The Panopticon State Moving Forward with Prescriptions
For the 2013 Freedom Index, the RI Center for Freedom & Prosperity highlighted legislation that was ultimately signed into law “to create a state-controlled electronic prescription database storing all information related to electronically distributed medical prescriptions.” We gave it a -2, and naturally the General Assembly passed it and Governor Lincoln Chafee signed it into law:
- S0647, sponsored by Democrat Senator Donna Nesselbush (Pawtucket, North Providence)
- H5756, sponsored by Democrat Representative Joseph McNamara (Warwick, Cranston)
Well, surprise, surprise, legislators are in the process of expanding the reach of this database in newly invasive and frightening ways, and naturally the Senate passed the legislation last night, with only Republican Elaine Morgan (Charlestown, Exeter, Hopkinton, Richmond, West Greenwich) voting “nay.” This legislation will “empower the state Dept. of Health to combine its drug prescription database with any other source of data to analyze the behavior and personal connections of patients and pharmacists, under the pretense of finding abuse”:
- S2946, sponsored by Democrat Louis DiPalma (Little Compton, Middletown, Newport, Tiverton)
Add this database to the information that will be produced by gantry-based tolling systems and license-plate readers looking for the uninsured, and then mix in the comprehensive data to be collected by the Unified Health Infrastructure Project (UHIP) and that which is already collected for taxation and other economic activity, and everybody in Rhode Island will have a frighteningly complete digital profile accessible to unaccountable bureaucrats, following the lead of a gang of elected officials best known for violating ethics rules and being investigated by the feds.