I like a good Obama horror story as well as any other disgruntled political loser.



A friend recently threw a scare into me by insisting the president’s health care plan called for implanting an RFID (radio-frequency identification) microchip into American citizens by March 23, 2013. And with Nancy Pelosi saying, “But we have to pass the bill so that you can find out what is in it, away from the fog of the controversy," I figured it may indeed be possible that such a mandate lurked within the 906 pages of H.R. 3590 (Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act).



Some dogs have microchips. Are humans next?



Currently, there’s a lot of information as well as misinformation on the issue.



It’s easier to panic than research. So, I panicked first and then did some research. My first discovery was that the microchip thing has been a persistent rumor for some time.



True, the bill’s original draft, H.R. 3200, which didn’t pass, called for a national registry of medical devices with the intent to collect statistics on how safe and effective the devices are. Implantable RFID chips would have been covered under the law, but that's simply because they’re one of many implantable medical devices.



You can read online all of H.R. 3590 or the 2,310 pages of H.R. 4872, both of which address health care.



Page 2,056 of H.R. 4872 does mention a national registry of medical devices, so it was apparently “reconciled” back into Obamacare a few days after passage of H.R. 3590. After wading through the convoluted Congresspeak, I’m making the brave assumption that neither law requires we get a microchip any more than mandating fake breasts or a nose job.



And, no, I didn’t read all the pages of either one. I did a word search for Rfid and microchip within the documents, and just have to trust the validity of the message “no matches found.”



Since I discovered several versions of both laws and still remain confused, if anyone can provide a source within H.R. 3590, H.R. 4872, or some other verifiable document that actually shows a government policy of implanting microchips in people, please let me know. I would love to see it. And I can always write a retraction.



Unfortunately when a complicated government plan is cloaked in mystery, people tend to prefer the simpler, it-must-be-a-conspiracy angle. I’d like to believe that no American would ever consent to a law like this, nor would it pass in Congress.



Evangelical Christians are up in arms crying “mark of the beast” and ignoring an important detail of Revelation 13 which says, “He also forced everyone, small and great, rich and poor, free and slave, to receive a mark on his right hand or on his forehead, so that no one could buy or sell unless he had the mark ….” The catch is that such a mark requires the conscious rejection of Jesus Christ and a commitment to worship the Antichrist as God.



That requirement does not appear on any page of either bill.



I’m not against microchip technology. A microchip implant, biochip implant, or med chip isn’t, in my opinion, the Biblical mark of the beast. An implantable RFID chip is simply a class II medical device.



Others include percutaneous catheters, vascular graft prostheses, bone-conduction hearing aids, tympanostomy tubes, gastrointestinal tubes, peripheral nerve stimulators for pain relief, and long term intravascular catheters. A pacemaker is an implantable Class III device.



Supposedly, the reasoning behind the medical device registry is to collect data on patients and monitor the product safety of these devices, BUT the road to abuse is a very wide one with applications for all kinds of nefarious purposes.



So, is the mark of the Obama Beast a hoax? Apparently. Snopes.Com, Factcheck. Org. Yahoo Answers, and Metabunk.Org have all said it is.



Nevertheless, I’m recalling that television commercial in which a rather naďve young girl says, “They can’t put anything on the Internet if it isn’t true.” Her companion asks, “Where did you hear that?” Her answer: “The Internet.”



I’m conflicted. I really don’t believe the healthcare bill’s reference to implants and medical devices is a subtext for “mark of the beast.” Furthermore, if my doctor assured me I’d lose a bunch of weight if he implanted a chip in my whatever, I’d roll up my sleeve or bend over.



But I’m still not discounting the words of the Apostle Paul in Revelation when he speaks of the actual mark in the end times.



In case I’m wrong about this issue, I’m left to ponder: the government or the Antichrist. Two different beasts? Or one in the same?



Mary Ready of Destin is a twice-retired English teacher and long-time area resident. Her columns are published on Saturdays.