Congress To Gut State Medical Privacy Laws?

Saint Paul, Minnesota - Congress has latched onto legislation to create a national health information system: the Health Information Technology Promotion Act of 2005 (HR 4157). However, Citizens' Council on Health Care (CCHC) says the legislation-and the plan-is not the good idea it's portrayed to be.

CCHC has published a chart, including analysis of the bill language and implications for the public if HR 4157 passes:

"This bill gives the federal government complete control over private medical data. It advances a national health surveillance system - a system where the patient's data is shared, assessed, analyzed, collected, and used without the patient's consent or knowledge," said Twila Brase, president of CCHC.

She clarified, "If this bill passes, there will be no virtually no escape for the public. The so-called federal medical privacy rule (HIPAA) eliminated patient consent requirements. This bill allows the federal government to gut stronger state privacy laws. Together they will lead to the end of personal and medical privacy for all American citizens."

"This legislation is not supported by citizens," argued Brase. "It's not supported by patients. No doubt, the only ones who will support it are those who want free and easy access to patient data-without any worry about being sued."

Brase said the bill will:

  • gut strong state medical privacy laws.
  • lead to national patient tracking and identification numbers.
  • build an intrusive and expensive federal bureaucracy.
  • impede frank communication between patients and doctors.
  • leave no patient behind.

Media Contact:

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