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IRS steals millions of medical records and can use the information any way it likes

[preamble]When the rules only apply to the small people than a government is in decline. “All animals are created equal, but some are more equal than others” George Orwell – Animal Farm.

If a doctor lost a laptop with 1000 patient files on it – he would be fined $1000 per patient file or $100,000 had he not reported it to each and every patient. How much does the IRS owe if it were to follow the LAW of the LAND? 60,000,000 x $1000 = quite a but of money. But no worries – they make laws exempting them from the very laws we are forced to uphold.
WHEN THIS FOLLY ENDS[backtopost]

House panel to probe alleged seizure of medical records by IRS

By Elise Viebeck – 06/11/13 05:14 PM ET

A top House committee launched another probe of the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) Tuesday after a lawsuit alleged that the agency improperly seized millions of personal medical records in California.

In a letter, Republican leaders on the Energy and Commerce panel asked the IRS to explain how it handles confidential medical information.

“While [federal] privacy rules restrict the ability of a covered entity to release protected health information, those rules appear to impose no restrictions on the IRS’s ability to use such information after it is obtained,” the lawmakers wrote.

The California lawsuit, first reported in March, is the latest in a string of controversies to hit the IRS, which is facing additional scrutiny given its role in implementing ObamaCare.

The agency is under fire from Congress for targeting Tea Party groups with additional scrutiny as they applied for tax-exempt status.

Republicans have said the offense renders the IRS incapable of neutrally enforcing tax penalties under healthcare reform starting next year.

The Energy and Commerce leaders echoed that criticism on Tuesday.

“In light of these allegations and in anticipation of the IRS’s increased role in implementing healthcare under [the Affordable Care Act], we are writing to request information regarding your agency’s ability to protect the confidential medical information of millions of Americans,” the lawmakers wrote.

The lawsuit in California alleges “corruption and abuse of power” by 15 unnamed IRS agents who purportedly stole more than 60 million medical records while investigating the former employee of a healthcare provider. That provider was not named.

“No search warrant authorized the seizure of these records; no subpoena authorized the seizure of these records; none of the 10 million Americans [reflected in the records] were under any kind of known criminal or civil investigation,” the complaint reads.

Plaintiffs argue that the alleged seizure violated the Fourth Amendment, which protects against unlawful searches.

The medical records contained “intimate and private information … including [details about] psychological counseling, gynecological counseling, [and] sexual or drug treatment,” the complaint reads.

Tuesday’s letter was sent to IRS acting Commissioner Danny Werfel, who was given the post in May after his predecessor, Steven T. Miller, was forced out.

The class action suit was filed in San Diego Superior Court on March 11. It was first reported by the Courthouse News Service, an agency based in Pasadena, Calif.

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Obama care and its destructive effects on CHIP and all other insurances

The following is from the New York Post

ObamaCare vs. children’s health By SCOTT GOTTLIEB Last Updated: 12:50 AM, February 20, 2013 Posted: 10:29 PM, February 19, 2013

If you’re a poor child, and you like your health plan, you can’t keep it. In fact, it’s now clear that ObamaCare will force tens of millions of Americans to accept inferior health coverage to what they have now. The most-threatened groups include: people who now get their policies from a job at a small business, those who buy individual coverage direct from an insurer, seniors who qualify for Medicaid as well as Medicare and kids enrolled in the Children’s Health Insurance Program, or CHIP. The undermining of CHIP is particularly shocking: This is a bipartisan program that liberals spent much of the last two decades expanding. CHIP provides health coverage to nearly 8 million children of families with incomes too high to qualify for Medicaid. The program has plenty of flaws, but often gets kids enrolled in plans that are a lot better than traditional Medicaid — the equivalent of a Blue Cross plan in some states, of the insurance state employees get in others. Yet ObamaCare will force many into Medicaid networks.

At risk are CHIPS kids whose parents earn between 100 percent and 133 percent of the Federal Poverty Level — which comes out to $23,000 to $31,000 a year for a family of four. Here’s how it works: An obscure provision buried the ObamaCare law’s Section 2001(a)(5)(B) automatically enrolls in Medicaid any child whose parents earn between 100 percent and 133 percent of the Federal Poverty Line — even if the kids are now getting better coverage from CHIP. The provision makes these kids a “mandatory Medicaid population,” so it applies to all states. As long as the parents are in that income zone, the kids are on Medicaid (even if the parents aren’t). Goodbye, CHIP. And many Americans will soon learn that ObamaCare means their present insurance will get switched, cheapened or hollowed out.

In the individual market, where people buy coverage directly from insurers, most folks are going to end up in the new ObamaCare exchanges, regardless of income. Once the full brunt of the law’s regulations of this market starts hitting this fall, the individual plans they now buy just won’t be offered outside the exchanges. (This is true even in states that refuse to set up their own exchanges.) Worse, many of these folks are going to find that the exchange-based coverage is a lot skimpier than what they now enjoy, with narrow lists of allowed doctors and hospitals and heavy coinsurance payments for using “out of network” health-care providers. Wall Street analysts predict that 25 percent of folks who get their health coverage from small businesses will quickly end up in the exchanges, as well.

They will also find that their new plans are far more meager than the coverage they now carry. Poor seniors are in a similar jam. Under “demonstration” programs being rolled out nationally by Medicare, “dual eligibles” — seniors who also qualify for Medicaid — are involuntarily losing their standard Medicare benefit. Their coverage is being turned over to the states, which get federal cash to manage the medical needs of these less-well-off, and often sickly, seniors. And some states are dumping these folks straight into their existing Medicaid networks. These are just some of the dislocations unfolding, and ObamaCare isn’t even in full swing. In his State of the Union Address, the president said he’s simply updating America’s founding vision to help everyone have a better life.How does imposing worse medical coverage for some of our most vulnerable citizens do that?

Dr. Scott Gottlieb is a physician and resident fellow at the American Enterprise Institute.

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Facebook Up

Facebook is up 4.3% to $24.33 a share – still half price that it opened and still a failing company that made a lot of people lose a lot of money in stocks – YET its going ot possible be on the S&P 500 list. Here we go again rewarding companies that produce nothing and do not make money.

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Ethnicity, Class and Suicide Lead a Hamptons School to Reach Out

[preamble]Wrong message sent – schools are not and should not be a substitute for parenting. What are kids doing in an English speakign school and not understanding the language of the coutnry they liv ein? Englis is the language of our country – lets stop trying to be so tolerant of others – learn the language of the country you live in. Its very simple. Parents need to take a proactive approach to their children and stop allowing the government and schools to become the parents alleviating them of their responsibilities. What are these people doing going back to Africa? If i was out of school that long, i would have been suspended or left back – but no we cant be so cruel anymore – we might hurt someones feelings – so what do we do? we set up a committee to discuss this – another waste of money and time.

“Many parents, for example, could not understand the report cards their children brought home because the school used a grading system different from the ones used in their home countries. “In Ecuador, they grade your work from 1 to 20, with 20 being the highest,” Ms. Núñez said. “So, here, if a kid’s doing 60, it seems like, ‘60? That sounds great!’ No, it sounds like you’re failing.”

Are we kidding here? Of course things are different. Ecuador is a drug lord run 3rd world country – how can you compare it to America? The problem is you cannot BUT these people want to use ti as an excuse. Why did you come to America? Why did you put your kids in our schools?: Why did not you learn our language and culture? Why are you not culturally aware of your surrounding and the people that give you the very liberty and freedom you seek?

WHEN THIS FOLLY ENDS[backtopost]

Three suicides in three years have focused officials at East Hampton High School on the alienation of many immigrant students.
By Published: June 10, 2013

EAST HAMPTON, N.Y. — As he walked the East Hampton High School campus on the last day of classes last week, Adam S. Fine seemed to be one satisfied principal. Graduating seniors were moving on to colleges including Brown and Cornell Universities; class-cutting was down; and Newsweek had ranked the school among the 2,000 best public schools in the nation, all to be expected in a ZIP code synonymous with success.

But, asked to reflect on the year that was, he sighed and moved his hand up and down, suggesting a roller coaster. “Resiliency,” he said. “That’s my theme word for graduation.”

This has been a year like none other for East Hampton High, which faced an uncomfortable ethnic integration problem that had been festering in the background for years but was thrust to the foreground by a tragedy at the opening of the school year.

A 16-year-old junior from Ecuador, David Hernandez, hanged himself just a few days after homecoming in September; it was the second student suicide in three years. Two months later, a student who was about to transfer to the school committed suicide. Three suicides in three years in a school community of about 900 students is far above the regional average. And all of the students who killed themselves were Hispanic.

The suicides, taken together, brought to the surface a division between the relatively small and economically comfortable group of Anglo-Saxons for whom the school was founded and newer, poorer Hispanic residents, whose numbers have been rising rapidly. And they made the school district address the problem directly.

The divide, administrators found, was adding to a sense of alienation among some of the more vulnerable immigrant students, many of whom had moved to East Hampton years after their parents had arrived, having to readjust to their mothers and fathers at the same time as they entered a new school, with a new language, in a place that is rarefied even by the standards of the average American student.

“What I said as the building leader and person responsible for everything was, ‘Something’s going on here,’ ” Mr. Fine said in a recent interview. “ ‘We need to take a real hard look.’ ”

The principal, the grieving mother of one of the suicide victims, a local newspaper and a recent graduate of the school who had herself experienced this sense of alienation — and has now returned to help others — all played significant roles in efforts to gain some control of the situation. It is a prime example of how this town of more than 21,000 residents — some of them famous, some of them from families who have been here for generations, and some of them just here in the summer — has sought to deal with huge demographic changes that have come with being a beacon of American attainment.

The Hispanic portion of East Hampton Township’s population nearly doubled between 2000 and 2010, according to census figures, to 26.4 percent from 14.8 percent; it was 5 percent in 1990. Hispanics made up 41 percent of the East Hampton Union Free School District’s student population in 2012, up from 21.7 percent 10 years earlier and 5 percent 10 years before that, according to State Education Department figures.

The district has tried to keep up, with a robust program in English as a second language, three Spanish-speaking social workers and, in the high school, two Spanish-speaking secretaries. Some lessons have been learned by trial and error. For instance, the English-as-a-second language classrooms were once together in a cluster, which one parent of a former student said had been called “Little Mexico” by some; now the classrooms are throughout the building.

“It’s a dramatic demographic change,” said Richard J. Burns, superintendent of the East Hampton school district. “It takes a while; getting your arms around it is difficult.”

But in the months since the most recent suicides, the very life of the school has been altered in ways large and small, in a concerted effort to bring about change more quickly.

And much it had to do with the hiring of someone uniquely qualified to bridge the gap between the school and the parents of its Hispanic students — Ana Núñez, 23, who had endured the travails of being an Ecuadorean student at East Hampton High but who had overcome them, won a scholarship to Columbia University and graduated with a degree in economics and political science.

She was hired by the district a few weeks after David Hernandez’s suicide, which had made it clear that the district needed a liaison who could directly address the rifts between the Spanish-speaking community and the English-speaking school district.

David, 16, had moved to East Hampton from Ecuador three years earlier, to live with his mother, who had left Ecuador for America when he was a toddler. And while it is almost impossible to divine with any certainty the motives in suicides, David was questioning his sexuality, family friends and officials with knowledge of his case said. There were allegations of bullying from fellow Hispanic students, and evidence of previous attempts to kill himself.

His mother, Carmita Barros, gathered with fellow Hispanic parents after the suicide and complained to the local newspaper, The East Hampton Star, that his case had been ignored because he was Hispanic; the school vigorously denied the charge. But the parents also complained that as a group they felt distanced from the school in general.

If that was news to the school district, it was not news to Ms. Núñez, who had been in town around the time of the suicides, staying with her mother — who works at a hotel in Napeague, the narrow stretch of beach between Amagansett and Montauk — as she considered her next move, possibly law school. She had shared her own family’s experience during a visit that fall with a former teacher, Patricia Hope, who was on the school board and had reached out for Ms. Núñez’s reaction.

Ms. Núñez described an “issue that was deeper and broader than I had ever given thought to,” Ms. Hope said. She introduced Ms. Núñez to district officials, who hired her as their community liaison in December.

At the first meeting she called with Hispanic parents, only 18 people showed up. She extracted a promise from them that they would help her build attendance for another one a month later.

At that meeting, in February, about 250 people showed up. As the dialogue began, the school began learning of problems it had not known existed.

Many parents, for example, could not understand the report cards their children brought home because the school used a grading system different from the ones used in their home countries. “In Ecuador, they grade your work from 1 to 20, with 20 being the highest,” Ms. Núñez said. “So, here, if a kid’s doing 60, it seems like, ‘60? That sounds great!’ No, it sounds like you’re failing.”

In one case, the mother of a Hispanic student knew that her daughter was on the high honor roll, “but she never really knew what that meant,” said Robert Tymann, the assistant superintendent, who has worked closely with Ms. Núñez. When the mother was told what it meant, he said, “she started crying.”

It also came as news to the school that it was sending cultural miscues. South American parents were frequently pulling their children out of school in the winter for visits to their home countries. Frustrated teachers would send homework with them, but, Ms. Núñez said, that left the impression with parents that the absences were permissible. Schools in Ecuador, she said, would never be so lax. A committee was formed to address absenteeism.

One mother from Mexico, Adriana Gonzalez, who has a ninth grader in the school, said her son dissuaded her from attending school meetings, telling her they were not important. And when she did go, she said in Spanish, “I didn’t understand anything.”

After being drawn in by Ms. Núñez, she said, she has begun showing up at more meetings, and “loosened my tongue.” She has begun complaining that the school should institute drug testing, something many of the American parents abhor as an invasion of privacy.

Until now, she said, “who would ask a Latino parent her opinion, or cared?” She joked, “Now they want to listen, but maybe later they’re going to say ‘Stop it.’ ”

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Potential of freelance insurance market not fully tapped

[preamble]Amazing! For thousands of years of commerce and freelancing and what made this country great – we ALWAYS lived without our insurance and any prospect of getting sick -0 so now magically our government and CIGNA come to a conclusion that we MUST be healthy to be successful and stay successful? Define healthy and how about you get our of our way with this garbage you make up to grab more of our hard earned money.[backtopost]
Cigna finds 25% of freelancers lack insurance, knowledge of reform law
June 7, 2013 | By

As we inch closer to the opening of the health insurance exchanges and the influx of millions of new individual customers to the insurance industry, one insurer is honing in on a often overlooked consumer group–freelancers, which total 42 million.Cigna conducted a study of these independent workers, and found 25 percent lack health insurance. The study, which surveyed 250 self-employed Americans, determined 60 percent of freelancers prioritize their business over personal health and wellness, while about 33 percent said a personal illness could potentially cause them to go out of business.

“Clearly the stakes are high for this population to stay healthy in order to stay successful in business,” Lisa Lough, vice president, Cigna Individual and Family Plans, said in a statement.

Also noteworthy, Cigna found 82 percent of uninsured freelancers said they lack insurance because it’s too expensive. But 80 percent of the respondents overestimated insurance costs while about 33 percent underestimated medical costs. To help clear up these misconceptions regarding insurance and health costs, Cigna created a new website and social media platforms dedicated to freelancers and facts applicable to this group.

Cigna is wise to turn its attention to freelancers, since the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation has predicted that this self-employed group could grow by 1.5 million next year alone as exchanges make quality health insurance more accessible, according to Bloomberg Businesweek.

“America’s small business owners and entrepreneurs–the independent contractors, sole proprietors and freelancers–power the economy,” Lough said. “To stay healthy and successful, self-employed workers need to plan for their health care needs and think more about health care in terms of prevention, instead of reaction.”

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When nurses act like doctors will they rise up and stop this folly?

Interesting thought – Since nurses are unionized, and our government is making them as powerful as full physicians, would it be interesting if they, the nurses, by proxy were to have their powerful union attack the injustices in the medical profession that you doctors are so blind and inept to handle?

 

Perhaps you should embrace them and help them achieve their goals – than by proxy use thier powerful unions to make a change for the better:

If you cant beat them – join them – than beat them

change the playing field and win

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Prism data-surveillance scandal – Georghe Orwells 1984

[preamble]Read the book 1984. When a government records, monitors and collects ALL information public, private and abroad, they can use it to strike against anyone they choose. Information is key and can be manipulated into anything your goals are. In Maryland our government is building a massive data store facility for the sole purpose of collecting, storing and analyzing our phone calls, emails and txt’s – its akin to them copying all our physical mail and reading it. Facebook, twitter & GOOGLE were the start – allowing us to get comfortable with an by and all information we post on line to be stored and analyzed. The difference here is that we CHOOSE to post on Facebook and twitter. Did not GOOGLE get into trouble for storing data without our knowledge?

NO more court orders to phone tap, no more legal barriers to obtain personal information – no more restrictions, no more constitution – all in the name of national security. Oh every nation that ever succumbed to communism has began with the same words “in the name of national security”, Our president said it “the war on terror is over – all wars must come to an end – now we must focus on domestic terrorism and radicalization” Translation: I will monitor everyone in this country and deem them a threat if they do not agree with my policies. Think its far fetched? Than research the IRS debacle – our presidents Secret Service to attack Americans.

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Another slow inevetable creep towards socialism –

[preamble]Of course our president did a reversal – another blow to our country – another move toward state run socialism. First you destroy the patient/doctor relationship, now you attack the fundamental parent/child relationship – when parents lose control of their own children, socialism and communism are here to stay. Read history my friends – Obama, like his father, is a socialist. history ALWAYS repeats itself.[backtopost]

. U.S. drops bid to limit morning-after pill sales
The Obama administration has decided to stop trying to block over-the-counter availability of the best-known morning-after contraceptive pill for all women and girls. Any woman or girl will soon be able to walk into a drugstore and buy the pill, Plan B One-Step, without a prescription
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Doctors and business are the losers in obama care

[preamble]With doctors becoming unprofitable, they struggle to save money. Any business in financial crisis immediately sheds its most expensive expense – employees. And since doctors are one of the largest employers, what do we think will be the result of Obama care? More unemployment – Obama care good for nothing[backtopost]
There is an overall downward trend in
profitability among US physician practices. In fact,
physicians are almost two-thirds more likely to foresee
a negative profitability trend, rather than a positive
one, in the year ahead. Declining reimbursements
lead physician concerns;
Reform efforts create the strongest operational
headwinds for physicians, with administrative
requirements coming at the expense of patient care.
For example, nearly half of physicians say they do not
have the resources to bring on any of the 30 million
new patients entering the system as a result of the
ACA. Meanwhile, the majority of physicians spend
more than 20% of their time – the equivalent of one
day a week – on administrative tasks instead of
patient care;
Despite these challenges – and contrary to
what many of today’s pundits are saying – today’s
independent physicians largely want to stay that way.
For now, many are not looking to be acquired by larger
practices or hospitals;
Physicians across the board are targeting
operational changes to improve their performance.
Top priorities include renovating their billing
processes and underlying technologies, with findings
confirming a growing “rip and replace” trend. Who
do they turn to for guidance? Their peers, first and
foremost.
Old practice management systems are a focal
point of uncertainty moving forward. More than 40%
of physicians say they don’t know whether theirs can
accommodate upcoming regulatory requirements and
changes
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U.S. Is Secretly Collecting Records of Verizon Calls

[preamble]The Slow creep of socialism. Now that Obama has declared the warn on terror over and at an end, he will focus efforts on domestic “terrorism” And so it begins. The erosion of our constitution, the removal of privacy, the denial of rights, the socialization of basic services – the inevitable creep of socialism.[backtopost]
By and
Published: June 5, 2013

WASHINGTON — The Obama administration is secretly carrying out a domestic surveillance program under which it is collecting business communications records involving Americans under a hotly debated section of the Patriot Act, according to a highly classified court order disclosed on Wednesday night.

The order, signed by Judge Roger Vinson of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court in April, directs a Verizon Communications subsidiary, Verizon Business Network Services, to turn over “on an ongoing daily basis” to the National Security Agency all call logs “between the United States and abroad” or “wholly within the United States, including local telephone calls.”

The order does not apply to the content of the communications.

Verizon Business Network Services is one of the nation’s largest telecommunications and Internet providers for corporations. It is not clear whether similar orders have gone to other parts of Verizon, like its residential or cellphone services, or to other telecommunications carriers. The order prohibits its recipient from discussing its existence, and representatives of both Verizon and AT&T declined to comment Wednesday evening.

The four-page order was disclosed Wednesday evening by the newspaper The Guardian. Obama administration officials at the F.B.I. and the White House also declined to comment on it Wednesday evening, but did not deny the report, and a person familiar with the order confirmed its authenticity. “We will respond as soon as we can,” said Marci Green Miller, a National Security Agency spokeswoman, in an e-mail.

The order was sought by the Federal Bureau of Investigation under a section of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, the 1978 law that regulates domestic surveillance for national security purposes, including “tangible things” like a business’s customer records. The provision was expanded by Section 215 of the Patriot Act, which Congress enacted after the 9/11 terrorist attacks.

The order was marked “TOP SECRET//SI//NOFORN,” referring to communications-related intelligence information that may not be released to noncitizens. That would make it among the most closely held secrets in the federal government, and its disclosure comes amid a furor over the Obama administration’s aggressive tactics in its investigations of leaks.

The collection of call logs is set to expire in July unless the court extends it.

The collection of communications logs — or calling “metadata” — is believed to be a major component of the Bush administration’s program of surveillance that took place without court orders. The newly disclosed order raised the question of whether the government continued that type of information collection by bringing it under the Patriot Act.

The disclosure late Wednesday seemed likely to inspire further controversy over the scope of government surveillance. Kate Martin of the Center for National Security Studies, a civil liberties advocacy group, said that “absent some explanation I haven’t thought of, this looks like the largest assault on privacy since the N.S.A. wiretapped Americans in clear violation of the law” under the Bush administration. “On what possible basis has the government refused to tell us that it believes that the law authorizes this kind of request?” she said.

For several years, two Democrats on the Senate Intelligence Committee, Senator Ron Wyden of Oregon and Senator Mark Udall of Colorado, have been cryptically warning that the government was interpreting its surveillance powers under that section of the Patriot Act in a way that would be alarming to the public if it knew about it.

“We believe most Americans would be stunned to learn the details of how these secret court opinions have interpreted Section 215 of the Patriot Act,” they wrote last year in a letter to Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr.

They added: “As we see it, there is now a significant gap between what most Americans think the law allows and what the government secretly claims the law allows. This is a problem, because it is impossible to have an informed public debate about what the law should say when the public doesn’t know what its government thinks the law says.”

A spokesman for Senator Wyden did not respond Wednesday to a request for comment on the Verizon order.

The senators were angry because the Obama administration described Section 215 orders as being similar to a grand jury subpoena for obtaining business records, like a suspect’s hotel or credit card records, in the course of an ordinary criminal investigation. The senators said the secret interpretation of the law was nothing like that.

Section 215 of the Patriot Act made it easier to get an order from the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court to obtain business records so long as they were merely deemed “relevant” to a national-security investigation.

The Justice Department has denied being misleading about the Patriot Act. Department officials have acknowledged since 2009 that a secret, sensitive intelligence program is based on the law and have insisted that their statements about the matter have been accurate.

The New York Times filed a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit in 2011 for a report describing the government’s interpretation of its surveillance powers under the Patriot Act. But the Obama administration withheld the report, and a judge dismissed the case.