The Scene: a job interview circa 2015
Interviewer: Well, Ms Smith, we are very impressed with your qualifications, your credentials and your experience, and we think you could be a very good fit for this position and with our organization. We are particularly impressed with how well-travelled you are, and your knowledge of foreign languages. We just have a few more questions and then we should be able to wrap up for today.
Ms. Smith: Thank you. Please go ahead.
Interviewer: Well, first of all, what can you tell us about your long-term career goals? Where do you see yourself in ten or even twenty years?
Ms. Smith: Well, for the next several years I want to continue climbing the corporate ladder here in the private sector, but at some point I would like to transition into public service. I have been inspired by role models like Hillary Clinton, Madeleine Allbright, Condoleza Rice and Susan Rice, and my ultimate ambition would be to become Secretary of State. But that’s a long way off, of course.
Interviewer: Excellent! Those are noble ambitions and by your resume you appear to be building the right foundation to get there. So, back to our immediate objective…
Ms. Smith: Yes.
Interviewer: Can you tell us something about these three cases of syphillis in 2004 and 2005?
Ms. Smith: I beg your pardon?
Interviewer: Well, it has come to our attention that you were treated three times for syphillis during those years, and we just wanted to ensure that your character is up to the moral standards of our organization.
Ms. Smith: With respect, how would you even know that about me, I mean, even if it were true, which it is not, which I deny categorically.
Interviewer: Do you recognize your signature on this photocopied document?
Ms. Smith: Yes, that’s my signature, but that’s a medical privacy notice. What does that have to do with our subject today?
Interviewer: Well, surely you read the notice before you signed it, correct?
Ms. Smith: I can’t possibly read all the fine print of every document I sign, no.
Interviewer: Hmm, I’m not sure what that says about your attention to detail, but in any case if you had read it, you would see that it clearly states under the heading of “National Security,” the medical facility that treats you may disclose your health information to federal officials “in order to protect the President, other officials or foreign heads of state.”
Ms. Smith: You’re telling me that when I signed a privacy notice, I was really signing a public disclosure notice? What choice did I have? How could I have not signed it and still gotten the care?
Interviewer: A very good question. Ms Smith, are you pro-life or pro-choice?
Ms. Smith: What do my politics have to do with this position?
Interviewer: I suppose that’s an unfair question since we pretty much know the answer already. Based on your two abortions during that same time period, we can be fairly certain you’re pro-choice. Ms. Smith?
Ms. Smith: [shocked silence]
Interviewer: Moving on, on three occasions you were prescribed anti-depressant medication by three different physicians who, upon further investigation, turn out to be psychiatrists. Are you mentally unstable, Ms. Smith?
Ms. Smith: This is outrageous! Anti-depressants! That could be anyone today! Besides, you’re not permitted by law to even ask me such questions, much less go digging for dirt behind my back!
Interviewer: Well, we do do background checks on all candidates, and the information is out there, in electronic form, easily transmissible.
Ms. Smith: But it’s private information! It belongs to me and me alone!
Interviewer: Not quite, according to the fine print. What did you think you were getting when you voted for Obama and his healthcare reform?
Ms. Smith: You don’t know how I voted!
Interviewer: Actually, based on the record of your campaign contributions, we have a pretty good idea.
Ms. Smith: The point of Obamacare is to provide coverage for the uninsured, nothing more. That’s what I voted for.
Interviewer: Perhaps, but somewhere along the way a tremendous concentration of power has been created, wouldn’t you say? Power to know the most intimate secrets of every individual cititizen, to be used however the federal officials judge best, with resources at their command that dwarf the entire American military.
Ms. Smith: But you’re not a federal official! You’re a private-sector corporation! What does this have to do with you?
Interviewer: Let’s just say we have connections. How else are we to obtain our exemptions from the worst mischief that Congress cooks up?
Look, I realize this may be distressing, Ms. Smith, but don’t you think it’s better that you walk through this fire while you’re still in the private sector, before you go for higher-profile public service? I mean, how do you expect your Senate confirmation hearing to go with this information in your file?
Ms. Smith: In my file? The Senate -- they would never bring this up in a dignified official hearing.
Interviewer: A person aspiring to an office appointed by the president and subject to confirmation by the Senate should have a better command of history. I suggest you google ‘Clarence Thomas pubic hair in coke’. Realize that back then, that was just heresay; he-said-she-said. Thomas could always plausibly deny the charges. But you’ll have a much harder time denying what’s in your official EMR.
Ms. Smith: I’m a Democrat! The Senate would never use dirt like that against me! The Republicans didn’t vote for…not one of them voted for Obamacare.
Interviewer: Nevertheless, as federal officials, Obamacare gave them the power, too. Did you think all this power that was being concentrated would forever only be in the hands of the party that promoted it?
. . .
Ms. Smith wakes up. Thank God!, she thinks. It was just a nightmare. Nothing like this could possibly happen in real life.
Not in America!
(See also: Health info collected to “protect the President”)
More Health care reform resources on the Obamacare page.