Rand Paul Rips Into Obamacare Diagnostics Mandate: Codes for Injuries Sustained from Macaws, Turtles, & Burning Water Skis?

Senator Rand Paul (R-Ky.) (AP)

With the implementation of Obamacare, doctors will soon be required to use roughly 122,000 new medical diagnostic codes to inform the federal government of injuries sustained by Americans, so says Kentucky Senator Rand Paul.

The new codes, Sen. Paul explained, include classifications for “injuries sustained from a turtle,” “walking into a lamppost” and “injuries sustained from burning water skis.”

“Your government just wants to take care of you,” he added, criticizing the new law’s 9,000-plus pages of new regulations. “They don’t think you’re smart enough to make these decisions.”

Physicians currently have about 18,000 medical diagnostic codes, called ICD-9, to choose from to help them inform insurers of their patients’ ailments. But according to Paul (himself a physician), Obamacare will require physicians to adopt roughly 122,000 new codes — and some of them sound downright ridiculous.

“Included among these codes,” the senator continued, “will be 312 new codes for injuries from animals; 72 new codes for injuries just from birds; 9 new codes for ‘injuries from the macaw.”‘

“The macaw?” he asked. “I’ve asked physicians all over the country, ‘Have you ever seen an injury from a macaw?”‘

He continued, adding that he had found “two new injury codes under Obamacare for ‘injuries sustained from a turtle.”‘

“Now, you might say, ‘Well, turtles are dangerous’ — but why do you have to have two codes?” he asked.  “Your doctor has to inform the government whether you’ve been struck by a turtle or bitten by a turtle.”

He added:  “There is a new code for … walking into a lamppost. There’s also a code for ‘walking into a lamppost, subsequent encounter.’”

“I guess that’s if you don’t learn,” he added. “[T]here is [also] a code … for ‘injuries sustained from burning water skis.”‘

Though the Republican senator delivered his speech earlier this month to the Iowa Republican Party, his Obamacare remarks have only recently gained traction online:

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Featured image Getty Images. This post and its headline have been updated for clarity.