Published at 17:43 on 21 September 2018
This definitely qualifies as both creepy and dystopian.
Note where this is happening and note who is doing it. Namely, it is happening in the USA and not in some big-government European welfare state. And capitalists, not government bureaucrats, are the ones mandating it. None of that should be a surprise except to the Ayn Rand-quoting idiots who seem to think that only government can be a threat to peoples’ liberties.
That’s not to say that it’s of no concern that a more centralized, universal health care system in the USA might be tempted to abuse people’s privacy like this. The privacy-violating demands related in the story are already happening first in the USA, for openers. And a country that sends the like of a Trump to the White House can’t really be said to be the sort of place where widespread concern for civil liberties prevails.
These are powerful arguments for having universal health care be accomplished in way that’s more decentralized and independent from government control than single-payer. It’s not impossible to do; there are, in fact, examples of countries that already do it. I will be posting some more thoughts on how to solve this problem soon.
It’s not just health insurance companies that are doing such things, either. Most of the big Internet companies (Google, Twitter, Facebook, etc.) rely on privacy-compromising data collection as a core part of their business model. And again (and depressingly) the USA is a place where such practices tend to widely-tolerated; what pushback there is seems to be concentrated in Europe.
Every society has its moral failings, and this behooves those of us proposing social change, even sorely needed social change (particularly sorely needed change), to be aware of those failings so that they may be compensated for. Else things may well get more creepy and more dystopian, and paradoxically get that way via the best of intentions.