Category Archives: e government

The Government Wants Your Children – An Analysis of Recent Education Reforms and The Resulting Impact On Student Privacy

Kaye Beach

September 24, 2012

Every parent should be aware of what information is being gathered and for what purpose, on their children and their families.  These days, when they say “permanent record”  They mean it!

‘. . .schools are collecting much more information than parents imagine. Not only can parents NOT ask to see records of which they are unaware, but records kept out from under the watchful eye of a parent can collect and store damaging information and “When you put something into digital form, you can’t control where that’ll end up.” (Koebler)’

This is extremely valuable information and analysis from R.O.P.E -Restore Oklahoma Public Education, originally published July 25, 2012.

This is our latest piece of research. It contains information on how the state and federal governments are collecting copious amounts of data for every public school child under the guise of Education Reform. It also explains how, in Oklahoma, our P20 Council (created in order to pave the way for the State Longitudinal Database System which stores student data) is attempting to find ways to collect data from home school and privately schooled students!

An Analysis of Recent Education Reforms and the Resulting Impact on Student Privacy

facebook twitter rss Pentagon wants software to monitor Facebook, Twitter to predict terrorism

Published today, July 30, 2012 at NextGov.com.

The Pentagon wants computer programs that predict “cyber terrorism events” by detecting how criminal groups and hackers interact on the Internet, contracting databases indicate.

The military research arm wants scientists to build the tools to comb through networking sites — such as Facebook and Twitter — to analyze the group dynamics of online communities. The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency will fund the development of algorithms that make sense of the chatter of over a million Internet users, and track how online groups evolve. The goal is to help strategists identify how communities are recruiting and collaborating, who they are targeting, and the shifting allegiances in these spaces.

 

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Best Buy’s Worst Policy-Swiping ID’s and Destiny Management

Kaye Beach

April, 14, 2012

Best Buy (and Victoria’s Secret and The Finish Line and many other stores!) Requires Govt. Issued Photo ID for ALL Returns.

The ID card data is swiped, stored and shared with a third party  to track customer purchases and “to monitor the return behavior of shoppers; and warn or deny individuals flagged as questionable” Link to The Retail Equation, Inc.’s brochure

 

Best Buy’s return policy;

Returns Tracking

When you return or exchange an item in store, we require a valid photo ID. Some of the information from your ID may be stored in a secure database used to track returns and exchanges. Based on return/exchange patterns, some customers will be warned that subsequent purchases will not be eligible for returns or exchanges for 90 days. . .

Link

. . . And how do we like it so far?

I’m Done With Best Buy Thanks to The Retail Equation

03-18-2012 02:37 PM

I am a premier silver member and have been for several years.  In November of last year, I received a warning in store that I could not make any returns at Best Buy for 90 days.  So for the next 90 days I did not make any purchases at Best Buy.

Yesterday, I spent over 700.00 on the new Ipad and an Invisible Shield.  The Invisible Shield was not installed correctly and Best Buy decided to give me a refund.  Keep in mind that this was only 29.99 of the amount I spent.  This was the first purchase I have made since the 90 days had expired.  I figured that I could return something that was actually not working correctly and be fine.  However I received another warning today saying that I could not return anything for 90 days even though the product was not working correctly.

It sounds like The Retail Equation (TRE) does not take into consideration that some returns might be valid due to defective products.  All TRE looks at is how many returns and that is not a fair way to evaluate whether someone is abusing a return policy.   In the end, Best Buy has lost a premier silver member.  Amazon and other online retailers will gladly accept my business going forward.  Best Buy seriously needs to find another way to evaluate returns instead of TRE.  Their method simply does not work.

http://forums.bestbuy.com/t5/Best-Buy-Geek-Squad-Policies/I-m-Done-With-Best-Buy-Thanks-to-The-Retail-Equation/td-p/486051

Another unhappy Best Buy customer is suing them over their “swiping” policy.

How does this work?  According to the Retail Equation, Inc.,

“The technology’s predictive modeling measured the likelihood of fraudulent or abusive behavior, as well as the likelihood of a consumer’s profitability”

 Predictive Analytics

From Wikipedia  Predictive analytics encompasses a variety of statistical techniques from modeling, machine learning, data mining and game theory that analyze current and historical facts to make predictions about future events.

Data mining and predictive analytics is being used in just about every aspect of our lives.  Predictive analytics applies a mathematical formula to masses of data to predict what a person is more or less likely to do in the future.  Decisions are being made that affects our lives, sometimes for the better and sometimes for the worse, every day.

For example, in our schools;

“They use their technology infrastructure to gather and analyze data on the factors that are most predictive of students who are in danger of school failure and/or dropping out.  . . .As a result, the district has forged new partnerships with local law enforcement agencies”

From the Oklahoma Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development pg 26

If you think it stinks when you are misidentified as a naughty shopper, wait till you are misidentified as a “troubled individual”

Technology identifies troubled individuals

Sept 26, 2010

Imagine using the same technology to locate a lone bomber before he carries out his terrorist act and to identify a troubled veteran or first responder ground down by tragedies and violence.

Stop imagining.

A Swiss professor working with a Massachusetts Institute of Technology scientist who heads the Mind Machine Project there outlined how this program operates through computerized scanning of phone calls and electronic messages sent through e-mail and social networking mechanisms.

. . . Using character traits that have been identified through psychological profiles conducted on lone bombers following the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, Guidere said he and his colleagues developed programs that isolate signs pointing to a potential terrorist.

He said lone bombers, in particular, are not mentally deranged but harbor hatred and deep resentment toward government. Their emotional spikes, Guidere explained, can be identified by the computer program.

The practical side is that once the individual has been identified, the information can be passed along to authorities so surveillance can begin. . .

Read more

The burgeoning use of driver’s license scanning devices makes tracking and monitoring of the population much easier.  When these data are held in separate databases there are plenty of security and privacy concerns but if the databases are linked or matched with other databases or shared-watch out!  The negative implications explode at that point.

In case you are wondering just what information is in those bar codes on your driver’s license, here is a link for you to follow and find out.

And here is a great article from 2002 which is ancient history from a technology capability perspective, but it does a great job of allowing us to begin to consider the implications of widespread scanning of our government issued photo ID’s .

Welcome to the Database Lounge

Published: March 21, 2002

ABOUT 10,000 people a week go to The Rack, a bar in Boston favored by sports stars, including members of the New England Patriots. One by one, they hand over their driver’s licenses to a doorman, who swipes them through a sleek black machine. If a license is valid and its holder is over 21, a red light blinks and the patron is waved through.

But most of the customers are not aware that it also pulls up the name, address, birth date and other personal details from a data strip on the back of the license. Even height, eye color and sometimes Social Security number are registered.

”You swipe the license, and all of a sudden someone’s whole life as we know it pops up in front of you,” said Paul Barclay, the bar’s owner. ”It’s almost voyeuristic.”

Mr. Barclay bought the machine to keep out underage drinkers who use fake ID’s. But he soon found that he could build a database of personal information, providing an intimate perspective on his clientele that can be useful in marketing. ”It’s not just an ID check,” he said. ”It’s a tool.”

Read More

Swiping of driver’s licenses is being required for buying gas (in case you try to leave without paying), for entry to public schools (in case you might be child predator and if you are misidentified as a sex offender, which happens often enough, well, stinks for you!), for buying cold medicine, for entry to bars and casinos, San Francisco wants ID swipes for most public events, Harlem wants tenants to swipe to gain entry to their homes,  and now, the TSA is swiping  airline passengers’ ID’s .

 

TSA tests ID-scanning machines at Washington Dulles

April 14, 2012

The Transportation Security Administration began an experiment today at Washington’s Dulles International Airport to check identification and boarding passes by machine rather than just the visual check by officers.

While TSA officers have been checking identification with black-lights and magnifying glasses, the machines are geared to recognize all valid identification, ranging from driver’s license or passport to tribal identification or foreign passport.

“For efficiency, it is fantastic,” said Domenic Bianchini, TSA director of checkpoint technology. “We think it’s a valuable technology and we think over time we will see the real value added.”

The machine doesn’t store any personal information about the passenger, according to Greg Soule, a TSA spokesman.

Gee.  When have we heard that before?

Although TSA has repeatedly stated that the scanners were “incapable of storing or transmitting” scanner images, despite specification data to the contrary provided by the respective manufacturers. In August 2010 EPIC (Electronic Privacy Information Center) discovered that the TSA had stored over 2,000 images, which the agency quickly claimed were of “volunteers” without specifying who compose this group or whether any were passengers who had “voluntarily” used the scanners in the testing phase.

Read more

The TSA is conducting the driver’s license “experiment” at Dulles, Houston and Puerto Rico but hopes to eventually “expand the program to every airport checkpoint” Read more

At some point in the not-so-distant-future, we will be required to show and/or swipe our driver’s license for just about everything we as humans need to live.  As the process grows more and more automated and the data is digitized, we will find our movements, transactions and habits logged and our lives tracked and documented.    Data mining and predictive analytics will be applied to nearly everything we do.  The purpose of such credentialing processes is to allow some access and deny others, deemed unworthy by algorithm, access.

In 2010 I was repeatedly denied the ability to pay for my purchases by check due to a company called Certegy’s algorithm which decided that since I rarely write checks but had written several during the Christmas shopping season, this indicated that I was untrustworthy and that stores should not accept my checks.  The year before, I was denied the privilege of renting a car because my credit score was too low.  My credit score is low because I don’t buy on credit!  I wasn’t asking to pay for the rental with credit either.  I offered my debit card.

Chances are you have experienced similar incidents.  Chances are that we have encountered other bumps in the road of life when no explanation for the problem was ever given but likely there was some algorithm behind it.  This is our future.  In health care, travel, purchases, renting or buying our homes, anything information about us that can be digitized can be factored in to determine whether or not we measure up.  This is nothing short of destiny management.

With the governments unhealthy focus on security at all costs, we can expect things to get more and more complicated as the practice of tracking and tracing and databasing everything we do grows. Woe to those that are unfortunate enough to be perceived as a possible threat or have a data trail that makes them appear less than an ideal citizen in the eyes of Big Momma Gov. who is no longer willing to wait for us to actually do something wrong before she pounces.  This government (and its partner corporations) wants to play psychic and limit our opportunities based on some supposed prescient power that indicates that we are more likely to do something naughty in the first place.

How do we exercise our free will when it is being effectively pre-empted?

Incoming! Cyber IN-Security Sham Bill

Kaye Beach

April  10, 2012

From ABC News published April 10, 2012;

Cybersecurity: Protecting Against Internet Attacks Threatens Civil Liberties

Congress is set to act on cybersecurity legislation that has been making its way through committees in both chambers for several years. The House is set to vote on these bills during the week of April 23, dubbed “Cybersecurity Week.” The Senate will take action soon after.

. . .The House is expected to kick off Cybersecurity week by taking up HR 3523, a bill sponsored by Reps. Mike Rogers (R-Mich.) and C.A. Dutch Ruppersberger (D-Md.).

. . .The House Intelligence Committee approved the bill in a secret session held one day after the bill was introduced and without a single public hearing on the legislation

. . .For civil libertarians, the most important part of all the cyber bills is buried in the language describing “enhanced information sharing” of cybersecurity threats between private companies and the government. To date, shortcomings in current law and excessive government secrecy have stymied appropriate sharing of carefully defined threat information among industry players and between industry and the government. But in the Rogers bill, information sharing provisions allow for “too much information” sharing, threatening to transform needed reform into a shadow surveillance network.

Here’s how. The Rogers bill creates a sweeping “cybersecurity exception” to every single federal and state law, including key privacy laws—the Electronic Communications Privacy Act, the Wiretap Act, the Privacy Act—allowing private companies holding our private communications to share them with each, with the National Security Agency (NSA), and with other intelligence and defense agencies, and all other agencies of the federal government.

. . .Rogers makes no effort to list the specific categories of cyber threat indicators that may be shared, instead offering a very broad, almost unlimited definition of the information that can be shared with government agencies. It allows companies to share any information “pertaining to the protection of” a system or network. Since any digital communication may contain an attack and since ISPs and other communications providers routinely scan all their traffic to protect their networks, this appears to allow all of that traffic to be shared with the government.

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EVERY MED YOU TAKE, They’ll BE WATCHING YOU – Prescription Monitoring Programs

Kaye Beach

March 18, 2012


Prescription Monitoring Program

DESCRIPTION: A PMP is a statewide electronic database which collects designated data on substances dispensed in the state. The PMP is housed by a specified statewide regulatory, administrative or law enforcement agency. The housing agency distributes data from the database to individuals who are authorized under state law to receive the information for purposes of their profession.

Read More

The states have received plenty of federal funding from the DOJ for the creation of PMP’s.

the Bureau of Justice Assistance (BJA), Office of Justice Programs in the U.S. Department of Justice created the Harold Rogers Prescription Drug Monitoring Program (HRPDMP) in 2002 (3).

Funds for this program were provided by Congress to assist in the planning, implementation, and in some cases the enhancement of state PDMPs. From 2002 to 2008, over 100 state HRPDMP grants were awarded by the BJA.

For fiscal year (FY) 2009, $7 million was appropriated by Congress for the HRPDMP. President Barack Obama proposed that the budget for 2010 would include $7 million for the grant program (4).

http://chfs.ky.gov/NR/rdonlyres/85989824-1030-4AA6-91E1 7F9E3EF68827/0/KASPEREvaluationPDMPStatusFinalReport6242010.pdf

The goal of the State of Oklahoma is to reduce prescription fraud, substance abuse, “doctor shopping”, and other illegal activity related to pharmaceutical drug diversion. The Bureau works in partnership with pharmacies, practitioners and other health care professionals throughout Oklahoma to reduce prescription drug abuse.

The Oklahoma Prescription Monitoring Program (PMP) was enacted into law by the Oklahoma Anti-Drug Diversion Act (63 O.S. Section: 2-309). http://www.ok.gov/obndd/Prescription_Monitoring_Program/

Oklahoma is credited as the first state to begin using a prescription monitoring program back in the early 90’s.  Now Oklahoma has raced to the top again with its high tech, electronic PMP that boasts real time prescription data sharing beginning this year.

The Oklahoma Bureau of Narcotics and Dangerous Drugs Control started the monitoring program in 2006 to reduce prescription fraud, substance abuse and “doctor shopping.”  http://newsok.com/real-time-reporting-law-could-cut-down-on-prescription-abuse-fraud-oklahoma-officials-say/article/3646147#ixzz1osdhdWGx

Oklahoma’s modern electronic PMP has been running since 2006 and three quarters of doctors and pharmacies use the program.

Oklahoma to Track Prescription Drug Abuse

2006

Under a statewide database program to be administered by the Oklahoma Bureau of Narcotics and Dangerous Drugs Control, authorities will track instances in which substance abusers try to fraudulently acquire prescription drugs

 . . .”The CONTROL project is a vital tool that will help crack down on prescription drug abuse and help get desperately needed treatment for people suffering addiction,” (Emphasis mine) Gov. Henry said at a state Capitol news conference.

. . .Under CONTROL, physicians and pharmacists will be able to check a patient’s prescription history from hospitals, clinics and pharmacies to deduce whether that person is “doctor shopping” for drugs. The entire process, which includes safeguards to prevent abuse, will take only a matter of minutes.. . . The program goes online July 1 and is entirely funded through federal grants. Oklahoma to Track Prescription Drug Abuse

http://www.govtech.com/e-government/Oklahoma-to-Track-Prescription-Drug-Abuse.html

With all of these firsts for Oklahoma in prescription drug monitoring, doesn’t it seem rather ironic that the state also boasts #1 status in prescription drug use and in painkiller abuse?

Oklahoma is #1 in prescription drug use per capita

http://enidnews.com/state/x579806793/Oklahoma-lawmaker-say-bill-fights-prescription-abuse

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Oklahoma is #1 in painkiller abuse

The report [Centers for Disease Control] says that Oklahoma leads statistics with the highest number of people — 1 in 12 — using painkillers recreationally.

Nov. 10, 2011 http://www.officer.com/news/10449255/okla-police-working-to-stop-prescription-drug-abuse

Last year, about 240,000 people in Oklahoma, or 8%, abused prescription drugs, giving the state the highest mark in the nation, although New Mexico and West Virginia lead in per-capita overdose deaths.

Prescription drugs are responsible for four in five overdose deaths in Oklahoma.  The leading causes of drug-related deaths in Oklahoma in 2010 were hydrocodone, oxycodone and alprasolam. http://www.allgov.com/Controversies/ViewNews/Drug_Addiction_in_Oklahoma_Costs_More_than_Entire_State_Budget_120313

While the Oklahoma PMP monitors a wide range of drugs (all schedule II-V)  it is the painkillers that are causing the brunt of the deaths and addiction related problems such as doctor shopping which the PMP is tailor made to address.

Oxycodone addiction and abuse, in particular a drug called OcyContin, is without a doubt a horrible problem.  Over the years I have personally heard of numerous cases of addiction and accidental overdoses from OxyContin.  The maker of the drug, Purdue, back in the mid 90’s, presented their new formulation of the drug oxycodone as less addictive and safer that the older preparations for the drug

Purdue knew it needed to overcome doctors’ fears about addiction, so it treated the time-release formula as a magic bullet. It claimed the drug would give pain patients steadier 12-hour coverage, avoid withdrawal, and frustrate addicts seeking a euphoric rush. As one 1998 Purdue promotional video stated, the rate of addiction for opioid users treated by doctors is “much less than 1%.”

The pitch worked, and sales took off: from $45 million in 1996 to $1.5 billion in 2002 to nearly $3 billion by 2009. The key: Nearly half of those prescribing OxyContin were primary-care doctors rather than, say, cancer specialists, the General Accounting Office reported. Purdue had succeeded in vastly expanding the market for its drug http://features.blogs.fortune.cnn.com/2011/11/09/oxycontin-purdue-pharma/

Purdue aggressively marketed the painkiller and downplayed the risk of addiction at the expense of lives.  The company was prosecuted for its misleading campaign, found guilty and had to pay out millions in fines.

When it was introduced in the late ’90s, OxyContin was touted as nearly addiction-proof — only to leave a trail of dependence and destruction. Its marketing was misleading enough that Purdue pleaded guilty in 2007 to a federal criminal count of misbranding the drug “with intent to defraud and mislead the public,” paid $635 million in penalties, and today remains on the corporate equivalent of probation. http://features.blogs.fortune.cnn.com/2011/11/09/oxycontin-purdue-pharma/

So big Pharma worked its magic and we are left to deal with the fallout.  Prescription Monitoring Programs are being offered as a solution to the death and destruction wrought by prescription drug addiction but I can find nothing to show that the program is doing much, if anything,  to help.

Prescription-drug overdoses are major killer in Oklahoma

3/11/2012

The number of fatal drug overdoses in Oklahoma more than doubled over the past 10 years, climbing to 739 in 2010. . .

http://www.tulsaworld.com/news/article.aspx?subjectid=702&articleid=20120311_11_A1_CUTLIN378385

The PMP is a statewide database program administered by the Oklahoma Bureau of Narcotics and Dangerous Drugs Control, a law enforcement agency.

These state programs are now being linked for the purpose of sharing this information across state lines around the nation.

This  2002, a General Accounting Office report concluded that state PDMPs were a helpful tool for reducing drug diversion based not on any hard facts or numbers but on enthusiastic reports from law enforcement users and PDMP managers.  (GAO Report to the Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations, Committee on Energy and Commerce, House of Representatives. Prescription Drugs: State Monitoring Programs Provide Useful Tool to Reduce Diversion. May 2002. http://www.gao.gov/new.items/d02634.pdf.)

Here is some insight from a 2011 study that “. . .evaluated the association of PDMPs with drug overdose mortality rates and consumption of prescription opioid medications in the United States during 1999–2005.”

Conclusions. While PDMPs are potentially an important tool to prevent the nonmedical use of prescribed controlled substances, their impact is not reflected in drug overdose mortality rates. Their effect on overall consumption of opioids appears to be minimal.

PDMPs were not associated with lower drug overdose mortality rates for any of the study years or with decreases (or even with lesser increases) in the rates of death resulting from drug overdoses.

The findings also indicate that PDMPs were not associated with lower rates of consumption of opioids during 1999–2005. . . Even when focused on proactive PDMPs or programs with relatively high rates of reporting, there were no associations of PDMPs with trends in overdose deaths or opioid use.  . . . it can be said unequivocally that PDMP states did not do any better than non-PDMP states in controlling the rise in drug overdose mortality from 1999 to 2005

Source: 2011 Prescription Drug Monitoring Programs and Death Rates from Drug Overdose. 

In a nutshell;

  • PMP’s showed no effect on the number of deaths from drug overdoses.
  • PMP’s showed no effect on levels of consumption of painkillers
  • The states with PMP fared no better in controlling the rise in drug overdose mortality.  (In Oklahoma’s case, we actually fared worse that states with no PMP!)

Nevertheless, we are being treated to a deluge of news stories bringing us heart wrenching tales of lives lost or ruined by prescription painkiller abuse.  These same stories offer the salvation of a nationwide integrated government prescription tracking database for everyone.  The fact that this is an invasion of our medical privacy and a violation of doctor-patient confidentiality is never mentioned in these stories.

Who is Authorized to Request Patient Prescription Data?  (Apparently just about everyone BUT you)

Oklahoma

  • Prescribers YES
  • Pharmacists YES
  • Pharmacies YES
  • Law Enforcement YES
  • Licensing Boards YES
  • Patients NO
  • If other requester (specify) Attorney General, Medical Examiners

http://www.pmpalliance.org/content/who-authorized-request-patient-prescription-data

The PMP’s are (in some states like Oklahoma) law enforcement programs, funded by law enforcement agencies for the purpose of feeding your personal information to law enforcement as an investigative tool.  Another way to say it, is they are spying on the majority of law abiding people because they might do something wrong.

Aren’t we are supposed to presumed innocent until proven guilty? If we are doing nothing wrong, aren’t we supposed to be left alone?   Yes!  That is exactly how it is supposed to be.

The National Alliance for Model State Drug Laws (NAMSDL) recommends;

Monitoring systems should proactively provide information to law enforcement agencies, licensing officials, and other appropriate individuals. This information should be reviewed by a drug monitoring official and if there is reason to suspect that a violation has occurred, the offender should be reported to the appropriate agency.

In addition, a statute must be in place that allows programs to disclose information for public research, policy, and educational purposes. . .(Emphasis  mine)

http://chfs.ky.gov/NR/rdonlyres/85989824-1030-4AA6-91E17F9E3EF68827/0/KASPEREvaluationPDMPStatusFinalReport6242010.pd

I don’t know about you but the idea of my medical information being accessed by a variety of people ( all benevolent and caring as they may be)  makes me feel violated and powerless. This is very personal information!

Prescription tracking: Too invasive? Steve Klearman September 07, 2008

The push for monitoring is coming not just from doctors and public health officials but the attorney general’s office. And it would likely be a useful tool. But it’s easy to imagine a time when lobbyists could convince lawmakers that the drug problem has become severe enough to grant law enforcement agencies unfettered access to everyone’s prescription history without a warrant. Then, agents would view the private medical information of hordes of innocent people in hopes of nabbing a small number of abusers.

. . . Even more troubling is the thought that computer hackers or bribed employees could obtain the records and sell them. The information would be very valuable to pharmaceutical companies, and to insurers and employers who want to avoid both abusers and people in need of expensive health care.  http://reno.injuryboard.com/fda-and-prescription-drugs/prescription-tracking-too-invasive.aspx?googleid=246936

Mr. Klearman’s concerns about the databases being hacked were born out in 2009.  In May 2009, hackers gained access to Virginia’s Prescription Monitoring Program and held 8 million patient records hostage for 10 million dollars in ransom.

Hackers Break Into Virginia Health Professions Database, Demand Ransom

http://voices.washingtonpost.com/securityfix/2009/05/hackers_break_into_virginia_he.html

Oklahoma prescription drug monitoring: what’s collected? by  Paul Monies July 5, 2011

. . . .

Senate Bill 1159, by Republicans Sen. Anthony Sykes and Rep. Randy Terrill, expanded the information collected under the PMP program to include the address and date of birth of patients getting a prescription for certain classes of drugs.

Here’s what the PMP program collects on each prescription, according to Oklahoma law and the administrative rules of OBNDD:

A. Section 2-309C. A. A dispenser of a Schedule II, III, IV or V controlled dangerous substance, except Schedule V substances that contain any detectable quantity of pseudoephedrine, its salts or optical isomers, or salts of optical isomers shall transmit to a central repository designated by the Oklahoma Bureau of Narcotics and Dangerous Drugs Control using the American Society for Automation in Pharmacy’s (ASAP) Telecommunications Format for Controlled Substances version designated in rules by the Oklahoma Bureau of Narcotics and Dangerous Drugs Control, the following information for each dispensation:

1. Recipient’s name;

2. Recipient’s address;

3. Recipient’s date of birth;

4. Recipient’s identification number;

5. National Drug Code number of the substance dispensed;

6. Date of the dispensation;

7. Quantity of the substance dispensed;

8. Prescriber’s United States Drug Enforcement Agency registration number; and

9. Dispenser’s registration number; and

10. Other information as required by administrative rule.

B. The information required by this section shall be transmitted:

1. In a format or other media designated acceptable by the Oklahoma Bureau of Narcotics and Dangerous Drugs Control; and

2. Within twenty-four (24) hours of the time that the substance is dispensed. Beginning January 1, 2012, all information shall be submitted on a real-time log.

Oklahoma prescription drug monitoring: what’s collected? by  Paul Monies July 5, 2011

The Prescription Monitoring Programs are indeed a violation of privacy but when you have people dying of prescription drug overdoses, for some, the trade-off might seem reasonable. It is important to point out in response to the media saturation of tragic tales in support of the PMP, that there is no indication whatsoever that the invasive surveillance of our medical information does anything to reduce the problem.  I will be interested in researching just what sort of measures are in place to get an addict some help once caught by the PMP but from what I have seen so far, this appears to be just one more invasive  program to track and control Americans in the name of safety.

Oklahoma Joint Committee Meeting on Healthcare Reform OK-SAFE Covers IT, Security and Privacy Issues

Kaye Beach

Nov 3, 2011

I attended the fourth Joint committee meeting on the effect of the federal healthcare reform laws on the state of Oklahoma.

Of course the highlight of the day, for me, was Amanda Teegarden’s presentationHealthcare Reform –
IT, Security & Privacy Issues/Concerns
, on behalf of OK-SAFE.

Amanda presented a clear, lucid and powerful 45 minute presentation of the research she has spent months working on.

The presentation laid bare the ugly guts of the federal health care reform by describing it by its most basic components.

}Health Care Reform – is really about the use of IT to implement a nationwide health information network (NHIN), that will enable the seamless flow of information across boundaries, and that allows a growing global surveillance system to function.

And that;

}Electronic Health Records  - Reform is predicated on the creation of a standardized, interoperable electronic health record (EHR) on every single individual
This system is;
}Cradle-to-Grave – EHRs are used for data collection, aggregation and reporting and are intended to track a person from birth to death. (Longitudinal)
And;
}EHRs are universal and to be shared globally – not only within our government, but with foreign governments, universities, and other third parties.
}Requires Standardization and Interoperability – to establish uniformity and compatibility in data collection, regardless of jurisdiction
It gets really personal;
}EHRs include each person’s genetic information – and will be used for research purposes without the knowledge or consent of the person
Not to mention;
}Rights killing – Health care reform, and other data collection networks, do an “end-run” around search warrants and nullify our inherent rights to life, liberty and property.

The presentation was split into six sections

Part I The Federal Data Hub/IT/Digital Everything

Part II Health Care Reform Defined/National Standards/Global Adoption

Part III Office of the National Coordinator/                                             Government+Industry +Academia = PPPs /One “Fused” System

Part IV State Initiatives

Part V Privacy & Security

Part VI Conclusion

Your personal, medical information flows from you to the health IT data collection system to the prying eyes of the federal government and research universities to the private sector and even foreign organizations.


Especially noteworthy were the points made about the inclusion of health information into law enforcement and intelligence data fusion.

Fusion Center: A collaborative effort of two or more agencies that provide resources, expertise, and/or information to the center with the goal of maximizing the ability to detect, prevent, apprehend, and respond to criminal and terrorism activity. Source: Recommended Fusion Center Law Enforcement Intelligence Standards March 2005

Purpose – the elimination of any barrier to information exchange and sharing, regardless of jurisdiction.  Information is to be shared nationally and internationally.

As noted in the notes section of slide 31;

The Fusion Center Guidelines have now been updated to incorporate public health and health care community information.

This is possible due to policy changes allowing the seamless flow of information across boundaries, and because all state systems, including the health care system use common sets of standards and are interoperable.  Both the Fusion Centers and the Health Care System are NIEM Compliant – both are part of the Nationwide Health Information Network.

The result – one fused system.

Read more about the integration of “public health and healthcare communities into the homeland security intelligence and information sharing process.” here

and here- Health Security: Public Health and Medical Integration for Fusion Centers

In short, when it comes to privacy, there is none.

Slide 41 touches up our medical and genetic information used for research purposes.

There are a few other surprises and outrages contained in the presentation, so be sure to take a look at it.

Amanda concludes;

The American People Are NOT Slaves – Nor simply ‘carbon-based life forms’[as one federal document refers to us]

Government, via health care reform and other federal initiatives, is establishing a globally networked and integrated  intelligence enterprise – one that includes an extraordinary amount of extremely personal, detailed information about the America people.

Government, in it’s attempt to be an all-knowing technocratic “god” and to satisfy the IT industry’s insatiable, ever-changing appetite, is doing an end-run around human dignity and nullifying our God-given rights to life, liberty and property.

And gives the joint committee seven recommendations;

1.Repent – not kidding here
2.Do not establish a state-based Health Insurance exchange – it will be the same as the Federal government’s version
3.Allow people to escape HIT/HIE system without penalty;  do not penalize providers who opt not to adopt EHRs or participate in this system
4.Repeal state laws that prohibit individuals from seeking alternative health care services,  i.e. homeopathic medicines or non-traditional treatments
5.Terminate the Oklahoma Health Information Exchange Trust
6.Audit the Oklahoma Health Care Authority – expenses outweigh benefits
7.Adhere to the OK Constitution – work to restore liberty

View OK-SAFE’s presentation here

Go to  www.okhealthcare.info for information on this and past joint committee meetings.

Wikileaks Sheds Light on Plans for a North American Union

Kaye Beach

April 4, 2011

This 2005 cable originating from the Ottowa Embassy with the subject line;

“PLACING A NEW NORTH AMERICAN INITIATIVE IN ITS ECONOMIC POLICY CONTEXT”, focuses on the delicacies of marketing this repugnant plan to “North Americans” To gain the support of Canadian policymaker, an “incremental”  and “pragmatic” approach to a “new North American Initiative” is touted.

An incremental and pragmatic package of tasks for a new North American Initiative (NAI) will likely gain  the most support among Canadian policymakers.  Our research leads us to conclude that such a package should tackle both “security” and “prosperity” goals.

Security and prosperity goals

From Wikipedia;

The Security and Prosperity Partnership of North America (SPP) was a region-level dialogue with the stated purpose of providing greater cooperation on security and economic issues.[1] The Partnership was founded in Waco, Texas on March 23, 2005 by Paul Martin, Prime Minister of Canada, Vicente Fox, President of Mexico, and George W. Bush, President of the United States.[1] It was the second of such regional-level agreements involving the United States of America following the 1997 Partnership for Prosperity and Security in the Caribbean (PPS).

The cable says that this approach fits with the assessment of Canadian economists who have assessed the options for continental integration” also noting that said Canadian economists, in principle support more ambitious integration goals, like a customs union/single market and/or single currency”

This fits the recommendations of Canadian economists who have assessed the options for continental integration.  While in principle many of them support more ambitious integration goals, like a customs union/single market and/or single currency,[. . .]

An incremental approach, apparently “helps pave the way” to integrating the two nations until such time as “North Americans” choose to pursue such a goal.

most believe the incremental approach is most appropriate at this time, and all agree that it helps pave the way to these goals if and when North Americans choose to pursue them.

Read the entire cable here

I wonder which North Americans they are referring to.  I don’t recall the issue ever being presented to the “North Americans” that constitute the voting public of the sovereign United States of America or Canadians for that matter.

Top secret: Banff security meeting attracted U.S., Mexico officials

September 21, 2006

 A North American security meeting was secretly held in Banff last week, attracting high-profile officials from the United States, Mexico and Canada.

CBCNews Canada


Quietly, Quietly, Building the North American Union

Judicial Watch

On August 10, 2007, Judicial Watch filed a lawsuit against the Department of Commerce and Secretary of Commerce Carlos Gutierrez for denying Judicial Watch access to the North American Competitiveness Council (NACC) meetings and records. Judicial Watch’s lawsuit alleges that the NACC, a key component of the SPP, is subject to the Federal Advisory Committee Act, a federal open meetings law. (Learn more about the litigation.)

Follow the links below to read the recently released documents and to learn more about the Security and Prosperity Partnership of North America.

http://www.judicialwatch.org/SPP

The cable goes on to discuss integration issues related to the border, labor, regulation, also discussing a customs and currency union between the nations before launching into a dissertation on “NORTH AMERICAN INTEGRATION:  WHAT WE KNOW”.

You can read it all here

Here is a Canadian perspective on the cable written April 29, 2011

Wikileaks cable confirms North American Initiative (union) – Single market, currency, border plans

Also, see this White House press release dated Feb. 4, 2011 which highlights efforts between the US and Canada with heavy emphasis on “security” and “prosperity”

Secrecy is efficient           

Reading the White House press release, Declaration by President Obama and Prime Minister Harper of Canada – Beyond the Border, the ever present modifier “efficiency” is naturally part of this security and prosperity promotional effort, stated “to increase efficiency and effectiveness for both security and trade.”

Efficiency seems poised to become the catch all alter for sacrificing everything that the American people historically have held dear.

“The truly efficient organization is based on the techniques and technologies of surveillance and manipulation.” –Frank W. Ewell, Totalitarian Nightmares (an excerpt from his 1991 book The Evolution of the Future

Think about it.  Democratic processes are cumbersome especially when governments are crossing tradition boundaries rapidly and virtually as in e-Government initiatives.

This thesis paper, written in 2008 by David Adam Anderson, addresses, among other important aspect of e-government policies;. . .potential Constitutional conflicts of a transformative approach to E-government, and the wisdom of re-conceptualizing citizens as “customers.”

David A Anderson notes that,  A second element to government reorganization on the web is the combination of these virtual agencies into a single, centralized web portal.  And that, visions of government reorganization often focus on breaking down the strict lines of jurisdictional demarcation to mirror the fluid nature of the Internet.

He points out that, such jurisdictional boundaries, however, are neither arbitrary nor a mere expedience necessitated by a now-outmoded form of government administration. Rather they follow from philosophical attitudes enshrined in the Constitution that mean to limit the potential threats to freedom posed by an overly centralized form of government.

Read more of this excellent paper;

EFFICIENCY VERSUS DEMOCRACY:POLICY TRENDS AND ASSESSMENT OF STATE E-GOVERNMENT

Whenever you have an efficient government you have a dictatorship.

Harry S Truman, Lecture at Columbia University, 28 Apr. 1959
33rd president of US (1884 – 1972

Oklahoma Alert-Bills Scheduled SB 841 Electing Pres. by Popular Vote and Smart Meter Data Pimping Bill

Kaye Beach
April 10, 2011

I just had this information passed on to me.
I thought SB 841 was dead but apparently not.  Title was struck and the word “National” removed but it is still ticking.

Senate Bill 841 would have Oklahoma join a coalition of states to bypass the workings of the Electoral College by decreeing that the winner of the national popular vote would get all of the state’s support.

The bill was introduced by a Democrat senator, Sen. John Sparks of Norman. But in committee action its sponsorship was taken over by freshman Sen. Rob Johnson, R-Kingfisher. Its sponsor in the House is State Rep. Don Armes, R-Lawton.

A group called Save Our States has more information on this (and similar legislation) nationwide;

Federalism–our unique American system of states–is under assault. The ‘National Popular Vote’ organization is pushing state legislation as a way to sidestep the Electoral College.

While only six states have enacted NPV legislation, the effort plays on misunderstandings about the Electoral College and reinforces misconceptions about federalism. If passed by states worth a majority of electoral votes (270), NPV claims to create an interstate compact that would manipulate the Electoral College system to create a direct national election for President. This would eliminate the checks and balances created by the Electoral College and further unravel our system of states.

Read More

The bill allowing for customer data sharing by utilities, HB 1079 grabbed my attention. I will find out more about this bill and post my findings here-until then, some questions are certainly in order!

Contact your Senators


Hat tip to the sharp guy from Tulsa who brought this to my attention.


The following bills are on the Calendar for votes on Monday the 11th by the State Senate. 

SB841 Elections:  Agreement Among States to Elect the President by
(National) Popular Vote: Rob Johnson Senate, Armes House
Passed out of “Committee on Rules” after striking title to include “National” Popular Vote (3-1-11) (the word National doesn’t appear in the Title on the Calendar) 

The following is an apparent continuation of Legislation (HB3028 & SB828 passed during the 2009- 2010 Session)

HB1079 Utilities: Creating the Electric Utility Data Protection Act: Marten, Scott and Jolley
(Protection for customers of Smart Meters or Utility Company Protection?)
Passed the House 86 to 10 on 3/16/11
Passed to Energy Committee after striking “Protection Act” out of the title and passed on to the Senate for vote.

<StartFT>An Act relating to utilities; creating the Electric Utility Data Protection Act; stating findings; stating purpose; defining terms; establishing duty with respect to usage data by an electric utility; authorizing certain use of customer-identifiable usage data; requiring an electric utility to provide standard usage data to a customer; allowing an electric utility to provide nonstandard usage data to a customer; authorizing a reasonable fee; authorizing disclosure of customer information to affiliates and certain third parties; specifying circumstances for the release of customer information to certain third parties; providing for the use of aggregate usage data by an electric utility; authorizing the disclosure of aggregate usage data to a third party for certain purposes; setting certain restrictions for the disclosure of aggregate usage data; providing for codification; and providing an effective date.

Data collecting, sharing and security risks relating to smart meters:

*Central communications*

The government has confirmed that, for the domestic sector, the new communications backbone over which smart meters will transmit data will be co-ordinated centrally (the centralised communications model). Risks to this centralised network include the hacking of customer details, denial of service attacks and even infiltration by intelligence services and terrorist groups seeking to disrupt supplies. In its reply to the government’s smart metering consultation, technology consultant Detica warned that we have already seen examples of security breaches involving smart meter technology. In the US, security firm IOActive recently sought to highlight the weaknesses of a smart meter network by successfully infiltrating systems with a worm.

*Security risks*

The highly detailed information that can be generated and communicated by smart meters will be of interest to a wide spectrum of third parties. For example, it has been suggested that monitoring and analysing household consumption profiles could:

* reveal the absence or presence of individuals in a household, enabling criminals to establish when it is most vulnerable to burglary;

* alert law enforcement authorities to potential illegal activities such as the growing of cannabis;

* provide unprecedented amounts of information on the personal movements of individuals and the life patterns of households, which would have significant commercial value to marketers and advertisers;

* identify energy inefficient consumers, facilitating the introduction by government of taxes and incentives to promote reduced consumption.

Worldwide, privacy concerns will likely only increase as smart grid technology delivers more near real-time information and improved communication with individual appliances in the home.

*Data sharing*

The potential for sharing data with third parties raises many concerns. There is likely to be considerable public concern regarding how data may be accessed on “public interest” grounds, for example public health, such as monitoring the vulnerable, or for combating crime. Many commentators have expressed the view that smart meters’ capabilities raise serious Big Brother concerns. Following the recent rejection by the Dutch parliament of smart meter proposals, in part due to privacy concerns, the energy industry is generally well aware of the potential risks of a privacy backlash in relation to smart metering.

Read more

Oklahoma approves smart meter rollout

Last month the Oklahoma Corporation Commission approved Oklahoma Gas & Electric’s Positive Energy smart grid program.
After closely evaluating the utility’s application, the OCC found this smart grid technology to be a prudent investment — preapproving up to $366.4 million in program costs to construct the system.
Here’s some information about where that money is coming from, and how it will be handled…
Funding sources for OG&E’s program include a $130 million stimulus grant from the US Department of Energy’s Smart Grid Investment grant program. Also, Oklahoma ratepayers will be expected to cover $220 million of the program costs via a three-year smart grid recovery rider (SGRR), which the OCC approved.
Although Oklahoma ratepayers will be funding this program through the rider, both the maintenance expenses, plus $8 million in annual meter reading costs. These savings will be passed through to ratepayers — as will the costs.
Oklahoma consumers also will save money on their utility bills by taking action to reduce consumption, time-shift usage, or implement other energy efficiencies in response to information obtained from the new smart meter equipment.
Further utility cost recovery will be addressed in OG&E’s next scheduled rate case in 2013. In that proceeding, funds from the approved rider must be reconciled. To facilitate this, the commission has ordered the establishment of three regulatory assets:
  • A smart grid operations and maintenance account.
  • A stranded meter cost account.
  • A web portal account.
OCC’s action follows regulatory approval of of major smart meter rollouts by public utility commissions in California, Texas, Oregon, Idaho, Pennsylvania, Maine, Delaware, and elsewhere. The Aug. 13 Maryland PSC approval of BGE’s smart meter program was only one of many.

42,000 meters install in Norman 2009
6,600 in OKC 2011
14,000 in Owasso beginning March 2011 (PSO)

Building a smarter grid, one customer at a time

In Oklahoma City, 6,600 people are plugged into a “smarter grid” made possible by Oklahoma Gas & Electric and GE. The technology project involves a whole new way of distributing and managing electricity that puts consumers in the driver’s seat. In addition to the two-way GE digital SmartMeters connected to participants’ homes, OG&E customers also have wireless consoles that display the cost of electricity per kilowatt hour at peak and off-peak times. The SmartMeters communicate with the electric company, and the display terminals communicate with the project participants. “Yesterday, we sent the customer a bill,” says Chris Greenwell, Manager of Commercial Services for OG&E. “Now, we give the customer tools to make intelligent choices.”

Learn more about the Oklahoma Gas & Electric project at GE.com

Have some 3-D smart grid fun on our new Web site, plugintothesmartgrid.com.

Press Releases

eMeter Announces New Smart Grid Appliance Bundle to Help Utilities Jump Start Grid Initiatives

New Bundle Available with eMeter’s EnergyIP™ and Energy Engage™ and IBM Tivoli and WebSphere Software Preloaded on IBM POWER7 Systems

San Mateo, CA – March 23, 2010 – eMeter and IBM today announced a first-of-its-kind bundled software package from eMeter, available preloaded on IBM hardware, designed to help electric, gas and water utilities customers implement their Smart Grid implementations out of the box.
Many utilities worldwide have demonstrated their commitment to the Smart Grid and have encountered challenges associated with building a solution from several piece parts. Now, by starting with templates of Smart Grid best practices and out-of-the box adapters for Advanced Meter Infrastructure (AMI) systems, the combination of IBM and eMeter technology can help utilities reduce the implementation and test cycle time from a year to as little as six months, and shave as much as 60% off the implementation cost.
Developed for municipal and mid-sized utilities, the new eMeter Smart Grid Appliance combines a set of software, tools, and best practices available preloaded on IBM POWER7 systems for rapid implementations. Effective Smart Grids should be able to automatically monitor and control two-way energy flow that allow consumers to manage energy usage right down to the individual networked appliance. This requires the ability for utilities to host and manage billions of transactions securely and efficiently.
“Having worked with several utilities that have succeeded with large-scale Smart Grid rollouts, eMeter and IBM took on the responsibility of identifying the right set of hardware and software tools best suited for these critical projects,” said Bobby Napiltonia, SVP of Sales and Alliances at eMeter. “The Smart Grid Appliance delivers a solution for utilities looking to quickly and easily make the most of their Smart Grid investments.”
The demand for rapid development and deployment for Smart Grids is growing as current city infrastructure boundaries are continually being tested with population increases driving new and higher demand for energy. Governments around the world are allocating stimulus money to revamp energy systems—the U.S. alone has assigned $4.3 billion to the effort. eMeter and IBM have developed technologies and programs to enable this global shift working with countries and utilities all over the world to establish the necessary policies and smart grid roll-out strategies to ensure the highest level of success and to move closer toward smarter transportation, policing, governance and grids.
With eMeter’s Smart Grid Appliance built on IBM technology, utilities will not only be able to put these stimulus funds to work, but can achieve operational efficiencies and new levels of customer responsiveness more quickly and be able to show those results to their regulators and customers alike.
“By eMeter leveraging IBM technology, our utility clients will be able to streamline their Advance Metering Infrastructure projects and reduce implementation and operational costs associated with their smart grid programs,” said Allan Schurr, VP of Strategy for IBM Energy & Utilities, “This serves as another example of IBM and its partners working together to help transition the world toward smarter energy and ultimately a smarter planet.”
Through an IBM Application Specific Licensing agreement, the new eMeter bundle combines IBM Tivoli Monitoring and WebSphere 7 Application Server software with eMeter EnergyIP™ meter data management and Energy Engage™ home energy solutions. These technologies are offered preloaded and optimized to take advantage of the capabilities of IBM’s recently announced POWER7 systems.
To manage the demands of emerging applications such as smart grids, as well as traditional applications, the new IBM Power Systems with POWER7 technology are designed with workload-optimizing technologies. The new systems also feature technology breakthroughs in virtualization, energy savings, more cost-efficient use of memory, and better price performance to enable clients to lower costs.
The Smart Grid Appliance will become available in the second quarter of 2010.
About eMeter
worldwide depend on eMeter Smart Grid Management softwareMeter provides essential software that enables electric, gas and water utilities to realize the full benefits of Smart Grid. Leading utilitiese to reduce operational costs, improve customer service, and drive energy efficiency. With the most large-scale deployments in the industry and strategic partnerships with Accenture, IBM, Logica, and Siemens, eMeter has built a reputation for unparalleled expertise that ensures customer success. For more information visit: www.emeter.com.
For more information about IBM and smart utilities, please visit www.ibm.com/energy.
###
DALLAS – Anger at one of Texas’ largest utilities is growing.
Dozens of people are furious at sky-high power bills and are convinced the new smart meters are to blame.
“I don’t mind paying my bill, but I’m not paying for something I’m not using,” said one customer in Grand Prairie on Saturday.
Oncor representatives sat through a tongue lashing at a town hall meeting, where angry customers, pleaded for help with their high bills.
“It’s either food, medicine or my electric – there’s no way,” said Trina Hall.
Nearly all say their bills went up after Oncor replaced the old mechanical meters on their homes with new digital smart meters.
Susan Major has always been careful to save electricity but almost immediately after her new meter went up, so did her bills.
“There’s something wrong, either my meter was installed wrong, read wrong, something, and nobody will own up,” she said.
Oncor still blames the cold winter for most of the high bills.
But the company now admits its workers misread at least 7,000 new meters when they were installed and overcharged customers.
“What you have is essentially a typo, we’re catching those, both with the customers and through our own internal process,” said Chris Schein from Oncor.
The utility insists the meters work.
Still, anger is growing, as is suspicion.
Grand Prairie Rep. Kirk England (D) is joining other lawmakers, calling for Oncor to stop installing millions of the new meters across North Texas until an outside agency can test their accuracy.
“I think there’s a problem and I think it’s more than just weather,” he said.

States Should Not Set Up Health Insurance Exchanges (as required by ObamaCare)

Kaye Beach

March 22, 2011

Excellent article about the  Health Insurance Exchanges.

Read it, then read about the Oklahoma Health Care Exchanges and other federal Health Care Reform measures being implemented;

Republican-led OK House passes HB 2130, an “ObamaCare” Enabler

Warning.  The following Post is Rated R

 

 

States Should Not Set Up Health Insurance Exchanges (as required by ObamaCare)

March 13, 2011

By: Tamzin A. Rosenwasser, M.D.,

While the supposed purpose of an exchange is to help consumers find the health insurance product that best meets their needs, such a product is not likely to be found there. Rather, the exchange will just offer a limited line of government-approved products—rather like a store that sells only various sizes of blue pajama-like garments in a totalitarian state.

The ObamaCare bill requires states to satisfy the Federal government that they are setting up these exchanges by 2013, or the Federal government will force the state to use a national exchange, created and run by the Federal government. In either case, insurance companies will be companies in name only, their directors, pawns of the government. A name for that type of arrangement is Fascism.

Regardless of which entity sets up the exchange, the Department of Health and Human Services is given power to determine minimum requirements for medical services of all kinds, including the people who provide the services, as well as what the patient pays. The head of the National Association of Insurance Commissioners task force on exchanges has called for banning the sale of individual insurance policies, possibly because these exchanges bring new complexities of security, integration, processing, updating and verifying information concerning eligibility, income, billing, and exemptions, among companies, states and state agencies, the IRS, Department of Health and Human Services, and the Social Security Administration, just to name some of the complexities.

Eligibility for ObamaCare’s health insurance subsidies depends on income, so there will be an intrusive verification of income, family size, smoking status, and so on.

The exchanges themselves cost tax money to set up, but the bill requires them to be self-sustaining. Since the bill mandates requirements that many companies and customers will likely find distasteful, the exchanges embody a fundamental instability, which nothing but force can resolve.

If ObamaCare persists, exchanges will be bureaucratic nightmares. If it is repealed or declared unconstitutional by the U.S. Supreme Court, states that set up exchanges will just have wasted time, money, and effort.
Read More

Georgia Bill Would Require Biometric “Smart” Medicaid ID Cards


March 15, 2011

ATLANTA — The Senate has approved a bill that would require Medicaid clients to use a digital identification card and scan their fingerprints at the doctor’s office to discourage fraud.The Senate approved the bill Monday by a vote of 34-21.Republican Sen. John Albers of Roswell said the proposal will prevent card sharing and phantom billing and could save Georgia taxpayers millions of dollars. When patients arrive for medical appointments, they would be required to swipe a so-called “smart card” containing their picture and a computer chip carrying their personal information. They would also provide a fingerprint scan as proof that they received medical services.

Read More