Liberty and the ICD-10


Last week I wrote that I felt that the American Disabilities Act was probably the best example of governmental “do-gooding” statutes. But now I think I was wrong. Because this past October 1, the Tenth Revision of the International Classification of Diseases (otherwise known as the ICD-10) was ordered into effect. This measure increased the number of billing codes from which our country’s healthcare professionals must select to bill insurance companies for services rendered from the lofty number of about 24,000 to a mindboggling 148,000! So now injuries must be earmarked more precisely, literally forcing the billing doctors to draw the distinction between computer codes for being bitten by a cow, chicken, macaw or parrot. Or whether their patients were injured at the opera, the driveway of an orphanage or at a prison swimming pool!

Things like these represent the logical extreme of bureaucratic absurdity. Why can’t the government make necessary provisions for those people who cannot afford basic healthcare, and then simply leave the rest of our healthcare system alone? The American Medical Association estimates that it will cost a small medical practice an extra $57,000 to $226,000 just to train for, perfect and monitor these new codes, and a large practice from $2 to 8 million. And, of course, this will directly translate into increased costs to all of us for medical care. Thomas Jefferson rightly stated that a government is best that governs least. Less governmental interference results in more Liberty for everyone. How did we ever get so far off track?

Judge Jim Gray (Ret.)
2012 Libertarian candidate for Vice President, along with
Governor Gary Johnson as the candidate for President