Citizen Files Class-Action Lawsuit against HHS and Secretary Sebelius to Stop National Health Data System

Seeks Preliminary and Permanent Injunction

(St. Paul/Minneapolis, July 7, 2009) – The civil action lawsuit filed in U.S. District Count on June 24 by Beatrice M. Heghmann brings needed attention to the federal infringements of privacy and personal health care choices enacted through the economic stimulus bill, the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act signed into law by President Obama on February 17, 2009.

Beatrice M. Heghmann vs. Kathleen Sebelius, Secretary, Department of Health and Human Services, Nancy-Ann DeParle, Director, White House Office of Health Reform, and Charlene Frizzera Administrator, Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services brings the impending privacy and patient choice infringements to light:

  • Federal plan to provide a single electronic medical record for every person by 2014 (p. 6 lawsuit; p. 117 ARRA)
  • Federal plan for "enterprise integration," the electronic linkage and sharing of private medical data between "providers, health plans, the government, and other interested parties" who have access to records without consent. (p. 7 lawsuit; p. 114 and 117 ARRA)
  • Congressional requirement that the National Coordinator of Information Technology develop a nationwide health information technology infrastructure for a broad list of purposes. (p. 8 lawsuit; p. 116 ARRA)
  • The apparent elimination of State's Rights as authorized by the state pre-emption provision of the federal HIPAA privacy rule, 45. CFR 164 (p. 8 lawsuit; p. 162 ARRA)
  • Secretary of Health and Human Services empowered to reduce privacy protections through rulemaking, including the authority to alter current privacy-protecting definitions such as "minimum necessary" and "deidentification." (p. 9 lawsuit; pp. 151 and 165 ARRA)
  • Federal access to patient and physician data without consent for government-endorsed 'comparative effectiveness research' aimed at limiting and denying access to care. (p. 10 - 15 lawsuit; pp. 63 and 73 ARRA)
  • Coercive strategies against physicians who refuse to create EMRs, join the national health data system, or be a "meaningful user" (report patient data to the Secretary of HHS). (p. 12 lawsuit, pp. 355-356 ARRA)

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Twila Brase, President and Co-founder
Office: 651-646-8935