Technology versus Politics

Technology is marvelous stuff. It tends to make things better, cheaper, more available. It tends to make people happy.

Politics, on the contrary, is the opposite of all the above.  The most exciting, promising technology turns costly and deadly once politicians get their mitts on it.

We should never have let them monkey with our healthcare.  I’ve said so many times in the past (see links below), and I’ll keep saying so until we snap out of our stupor …or it comes crashing down around us (at which point I will say I Told You So).

So, let me offer just one, seemingly minor, even merely clerical reason, why your healthcare sucks.

It’s called ICD-10.

First of all, in my business of healthcare information/image technology, compliance with ICD-10 has been an enormous (i.e. expen$ive) undertaking. There are seven squillion, nine hundred and ninety three fillion codes (give or take) to correlate to software hooks and data. It has made the inherently complex business of making products for patient care even more complex.

The mass of codes and interrelations is certainly a hassle for the engineers making stuff to sell to doctors – presumably to make healthcare providers’ jobs easier (at increa$ed co$t, of cour$e).

But what does ICD-10 mean to doctors, patients and the tangle of insurance companies and taxpayers who ultimately pay for all this complexity?

Well, as of October 1, the wrong code can lead to not only a denied claim and/or months/years of costly hassle, but perhaps significant punishment (on basis of “Medicare Fraud” among other things too legally frightening to mention) for the doctor/institution as well.

Good, you say?

You want fewer mistakes in medicine.

Yes of course.  We all do.

Doctors must do better, certainly.  Prescription drugs, correctly taken, kill more people by far than do “illegal” drugs.  And hospital stays in general (with iatrogenic infections, drugs, mistakes, etc.) kill more Americans than everything but cancer and heart disease.

But what does “do better” mean?  And how do we help make that happen?

And how much arm-twisting, lawsuit-hurling, defrocking, fining and imprisoning force does it take to be helpful??

Let’s see how ICD-10 “helps.”

Let’s say a Farmer Andy comes to the Family Practice clinic with an infected wound that he’s not so sure he can explain. Stuff happens to farmers all the time, and he just can’t remember what this wound was from, initially. He’s always getting bangs and scrapes and cuts, after all.

(And let us be truthful. Andy is a terrible farmer. He’s mostly into quixotic politics)

So, what was the injury initiating this visit?

It’s legally critical we get this right!

Was it ICD-10 code W55.21, “Bitten by a cow,” or W61.33, “Pecked by a chicken?”

Was it when he became a V00.01 “Pedestrian on foot injured in a collision with roller skater?”
Come to think of it, he had been visiting his nephew in prison when that happened, which could add a Y92.147,“Courtyard of prison as the place of occurrence of the external cause.”

Does that qualify as a Z63.1, “Problems in relationship with in-laws?”

Anyway, the doctor knows it wasn’t Y92.253, “Hurt at the Opera,” since Farmer Andy hasn’t gone there since the last episode…(we mustn’t discuss it here.  That would be a violation of HIPAA rules which could lead to a revoked license and even prison).

Farmer Andy did mention (under his breath, seemingly ashamed) that it could have been an “Accident while knitting or crocheting,” which would be a Y93.D1.

The doctor hated to ask, but since he knew Andy and his family had been to Sea World, could Andy have been “Struck by Orca, initial encounter,” which would be a W56.22?

No, said Andy.  It wasn’t a Killer Whale, nor was it a strike.

It was a bite from a Sea Lion.  And not for the first time, or even the second time this had happened.

So that would be a W56.11XS “Sequela…Bitten by Sea Lion.”

Hmmm, the doctor thought. That would have a very specific look to it.  No; it must be something else.

The wound wouldn’t look like this if it were a V91.07 “Burn due to water-skis on fire,” certainly.  He’d seen plenty of those before.

And the doctor could tell just by looking at him that Farmer Andy hadn’t been “Sucked into jet engine,” or X52.

Or was he getting the codes wrong?


Wait…X52 is actually “Prolonged stay in weightless environment.”

Was it V95.40? No…that one is the rather vague, “Unspecified spacecraft accident injuring occupant.”

How about Y37.54?  (Doctor types in code and waits…it’s a big database)

When the doctor worked in the hospital, there was an entire department of people whose only job is to “do coding.”  Here in the clinic, they’ve got a part-time/outside IT department, and sometimes their network bogs down, and…
Oh, here it comes…

Oh heck no!  Y37.54 is “Military operation involving nuclear radiation effects of nuclear weapon.”  SMH, he thought.  He should’ve remembered this one from last week’s incident.

Ah, there it is…V97.33 is the sucked-into-jet-engine code.

Dang it, he has to remember that.  The CMS (Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services) “ICD-10 Ombudsman” was fairly lenient last time.

He can’t afford to make that mistake again!

OK, I have a question for you.  Does the preceding strike you as the best way to improve healthcare delivery?


Now, codifying data is a great idea.  In the right hands and in the right way, when we’re ready (this is a key part), then having convenient, appropriate labels for all our data makes it easier to store, find, and use in a meaningful way.  And I’m even all in favor of people using ICD-10 exactly as it is…if they choose to.

Let me restate that.

If people trained in the care of patients, in their situation (hospital, clinic, private practice) find that using ICD-10 codes helps them treat patients, then great.  Excellent, even!

But that’s not how our $y$tem work$, is it?  It’s not up to the healthcare professional how things are billed and paid anymore.  It hasn’t been for many years now.  In the most practical $en$e, politicians are more involved in healthcare decisions than doctors are.  Doctors can bill for only what they can get paid for by people other than patients; and that is determined by politicians.  In this case, technology becomes more of a parasite than an aid.

As a true-free-market technology guy, that breaks my heart.

Just imagine you’re trying to sell something; a product you make, your old car, cookies at a bake sale…but bickering politicians, lawyers and lobbyists determined what you could charge for it.  Imagine they demand you buy some things, and don’t let you buy others…and that every political intervention not only directly affects your job…it substantially changes your job.

How would that work out in the real world?

And the way “meaningful use” and other “federal” requirements are being FORCED on healthcare providers is, at this state in our knowledge and technology, madness on top of even more madness (do I even need to mention Obamacare?).

To make matters worse, healthcare has been a union shop/monopoly for over a hundred years.  There can be no serious competition with what politicians and lobbyists call healthcare.

If the rest of our technology worked like this, we’d all be clacking away on Windows 3.1, at best.

There were smart people involved in the development of ICD codes.  Lots of them.  But their seemingly dedicated work was performed in disconnection from monetary, human and practical technology concerns.  It’s another good example, in fact, of such obsessive bureaucratic “paperwork” (albeit mostly without paper), that the recording and processing of all this data can and often does compromise patient care in ways analogous to the Observer Effect.

OK, so I have another question for you.

Should we let doctors, who go to school for many years and spend a lot of time in residency and continuous training, actually do the jobs they were trained to do, or should we continue to vote for ever-more intrusion into that profession by politicians, who don’t need any education or even interest in healthcare at all?

Well, please think on it.

It’s your money, your rights, your life and health at stake here, you know.…or-healthcare…choose-one/

No, court cases and precedents are not laws…

The United States Constitution has a fine Preamble.  But the preamble is just a preamble.  The USA Constitution’s first words of actual law follow immediately after that one-sentence preamble.  This sentence is Article I, Section I:

remember“All legislative Powers herein granted shall be vested in a Congress of the United States, which shall consist of a Senate and House of Representatives.”

That one sentence says that only Congress can make federal laws.  In the context of the rest of the constitution, it very plainly says that no other person, group or entity whatsoever, can make federal laws.  Only Congress can make federal laws.  Nobody else gets any legislative powers at all.  None. Žádný.  Nada.  无. Zero.  कोई नहीं.

I have not emphasized that nearly as much as our founders did, but I will repeat it one more time: All legislative Powers are in Congress, and no federal legislative authority exists anywhere else.

Not in courts, not in Executive offices, not in bureaucracies, not in the UN.  Нигде.  Nowhere.  Πουθενά.  Nulle part.  In nessun luogo.  في أي مكان.

Is that pretty clear?

Well, no; apparently not.  Because while our busy bee US Congress does write too !@#$ many laws these days, they only write a few hundred per year.  Executives, by expansion of the once-reasonable “Executive Order” process, write what amount to at least scores of laws per year, and they execute them.  Judges, in very real effect, write and rewrite hundreds of laws per year.

Bureaucrats, minding other people’s business from “Executive Agencies” actually write many thousands of “federal[i]” laws per year.

It’s very bad that unelected bureaucrats write many times as many laws that directly affect you and me, as the three legitimate branches of government all put together.  But that misses the point.  The point, to remind you, is that ONLY CONGRESS IS SUPPOSED TO WRITE ANY FEDERAL LAWS AT ALL.

There is a reason for that.

Originally, by design, there were two species of congress people:

  1. US House Reps were numerous and up for rehire…or better yet, firing, every two years. Our founders actually expected they’d be more numerous per capita than today by far, and that We The People would pretty frequently fire them in favor of new, untainted representation.  These hundreds, or better yet, thousands of reps, were to be too numerous and temporary to build the fiefdoms and cliques we see today.  And this mass of representatives was to have tremendous power; more in most respects than any other part of federal government.
  2. US Senators were originally appointed by state legislators to be the representatives of state sovereignty. States, in the true meaning, are like Germany and Australia…sovereign governing units.  And this sovereignty was to be represented and protected in government.  Senators were to be few, and focused in their intention to limit the growth of centralized “federal” power.  That was killed with the 17th Amendment; and what used to be States are now more like administrative districts.  Even so, our founders would be horrified that we never fire these people.

So lawmaking was placed entirely into the hands of people who could be fired at regular intervals; or, as in the case of US Senators, immediately recalled!  And even though instead of just 535 we ought to have a few thousand lawmakers, it’s still a tiny number of lawmakers compared to the nearly 3 million bureaucrats in 70 federal agencies who’ve over time acquired varying degrees of legislative, executive and judicial powers in violation of Article I Section I, Article II Section I, and Article III, Section I.

By what is still constitutional design (the constitution has never been amended to allow what’s happening today), bad laws could be easily eliminated or nullified by hiring people who’d see the severed heads of former misbehaving congresscritters rolling out of DC, and write only those laws that actually served common interests.

But damn our foolishness!  We’ve come to believe it when judges say they’re all powerful.  And we certainly obey the various rules, regulations, laws and decrees excreted by the DHS, BLM, HHS, EPA, FDA, CIA, Etcia, et cetera, et cetera, et cetera…

Well, because nobody ever reads constitutions, that’s why.  Nobody knows their purpose and power.  And nobody wants to “rock the boat.”

Judges say that they and their courts are authorized by tradition, history, case law, and other BS.  They claim that Precedents have power, and that Judgments are law.  That’s not what the constitutions say; nor is it what our founders meant.  Not At All.

Bureaucrats say they’re just doing their jobs…that Congress and Presidents and Judges and gravity created their agencies, and that they’re just doing their best to fulfill their agency’s charter.  They don’t even know they’re violating our constitutions and everything reasonable.

Stop.  STOP!

Our nation is a lawless, ad hoc mess run by a few global crime cronies.  I intend to fire a shot against it in my meager way shortly.  But what we need is for people to develop for themselves a better vision of civil (domestic and global) life than what we’re doing to each other now.  We need to think about who’s been doing what to whom, and for what reasons, and think about whether we can sustain this self-destruction, let alone want to.

We do not have constitutional rule of law now.  We The People have voted that away.  But I’m certain that’s more ignorance than volition.  I wish we’d all take an hour or so to read this:, and think…

Could you get even a dozen people to agree to a better plan for governing diverse people over a huge nation?  Do you trust our current crop of political cronies to rewrite a new plan?

The state and federal constitutions already belong to you.  You can invoke them to smash down all this corruption and destruction whenever you’re ready.

I’m asking you to get ready.  It’s time to fight the machine and finally make the American Dream come true…for everybody.

[i] We don’t have a federal government anymore.  It’s actually unitary now, and has been for almost a hundred years.  We no longer have “USA” states; we have only subunits of a central government.  Words mean something…we ought to know that while the words are still applied in rhetoric, they no longer apply in actual meaning.

Let’s chase the fox out of the henhouse

Please do me a favor and write letters to the editor, to your local radio and print broadcast, regarding a terrible, destructive, unconstitutional and criminal scam that’s been worsening for the past one hundred years.

The private clubs we call the Demoratic and Republican parties have, as you know, granted themselves special status, powers and advantages.  Taxpayers are forced to pay for political primaries that involve only Ds and Rs, and which give them a year’s head start in public attention, fundraising, and organization.  Only Ds and Rs can have Precinct Committeemen, people with many quasi-governmental powers, yet none of the restraints.  Only Ds and Rs can be on election-related committees – only they count the votes, make appointments and fill public office vacancies.  Only Ds and Rs can have electors, who really choose the President of the United States of America.

All that is immoral, unconstitutional, corrupt and destructive.

I’ve been advised that, while my case is rock solid on fact, merit and law, no court in Indiana, federal or state, would hear my case; at least not until there’s some public attention on this ongoing crime.  Without at least a little public attention, my suit would almost surely be immediately dismissed “with prejudice” as are so many other complaints against our rogue leaders.  So I take my case to you.

Please consider the gravity of my charges; and consider that you and your loved ones are also affected by our society’s worst, and potentially fatal problem.

If you’d like some supporting information to mull over, besides the links above, these might help:

I sincerely thank you in advance.

Liberty or Bust!

Andy Horning

Freedom, Indiana

DCS Press Conference – y’all come

Sadly, I got no press from my last CPS/DCS abolition press conference.  So I’m trying it again…

Who: Andy Horning, Honk 4 Kids and several victims of CPS 

What: Press Conference on the crimes of CPS

When: Saturday, 13 September, 2008 at 1pm

Where: 920 Laurel street, Indianapolis

Contact: Andy Horning; 812 585 0504 cell; 812 859 4416 home,





The state and federal constitutions, to which every politician and police officer in Indiana swear oaths of support, forbid political violence without due process, warrant and proper restraint.

But today’s bureaucracies, like ancient criminal gangs or tin-pot dictators, operate by their own, ancient rules.  And CPS, or the euphemistically named Child Protective Services, is among the most barbaric of bureaucracies.

Sold as an agency of protection for children, it is anything but.  It is, in fact, a lucrative bounty scheme that not only gets tax dollars for each child stolen, but has its own judicial, executive and legislative agents that operate in violation of laws.

No due process.  No warrants.  Nothing but the thinnest justification for sucking children into a system with horrible statistics in sexual and physical abuse as well as very high death rates.

Several victims will be on hand, and the facts will be laid bare.  It’s not just polygamists who’ve been wronged by the hundreds…



Andrew Horning, Libertarian for Governor

Freedom, IN 47431

A better CPS press release

The LaPorte County Libertarians are on the ball.  They published a better write up of my press conference than I did.  Good, key facts.

Stealing and Abusing Children!?!?

Who: Andy Horning, Honk 4 Kids and several victims of CPS 

What: Press Conference on the crimes of CPS (called DCS here in Indiana)

When: Friday, 11 July, 2008 at 3pm

Where: 920 Laurel street, Indianapolis



A Horrible Wrong


The genius of our nations’ founders was that they understood the danger of politics, and kept it on a leash.  They devised a power-limiting scheme of divided and opposed powers, with legislative, executive and judicial powers clearly written into constitutions – with all other powers excluded. 

Key to the powers denied was that political violence may not be unleashed without due process, warrant and properly defined powers.

Modern bureaucracies, like ancient criminal gangs or minor kingdoms, operate by their own rules.  And CPS, or the euphemistically named Child Protective Services, is among the most barbaric.

Sold as an agency of protection for children, it is anything but.  It is, in fact, a lucrative bounty scheme that not only gets tax dollars for each child stolen, but has it’s own judicial, executive and legislative agents.

No due process.  No warrants.  Nothing but the thinnest justification for sucking children into a system with horrible statistics in sexual and physical abuse as well as very high death rates.

Several victims will be on hand, and the facts will be laid bare.  It’s not just polygamists who’ve been wronged by the hundreds…



Andrew Horning, Libertarian for Governor

Freedom, IN 47431


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