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OP ED:  Government’s Grope and Grab

Has Got To Stop!

By: Elizabeth Lee Vliet, M.D.

Intrusive gropes of traveler’s private parts by TSA’s government employees is just the latest overreach of this administration to “grope and grab” every aspect of our lives.

Here are some examples:

  1. Grope our bodies, literally or by x-ray, treating everyone as an equal threat to safety, and grab harmless items.

  2. Grope our medical privacy in the electronic records the government wants for every medical visit.

  3. Grab our right to choose our medical treatment with our physician, rather than the government panels now being created.

  4. Grope our financial records in the new “reform” act.

  5. Grab our money for higher health insurance premiums to cover new Obamacare mandates.

  6. Grope and grab our paycheck with more reporting and higher taxes.

  7. Grab our liberty to choose how we pay for medical care.

  8. Grope and grab our food choices with a food bill being rammed through in the lame duck Congress: as with “healthcare reform” it has to be passed into law before we can see what’s in it.

  9. Grope and grab our CO2 emissions–from traveling, from heating and cooling our homes, even from eating high-fat foods—in a vast new EPA power grab.

  10. Grab our energy sources with drilling bans onshore and offshore.

  11. Grope and grab our 401k and IRA plans in a proposed mandate to buy Treasury bills.

  12. Grope and grab 30% of all personal and business international wire transfers of money beginning 1-1-2013, buried in the “Jobs” bill.

  13. Grab added 3.8% tax on the gain over $250,000 on sale of our homes.

  14. Grab our freedom to express political opposition and religious beliefs as are our rights under the Constitution.

  15. Grab even our kids’ toys, mandating removal from Happy Meals, starting in San Francisco.

The TSA indiscriminate body scans and intrusive gropes are a good example of what Benjamin Franklin warned against when he said in 1755 that “Those who would give up essential Liberty to purchase a little temporary Safety deserve neither Liberty nor Safety.” His statement is often misquoted to omit the key adjectives essential liberty and a little temporary safety, which then changes the meaning significantly. He recognized that we always have to make tradeoffs.

In the name of airline safety, millions of Americans are being deprived of their fundamental, essential 4th Amendment liberty and have not really gained any greater safety than we had with the walk-through magnet and targeted pat-downs. Body cavities can still be used by suicide bombers to carry explosives. And cargo is incredibly still not being adequately screened for explosives. So it is only the illusion of “enhanced security” that is being offered in exchange for gross violations of our bodies and our liberty—and without the basic safety precautions required in medical x-ray facilities, or the infection control precautions demanded of medical personnel. This grope-and-grab policy, like the others, is about control and subjugation of the public, not security. What price are we willing to pay in dignity and privacy for the illusion of more safety?

The government pretends it is all “for our own good.” Anybody could be a potential terrorist, and we as consumers and patients are too stupid to know how to manage our own lives. Dr. Donald Berwick, recess appointed head of Medicare and Medicaid even said it directly in July 2008 as he celebrated the 60th anniversary of Britain’s National Health Service: “I cannot believe that the individual health consumer can enforce through choice the proper configurations of a system as massive and complex as healthcare. That is for leaders to do.” (italics mine) 

Based on 30 years of medical practice, I disagree vehemently. Patients and physicians acting as partners make far better medical decisions than any government bureaucrat I have ever encountered.

We are being incrementally stripped of our liberties at an alarming rate, like the proverbial frog in a pot of gradually warming water. Once we have lost all, it is too late to jump out of the boiling water, back to our essential liberty our Founders fought to achieve.

The fundamental question is this: Do you want the government groping and grabbing all these aspects of your life, or do you feel YOU should make the choices that are best for you? It really isn’t a dispute over whether changes need to occur – it is whether the changes should be planned centrally by Washington to control and direct your life, or whether YOU are empowered to make the changes that are best for you, the individual.

I think it is high time we demand that our new Congressional representatives start off the New Year with a bold halt to the federal government “grope and grab.” That’s a New Year’s Resolution for change we can live with.

© Elizabeth Lee Vliet, M.D. October 18, 2010

Dr. Vliet speaks as an independent physician, not as an official spokesperson for any organization. Dr. Vliet has no financial ties to any health care system, pharmaceutical company, or health insurance plan. Her allegiance and advocacy is to and for patients. Her medical website is www.herplace.com.

Elizabeth Lee Vliet, M.D. is a women’s health specialist and the Founder of HER Place: Health Enhancement Renewal for Women, Inc. with medical practices in Tucson AZ and Dallas TX. Dr. Vliet is President of International Health Strategies, Ltd., a global healthcare and education service company whose mission is twofold: liberty and privacy in the choice of treatment options and preservation of the Hippocratic tradition of focus on the individual patient.

Dr. Vliet is the 2007 recipient of the Voice of Women award from the Arizona Foundation for Women in recognition of her pioneering advocacy for the overlooked hormone connections in women’s health. Dr. Vliet has appeared on FOX NEWS, Cavuto, Stuart Varney Show, Fox and Friends and syndicated radio shows across the country addressing these critical issues. She has been an invited speaker for numerous healthcare Town Hall presentations, and guest speaker at international conferences on how healthcare regulation changes affect both physical and financial health.

Dr. Vliet's books include: It’s My Ovaries, Stupid!; Screaming To Be Heard: Hormonal Connections Women Suspect-- And Doctors STILL Ignore; Women, Weight and Hormones; The Savvy Woman's Guide to PCOS, The Savvy Woman’s Guide to Testosterone.

Dr. Vliet received her M.D. degree and internship in Internal Medicine at Eastern Virginia Medical School, then completed specialty training at Johns Hopkins School of Medicine. She received B.S. and M.Ed. degrees from The College of William and Mary in Virginia. Dr. Vliet is a Director of the Association of American Physicians and Surgeons, and member of The International Menopause Society, The International Society of Gynecological Endocrinology, American Society of Reproductive Medicine, The Heritage Foundation, The Jamestown Society, Daughters of the American Revolution, Order of First Families of Virginia, and the Order of Descendants of Ancient Planters.

Dr. Vliet’s medical and educational website is www.HerPlace.com For more on healthcare reform, go to www.TakeBackMedicine.com and www.aapsonline.org

To book Dr. Vliet for interviews, healthcare talks, or for permission to publish articles, call 520-797-9131 (MST).