1601 N. Tucson Blvd. Suite 9
Tucson, AZ 85716-3450
Phone: (800) 635-1196
Hotline: (800) 419-4777
Association of American Physicians and Surgeons, Inc.
A Voice for Private Physicians Since 1943
Omnia pro aegroto

Congressman Ron Paul tries to kill medical I.D. - Read his letter

Rep. Ron Paul, a lifetime member of AAPS, has successfully killed funding for a national medical identification for five years. He has sent this letter to his colleagues to do so again this year.

3/31/2003

I respectfully request that language repealing Section 1173 (b) of the Social Security Act (42 U.S.C. 1320d-2(b); 42 U.S.C. 1320d- 6(a) (1)), which authorizes the creation of a national medical ID, be included in this year's Labor, Health and Human Services and Education Appropriations bill. As you are no doubt aware, Congress has included language forbidding the expenditure of funds to implement Section 1173 (b) in the federal budget for the past five fiscal years. Congress has acted in response to an ongoing public outcry against the national medical ID. Last year my amendment prohibiting the use of funds to develop or implement a medical ID unanimously passed the House of Representatives.

It should be clear to every member of Congress that the American public does not want a uniform medical identifier. Therefore, rather than extending the prohibition on funding for another year, Congress should simply repeal the authorization of the national medical ID this year. The Labor-Health and Human Services Appropriations bill represents the best vehicle for repealing the uniform medical identifier.

Section 1173 (b) of the Social Security Act authorizes the establishment of a "unique personal identifier" for every American -- an identifier which could be used to create a national database containing the medical history of all Americans. As an OB/GYN with more than 30 years experience in private practice, I know better than most the importance of preserving the sanctity of the physician-patient relationship. Oftentimes, effective treatment depends on a patient's ability to place absolute trust in his or her doctor. What will happen to that trust when patients know that any and all information given to their doctor will be placed in a database that is accessible to anyone who knows the patient's "unique personal identifier?"

Congress has a constitutional and moral duty to stop the progression toward a uniform medical ID. Considering the ambitious legislative agenda of the 108th Congress, repealing the authorization for the "unique medical identifier" in the Labor, Health and Human Services and Education Appropriations bill may be our only means of doing so this year. If Congress does not stop this scheme, we then risk provoking a backlash among the millions of Americans who are outraged over the thought that their personal medical history will be recorded in a database available to anyone who knows their "unique health identifier."

In conclusion, I urge you in the strongest possible terms to support the will of the American people by putting language repealing Section 1173 (b) of the Social Security Act (42 U.S.C. 1320d-2(b); 42 U.S.C. 1320d- 6(a) (1)), which authorized the creation of a unique health care identifier, in the Labor, Health and Human Services and Education Appropriations bill. Thank you for your attention to this important matter.

Ron Paul, M.D.

Other Links: