Tag Archives: database

In order to enforce Obamacare, the IRS and HHS are creating the largest federal database ever of the personal tax, income, and health records of American citizens.

What could go wrong? In order to enforce Obamacare, the federal government, led by the IRS, is creating the largest federal database ever of the personal tax, income, and health records of American citizens.

Known as the Federal Data Services Hub, the project is taking the IRS’s own records (for income and employment status) and centralizing them with information from Social Security (identity), Homeland Security (citizenship), Justice (criminal history), HHS (enrollment in entitlement programs and certain medical claims data) and state governments (residency).

The data hub will be used as the verification system for ObamaCare’s complex subsidy formula. All insurers, self-insured businesses and government health programs must submit reports to the IRS about the individuals they cover, which the IRS will cross-check against tax returns.

The immigration reform measure the Senate began debating yesterday would create a national biometric database of virtually every adult in the U.S.

What could possibly go wrong? The immigration reform measure the Senate began debating yesterday would create a national biometric database of virtually every adult in the U.S.

A National Research Council panel today proposed creating a massive data network using the private health records of patients.

What could possibly go wrong? A National Research Council panel today proposed creating a massive data research network using the private health records of patients.

As a pilot project, the report recommends sequencing the whole genomes of 1 million Americans and combining the data with medical histories to look for genetic links to disease. That may sound expensive—even if sequencing costs drop to $1000 per genome, it would cost $1 billion—but $1000 is in the range of what a routine MRI scan costs, Desmond-Hellmann pointed out. Another pilot project would use metabolomic profiles of patients’ blood to help predict which patients with insulin resistance will go on to develop type II diabetes.

Creating the network over the next decade or two shouldn’t require new funding, the report says. “This is not the Human Genome Project,” said Sawyers. “It’s taking advantage of things happening anyway and bringing them together and doing it at the point of care.” NIH needs to redirect resources and push for more long-term studies that combine research with health care, the report says. Building the network might also require a revision of patient privacy rules and an “evolution” in the public’s attitudes about allowing researchers to use their medical data. [emphasis mine]

The last sentence, highlighted by me, was also the last sentence in the article, added almost as a minor aside. Yet, it is probably the most important aspect of this story, since the right of each of us to control our personal health records is directly threatened by this proposal.

The WISE space telescope results go online

The WISE infrared space telescope results are now online, for anyone to search.

Data from the first 57 percent of the sky surveyed is accessible through an online public archive. The complete survey, with improved data processing, will be made available in the spring of 2012. A predecessor to WISE, the Infrared Astronomical Satellite (IRAS), served a similar role about 25 years ago, and those data are still valuable to astronomers today. Likewise, the WISE legacy is expected to endure for decades.

You can hunt for new asteroids, comets, and galaxies here, with instructions on how to do it here.