Are we, or are they? Maybe they just think we are.

Megan Blanksma is no idiot. But her posture of protecting us from government intrusion makes me think she might think us so. Shame on her.

She wants to change how immunizations are recorded here in Idaho to “protect privacy”. She should set her sights on Google or Amazon, not the Immunization Registry.

I wish Representative Blanksma could have been with me in the ER on the weekends in Grangeville. I can’t tell you how many times folks showed up with a scratch or a cut from the rusty nail wanting a tetanus shot.

“I don’t need no stitches, doc, just the tetanus.”

When was your last shot?

“Heck, I don’t know. It’s been years.”

We will look it up. The nurse starts logging in.

“That shot keeps it from getting infected, don’t it?”

Well, no. Tetanus is a rare complication from an anaerobic wound. Last year in this country about seven people died from tetanus. But wound infections are much more common, and the tetanus shot does not keep you from getting a wound infection.

The nurse finds that his last shot was three years ago, recorded in the state registry.

It looks like you don’t need a shot, you are well protected from tetanus. But make sure you wash that wound, soak it, let us know if it gets red or painful. You don’t need another tetanus shot for another seven years. Though there is some evidence you only need them every thirty years. You’ll be fine.

The current immunization registry guidelines are that people can “opt out” at their request. If they don’t opt out, their immunization data is recorded in a protected data base. Identified health care providers can access the information.

Do you think your shopping data is protected? Are you an idiot?

When you Google 18 cubic foot refrigerators then log in to Fox News and see ads for 18 CF refrigerators, do you think this is just a coincidence? Then you’re an idiot.

It’s all about information. For some reason, our state does not have the capability to find people we have improperly disenrolled from Medicaid. But our DMV knows if you have car insurance. Why doesn’t Representative Blanksma go after that data base?

I think it’s because she knows an avid base when she sees one. Antivaxxers are at the head of any Trump rally. So why not combine the universal desire for privacy with the antivaxxer sentiment? It’s a win-win. But that’s just because she thinks we are idiots.

I don’t believe we are.

Opt in and opt out is a crucial pivot point.

Most of us don’t think about our retirement.

Nor about keeping up to date on our immunizations.

Good evidence shows that employees enrolled (opted in) into a retirement plan, with no cost to themselves, have more savings in the long run. When the retirement benefit is structured so they must “opt in”, some choose not to. Maybe they are suspicious of their employers’ motives, who knows. But the opt in, opt out pivot point is powerful.

Please, look in your wallet. Do you have a smudged immunization card?

Maybe you think this service of keeping track of immunizations is best done by the private sector. Make sure you give them your credit card information and email address.

Yes, you are an idiot.

Representative Blanksma described being shocked when she found out that her children’s immunizations were recorded in the state registry when she had “opted out” from that process years back. I can appreciate that affront.

But dismantling a good system is an idiotic response.

About ddxdx

A Family physician, former county coroner and former Idaho State Senator
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