Obama Machine Preparing for Healthcare Defeat

By LUIS MIRANDA | THE REAL AGENDA | JUNE 8, 2012

The Obama administration recognizes that it may actually be handed a defeat later this month if the Supreme Court strikes down the individual mandate that obligates Americans to buy health insurance from a government program or worse, if the judges find Obamacare unconstitutional as a whole. While a decision is made by the Supreme Court justices, the administration is taking steps to cope with a defeat that could be decisive during an election year both politically and in the economic realm.

Secretary of Health and Human Services, Kathleen Sebelius officially announced what she called contingency plans should Obamacare be rejected as unlawful by the US Supreme Court. The Court does not need to declare Obamacare illegal in order to cause chaos for the administration. A declaration that the controversial individual mandate violates individual rights, would basically and automatically defund Obamacare, because it is based on the use of government force that the Obama administration intends to finance its program.

The prospect of defeat raised awareness in the Federal Government and all responsible parties are now working extra time to mitigate the impact of a decision not to uphold Obamacare. While she was speaking at a women’s health town hall meeting held at the White House, Kathleen Sebelius said that although the government remained optimistic, they were also preparing for the worst. “We are confident and optimistic that this change within the law was well within the purview of Congress. Having said that, we’ll be ready for court contingencies,” she said. Sebelius made sure to use scare tactics in order to seek support and to put pressure on the Court’s decision. She added that if Obamacare is stroke down such a decision would have a “pretty cataclysmic impact”. Her explanation went on to say that such outcome would indeed undo what she called the “incredible changes and improvements to Medicare.

The Obama administration’s hopes are now riding on a positive decision by the Court that ratifies the healthcare law based on the premise that the judges will consider the large number of people who will allegedly benefit from socialized medicine, many of whom, Obama himself has said, cannot afford to pay for healthcare themselves. This is often added to other measures included in the legislation which allow children to remain under their parents’ health coverage and a mandate for insurance companies not to deny coverage to those with pre-existing conditions.

The parts of the law that the Obama administration does not want the justices or the public to remember is that constitutionally, government cannot obligate an individual to buy insurance. It must be a decision made by each person. But since the success of the law depends on the financing provided by all participants, a declaration that the individual mandate is unconstitutional would effectively defund Obamacare. “What we’re doing right now is just working as hard as we possibly can to get ready for 2014,” Sebelius said, referring to the time when most of the law will actually take effect.

Human Barcoding Now Being Megaphoned as Convenient

NY DAILY NEWS | JUNE 2, 2012

Would you barcode your baby?

Microchip implants have become standard practice for our pets, but have been a tougher sell when it comes to the idea of putting them in people.

Science fiction author Elizabeth Moon last week rekindled the debate on whether it’s a good idea to “barcode” infants at birth in an interview on a BBC radio program.

“I would insist on every individual having a unique ID permanently attached — a barcode if you will — an implanted chip to provide an easy, fast inexpensive way to identify individuals,” she said on The Forum, a weekly show that features “a global thinking” discussing a “radical, inspiring or controversial idea” for 60 seconds .

Moon believes the tools most commonly used for surveillance and identification — like video cameras and DNA testing — are slow, costly and often ineffective.

In her opinion, human barcoding would save a lot of time and money.

The proposal isn’t too far-fetched – it is already technically possible to “barcode” a human – but does it violate our rights to privacy?

Opponents argue that giving up anonymity would cultivate an “Orwellian” society where all citizens can be tracked.

“To have a record of everywhere you go and everything you do would be a frightening thing,” Stanley, senior policy analyst at the American Civil Liberties Union, told the Daily News.

He warned of a “check-point society” where everyone carries an internal passport and has to show their papers at every turn, he said.

“Once we let the government and businesses go down the road of nosing around in our lives…we’re going to quickly lose all our privacy,” said Stanley.

There are already, and increasingly, ways to electronically track people. Since 2006, new U.S. passports include radio frequency identification tags (RFID) that store all the information in the passport, plus a digital picture of the owner.

In 2002, an implantable ID chip called VeriChip was approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. The chip could be implanted in a person’s arm, and when scanned, could pull up a 16 digit ID number containing information about the user.

It was discontinued in 2010 amid concerns about privacy and safety.

Still scientists and engineers have not given up on the idea.

A handful of enterprising companies have stepped into the void left by VeriChip, and are developing ways to integrate technology and man.

Biotech company MicroCHIPS has developed an implantable chip to deliver medicine to people on schedule and without injection. And technology company BIOPTid has patented a noninvasive method of identification called the “human barcode.”

Advocates say electronic verification could help parents or caregivers keep track of children and the elderly. Chips could be used to easily access medical information, and would make going through security points more convenient, reports say.

But there are also concerns about security breaches by hackers. If computers and social networks are already vulnerable to hacking and identify theft, imagine if someone could get access to your personal ID chip?

Stanley cautioned against throwing the baby out with the bathwater each time someone invents a new gadget.

“We can have security, we can have convenience, and we can have privacy,” he said. “We can have our cake and eat it too.”