A rumor has been floating around the internet that one of the provisions of Obamacare that we will find out about now that the bill has been passed, as Nancy Pelosi hinted, is that it will require Americans to have a microchip implanted in their bodies that will contain their medical information and be listed in a Medical Devices Registry.
The claims that I have seen center around two different sources. The first is an FDA publication titled “Class II Controls Guidance Document: Implantable Radiofrequency Transponder System for Patient Identification and Health Information.” This document can be viewed online at: http://www.fda.gov/downloads/MedicalDevices/DeviceRegulationandGuidance/GuidanceDocuments/ucm072191.pdf.
The document is dated 2004 and says in the “background” section that it is intended to help manufacturers “comply with the requirement for class II special controls.” It goes on to say that this will enable them to “market their device without being subject to the premarket notification requirements….” In other words, this is not a secret government plan; it is a document that gives guidance to anyone who wants to manufacture a microchip that can be implanted in humans. (The definition of a class II medical device can be found here: http://www.accessdata.fda.gov/scripts/cdrh/cfdocs/cfpcd/315.cfm.
This technology has been used in animals for some time. We have had several dogs with chips implanted with information to help contact us if they were ever lost. At some point, a company might want to offer a similar device for humans. Some people might find it beneficial to have their medical records encoded on a chip that they always have with them. It would be probably be similar to an internal medic alert bracelet.
Some of the claims on the internet also reference a medical device registry found in HR 3200, “America’s Affordable Health Choices Act of 2009.” This reference is moot because the bill never became law. The bill that was recently passed by Congress over the objections of the majority the country was HR 3590, “the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.” A search of the text of the actual law (http://www.opencongress.org/senate_health_care_bill) turns up no language similar to that of HR 3200. For example, the word “implant” is not found in the bill.
Additionally, of all the references that I have seen claiming an implantable chip mandate in Obamacare, none point to language in the actual law that mandate. The medical device registry referenced in the failed HR 3200 simply created a registry of all devices “used in or on a patient.” In other words, this registry would include all medical devices (e.g. pacemakers, dialysis machines, blood pressure monitors, and maybe even bedpans). What it does not call for is the mandatory implanting of chips in anyone, whether a patient in the now defunct “public option” or not.
To sum up, in a bill that never became law, there was language calling for a medical devices registry that would have included, among other items, implantable microchips. These implantable microchips had received FDA approval in 2004. However, there is no missing link between registering these devices and requiring them.
Obamacare contains plenty of things that will be bad for patients, doctors, and the economy in general. It is not necessary to create things that aren’t there. Reading things into the legislation that aren’t there (or into bills that did not pass) can only undermine the credibility of conservatives and opponents to Obamacare.
Additionally, the passage of the Bible that many people believe refers to implanted microchips (Revelation 13:16-17) makes no mention of health records. These chips, if that is what is being described, would be linked to financial records and bank accounts.
If you hear something that sounds too strange to be true, check it out. Snopes.com, politifact.com, and factcheck.org are good websites to check out rumors (although factcheck.org does have a Democratic bias). Additionally, there are news sites that aren’t in the tank for Obama and the Democrats. If such legislation was real, you would probably have read about it on Foxnews.com or in the Wall Street Journal (wsj.com). If you only see a story in blogs, which refer you to other blogs or Youtube as sources, that should raise a red flag.
We live in a strange world and strange things have happened a lot recently. Pirate attacks are front page news. The government is taking control of industry after industry. The Democrats won an election based on promises of bipartisanship and tax cuts. Health care reform that actually increases costs and decreases choice is passed in spite of popular opinion. In this world, hoaxes can mix easily with real news. The bottom line is that if you cannot verify information from a reliable source, don’t trust it.
NOTE: I have not read the entire law. I have better things to do that read 2,000 pages of legislation. I am not a member of congress, after all! If anyone can provide a source within HR3590, “the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act,” or some other verifiable document that actually shows a government policy of implanting of microchips in people, send it me. I would love to see it.