The 2009 stimulus and the Obama health law enacted last year established a national electronic health database that will hold and display your lifelong medical history — making it accessible to a troubling number of strangers, including government employees and a variety of health-care personnel.
Government will oversee the network linking doctors and hospitals. Doctors will have to enter your treatments in the database, and your doctors’ decisions will be monitored for compliance with federal guidelines.
The stimulus legislation allocated billions for incentive payments to doctors and hospitals to become part of the network. In 2015, those incentives get replaced with penalties on the doctors and hospitals that haven’t complied. And Section 1311 of the Obama health law says that private health plans can pay only doctors who implement whatever the federal government dictates to improve “quality.” This is the first time the federal government has asserted a broad power to control how doctors treat privately insured patients.