CA Legislative Update: Pay of Medical Educators Increasing While that of Medical Educators Decreasing & Feds Start Electronically Tracking Students


September 21, 2010 - San Francisco, CA - - The Sept. 13, 2010, edition of the East Bay Area's Contra Costa Times carried an original Sacramento Bee article (pg A4) entitled Bills would add Cal State doctorates.

The article reported that certain pieces of legislation, AB 867 by Pedro Nava, Doctor of Nursing Practice, and AB 2382, Bob Blumenfeld, Cal state U, Physical Therapy, have passed to the Governor for disposition.

I had looked at these bills, but not placed them on an "oppose" list. Several bills, beginning with the last term, have attempted to raise the status and pay grade of certain educators in the health care fields. These two bills are heavily supported by Nursing Associations and educators as one might suspect.

These bills are listed as education bills, but, in fact, they should be listed under Workforce development because they pertain more to job placements and salary increases than they do education.

The main thrust of these bills is to prepare large numbers of medical support workers; office staff, physician assistants, nurse practitioners, technicians, etc (not so much doctors) as quickly as possible to prepare for the presumed flood of new and frequently returning patients/clients when Obama Care is fully up and running. Also included in AB 862 is the authorization to expand the number of colleges and Universities in California that can offer Doctorate degrees to members of the Nursing profession.

To understand their place of primacy in the whole health care field it is necessary to understand the term Medical Homes. This means teams of health care trained workers who will be assigned to individual patient/clients working under the guidance and direction of doctors to analyze and administer mostly pre-ordained preventive health services to everyone assigned to a particular medical home. A medical home is merely an electronic data gathering base which will input data on everyone and which will have the capability to transmit that data to all those persons and agencies authorized to receive the data. They, in turn, will use this information to determine just what health services, prescriptions, appliances, surgeries, pregnancies, medications, mental health counseling, vaccinations, etc you need.

The statements made supporting medical homes fall into the category of opportunities to equalize medical care for all groups of people, low-income, ethnic, racial, lifestyle, etc.

Everyone will have a unique identifier and be considered an individual client/patient. Your child will have his/her own record which will be accessible to the pre-school, kindergarten, high school, etc, and to the future employer.

For children age newborn to 21, the director of this medical home will be the Pediatrician. The young adult, 22-and older will be transitioned to some other Doctor. All of these "homes" will be connected at the federal level for monitoring.

These people will be gatekeepers making value judgments on whether patients are ill enough to see the actual doctor or if they can be assisted by staff. This reduces, so the bureaucrats claim, the cost of the health care. At the same time the state will be paying the costs of educating these workers, and those nurses seeking doctorates. This will result in employing more health care workers who have been trained by teachers (former nurses) with doctorate degrees who will also be entitled to higher pay.

This ties into the Workforce legislation using schools as training centers, K-14, for future job placement in certain chosen fields.

Bills of this nature are not, per se, anti-life or anti-family, though many who advocate for those principles will be educating more health care workers who will be providing the so-called reproductive preventive services. Some bills not mentioned in the article also discuss reducing the time required to educate health care workers. They will increase both the cost of educating more students as well as increase the income to Universities and colleges approved to provide the degrees through student fees.

It will most likely also follow that state scholarships will be called for low income and minority students so the cost of education will rise.

Below is a statement received from a Southern California doctor responding to my report - name removed by request.

"This is of course the end of medicine as we have known it. Those above 65 and probably the chronically disabled will be cared for primarily by health care providers with a one or two year health education, good folk and well motivated all of them but without the 7 or more year post college education and experience physicians have. Permission for expensive tests and surgeries will be through a computer system controlled by the federal government. The end game is reduction in social security payments. To all seniors, I would counsel daily exercise, maintenance of employment where possible, adherence to a good diet, weight loss if necessary, no bad habits. minimal travel, and learn as much about self care as you can. "

Federal Student Tracking Begins

It was recently reported that California's Contra Costa County [Head Start program] has received a total of $160.000 federal American Recovery and Reinvestment Act - ARRA - funding to start a pilot program of tracking pre-schoolers electronically using radio frequency ID chips in their clothing.

The article quoted Karen Mitchoff identified as a member of the Pleasant Hill California City Council as approving of this pilot program.

In an interview conducted with Ms. Mitchoff she stated that it was not she who personally approved of this plan. She was merely a spokesperson for the Contra Costa County Department of Employment and Health Services, which approved Head Start's application for this funding.

The grant, $115,000 of ARRA money plus $45.000 from the Dept of Health and Human Services, is being used to set up this program as a pilot in 2 of the county's 19 Head Start centers. Should it prove effective it would be extended to all 19 Head Start Centers.

The money pays for developing the technology which includes the tracking devises or chips which are placed into tiny, one-inch, pockets of the Jerseys given to each child each day. The data base which collects the information obtained on the child's activities and whereabouts, is then transmitted to the Federal Department of Health and Human Services on a daily basis - weekends excluded. It is also for tracking attendance, also required by the feds.

Though Ms. Mitchoff could not state with any degree of certainty that parents had the right to opt-out their child from the program, she said that, if a parent objected, that child would still receive the set of 2 jerseys, in order for those students "not to feel different than everyone else," but no tracking device would be placed in the pocket.

According to Mitchoff no child is identified by name only by a number. She stated, further, that it is not the child upon which the feds are focusing but upon efficient and appropriate use of the funding. If the feds provide the food they want to know exactly how many students are eating that food. So, if a child approaches the food counter that is recorded as a child served.

Apparently, according to Mitchoff, this transmission of information is not new. Since Head Start gets federal funding it is required to complete and transmit certain information on a continuing basis. Now it will be gathered and transmitted electronically whereas previously all this data had to be collected manually and collated. That meant a less efficient use of teacher time and talent.

To paraphrase what they say on Fox News...We decide it's importance.

Our take?

It would appear that the simple answer to the question: Why are you doing this is, because we know how to do it. In the last few years the shoe industry has indicated its interest in putting tracking devices into their products. In the past this chip-in-the T shirt-program was tried in a Northern California Head Start program and bitterly protested. It is presumed that once any kinks are worked out on these children the program will be used widely throughout public school systems from pre-school to high school. It is obvious that it is being used on Head Start children because their parents are getting free child care and, most likely, the parents' citizenship may be in question.

Below, two pieces of legislation which tie in with the RFID tracking:

1. AB 2084, Julia Brownley [D, Woodland Hills]. Child day care facilities: Nutrition. This legislation is awaiting the Governor's signature.

The bill states that it is a willful misdemeanor for administers of the Child Day Care Facilities if the violate provision of this act.

This Act sets up rather rigid requirements for supplying nutrition to day care tended children.

"A facility may only:

1. Serve low fat or nonfat milk to children two years of age or older."

The bill contains some strange overtones: "Healthy beverages for young children include, but are not limited to, water low fat or nonfat milk, and breast milk, all of which are associated with reduced risk for being overweight or obese."

Isn't it a bit odd to include breast milk since day care centers take few babies zero to 2 years. Is this a preparation for continual state care program from birth?

Further quoting from bill:

"2. limit juice to one serving per day of 100 percent juice.

"1. No beverage with added sweeteners either natural or artificial.

Clean and safe drinking water ready for consumption throughout the

Head Start children, depending upon whether they attend a morning class or an afternoon class get free breakfast and lunch or just lunch. The parents barely have to provide any food.

Not many are aware that there are Dietary Guidelines for Americans, published by the federal department of HHS and the Dep. of Agriculture. This prompts the question, as to when bureaucrats will figure out how to track a child food consumption in the home and also place the parents in jeopardy of a "willful misdemeanor" situation if they provide other than the prescribed dietary plan to their child or other members of the household?

On June 10, 2010, President Obama signed Executive Order 13544, establishing the National Prevention, Health Promotion, and Public Health Council. This council consisting of the Secretaries of Agriculture, Labor, HHS, Transportation, Education, Homeland Security and Environmental Protection plus the Director of the National Drug Control Policy, Domestic Policy Council, Indian Affairs and Chairman of the Corporation for National and Community Service and any other executive department or agency that the Chair may, from time to time, determine is appropriate.

This council [a creation of the United Nations] shall provide coordination and leadership at the Federal level, with respect to prevention, wellness, and health promotion practices, the public health system, and integrative health care in the United States.

Relevant sections:

Sec. 5. National Prevention and Health Promotion Strategy.

Not later than March 23, 2011, the Chair, in consultation with the Council, shall develop and make public a national prevention, health promotion, and public health strategy (national strategy), and shall review and revise it periodically.The national strategy shall:

(a) set specific goals and objectives for improving the health of the United States through federally supported prevention, health promotion, and public health programs, consistent with ongoing goal setting efforts conducted by specific agencies;

(b) establish specific and measurable actions and timelines to carry out the strategy, and determine accountability for meeting those timelines, within and across Federal departments and agencies; and

i. make recommendations to improve Federal efforts relating to prevention, health promotion, public health, and integrative health-care practices to ensure that Federal efforts are consistent with available standards and evidence."

In summary, we are beginning to find out just what is in Obama Care prompting concern among that it is here where most of these new minimally trained health workers will be stationed, monitoring your eating, sleeping, drinking, working and recreational habits.

© 2010 Camille Giglio. All rights reserved.