SSA, IRS, DHS) needed to verify consumer application information for income, citizenship, immigration status, access to minimum essential coverage, etc.

That sounds like it will not contain medical or claims information, and that it will only be linking to existing government databases, not to your doctor or insurance company.

Aridog said...

Ignorance is Bliss .said ...

That sounds like it will not contain medical or claims information, and that it will only be linking to existing government databases, not to your doctor or insurance company.

How much do you know about Epic Systems? [A fine Wisconsin DB company] How much federal access to Epic disciplines, such as Care Everywhere, My Chart, Bridges, and Data Courier [among many others] will there be under the PPACA implementation?

In my medical system all of my records are already up on Epic Systems, with the "My Chart" portion available to me on-line. A much wider array of information bits is available to multiple other people....not just my doctor(s) and their nurse(s). A rough count of the number of folks I know have access, beyond my doctors, is 30 or so based upon conversations with them that I've had over the past 60 days...scheduling various test and appointments.

Do you think I should be comfy with so many people having direct access? Should I assume that the H&HS and IRS won't have access?

Ignorance is Bliss said...

Do you think I should be comfy with so many people having direct access? Should I assume that the H&HS and IRS won't have access?

You are welcome to be comfy or not. I certainly would not suggest that you assume anything.

But I don't think anyone should be making statements about what the ACA in general, or this data hub in particular, will do, without some evidence. So far, I've seen nothing that indicates that the system will provide access to medical or claims data. If you have such information, I'd love to see it.

gk1 said...

More phony "fact checking" from the folks who habitualy put their fat thumb on the scale for liberal democrats each and ever time. I would say Bachmann is pointing out the huge credibiltiy gap this administration and IRS have to fix if they plan no implementing obamacare with any degree of success.

Rialby said...

For those non-techies in the audience. Imagine you're driving your car and want to know about oil pressure and speed and number of miles on the car. Well, while you're headed down the highway, you just open up the hood and start interrogating those systems that produce that data, right? No. You use the front-end, built by the manufacturer, to pull the data into a manageable reporting layer called "the dashboard".

Aridog said...

Ignorance is Bliss said...

But I don't think anyone should be making statements about what the ACA in general, or this data hub in particular, will do, without some evidence. So far, I've seen nothing that indicates that the system will provide access to medical or claims data. If you have such information, I'd love to see it.

I am beginning to understand your "Nick" ... :-)

You trust...I don't. My cynicism is based upon federal and DOD experience. I can be wrong. I can also be provident. Vast good ideas initially frequently nurture half vast outcomes.

1.) What it will do [a conjecture] is not the same as what it can do technically. I base this on roughly two decades of working with ODBC functionality between databases. In your opinion, or in that of any evidence you actually have, will the federal government have any access to any medical records? Yes or No?

2.) I am not likely to trust the IT security measures of the same federal government that enabled PFC [3rd lowest rank in the military] Bradley Manning unfettered access to multiple databases in and outside DOD and share them widely.

3.) The PPACA mandates electronic record keeping effective 2014. It even subsidizes implementation. Do you have any evidence that this will not be linked to other federal databases through an ODBC "hub" [a ludicrous term]...e.g., why would uncle sugar fund it partially if not to garner some connectivity benefit?

I am willing to listen to how the separation will be implemented. I reserve judgment on the separation until it is explained...I will not just assume it. Because I know, with certainty, that shared access can be done relatively simply, I have to assume it will be shared.

James said...

WCTC doesn't have a law school, lol.

It's a tech school, duh.

I'm well aware of what WCTC does; the first clue is in the name, and I drive past its main campus regularly.

Isn't it your alma mater?

That's exactly why I mention it when highlighting her absurdity.

Ignorance is Bliss said...

In your opinion, or in that of any evidence you actually have, will the federal government have any access to any medical records? Yes or No?

Of course they already have access to all Medicare claims records. That does not change. However, I don't see any reason that the Medicare database would be part of the hub. I have no evidence that the system will not have access to medical records systems. However, if it will have that access, then someone will have to implement it. That involves contracts, and workers, and such. If such a thing was being worked on, there would be enough people involved that someone with actual knowledge of this would speak up.

I'm listening for such a person, but I'm not hearing anything.

Ignorance is Bliss said...

The PPACA mandates electronic record keeping effective 2014. It even subsidizes implementation. Do you have any evidence that this will not be linked to other federal databases through an ODBC "hub" [a ludicrous term]...e.g., why would uncle sugar fund it partially if not to garner some connectivity benefit?

I assume that they want a connectivity benefit of greater efficiency in the filing of Medicare claims. Since their long-term goal is single-payer they would like increased efficiency to bring their costs down.

Full Disclosure: I used to work for an Electronic Medical Records company, spearheading their efforts for interoperability with other vendors. So I do know a little about the subject.

Aridog said...

@ Ignorance is Bliss...once the "hub" is established, it is a very minor operation to establish a live link to another database via an ODBC function. No large contingent of staff is required....the database that is the hub already has all the capability necessary.

48 hours to one week to establish SSID access, the roles & permissions required, and click click...it is done. I hate using anecdotal stuff...but dang it, I have done this myself....but no one should ever call me an IT or Computer Science expert. The technology was essentially refined even for putzes like me around 1994...when I started utilizing it.

I do admire your optimism. Maybe that is better than my cynicism.

Aridog said...

Full Disclosure: I used to work for an Electronic Medical Records company, spearheading their efforts for interoperability with other vendors. So I do know a little about the subject.

Yes you do. Your optimism mystifies me even more now.

Kirk Parker said...

Aridog,

" Your optimism mystifies me even more now."

"Ignorance" thinks s/he will be on the inside.

El Pollo Raylan said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
El Pollo Raylan said...

Rialby writes regarding the centralization of HCR data management: No. You use the front-end, built by the manufacturer, to pull the data into a manageable reporting layer called "the dashboard".

If the Federal Government steps into the business of providing healthcare to those who can't or refuse to pay, it behooves them to ferret out/glean information on those patients/citizens. To suggest otherwise is to enable bad business practice.