Have you been bombarded by messages warning you that the new “Obamacare – Healthcare Bill” contains a requirement to have an RFID tag implanted in you? You are not alone, there have been many messages propagated by email and by Twitter saying the same thing and NONE of them are true.
The messages that are being sent out all contain references to the new healthcare law H.R. 3200. The crazy thing is that this law was never passed and was modified significantly before it became the new Healthcare Law. The law that was passed is H.R 4872. The full text of the bill can be found here.
This bill makes a number of health-related financing and revenue changes to the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act enacted by H.R.3590 and modifies higher education assistance provisions.
If you look at these bills, you will find that there is NO reference to RFID, spychips, or any other term to suggest that the government is going to require that you be implanted before you can get healthcare under the new Healthcare Act.
In fact in the original bill that failed the references to an implanted device were actually calling for a national registry of medical devices that could be used on a patient. This refers to devices including pacemakers and orthopedic implants. The registry would be something that the FDA might keep allowing the serial numbers of (for example) hip joints, to be collected so that a recall similar to the current metal-on-metal recall could be easily undertaken to get the information to the patient.
So the next time you see an email or a tweet that says you have to be implanted by 2013 in order to get healthcare, just delete it, or tell the person what the real facts are.
Now you may also have seen emails and tweets that say that RFID is the Mark of the Beast. It is true that RFID can be used as a means of identification, in fact many of the current uses for RFID are to identify an object to allow for a more efficient process to take place. This might include things like: storing objects in an inventory on a shelf; or identifying the deliveries of goods to a store; or allowing a financial transaction to take place. In each of these instances, an object is given a serial number that is used to allow the identification of the object. That serial number usually does NOT contain any information about the object, it is merely a look-up into a database that contains the information that is needed. This means that a person using the identification number must have access to the database.
In the past people have complained that barcode is the Mark of the Beast, even though most barcodes do not even contain a unique identification number, simply a part identifier.
For an excellent review on why neither RFID or barcodes are the Mark of the Beast read this article. Both technologies are here to stay, they are not scary and they will help bring a new