Tags: Bush's | Mistake | Medical | 'Privacy'

Bush's Mistake on Medical 'Privacy'

Monday, 16 April 2001 12:00 AM

Bush’s move, which came Thursday and barely blipped on media radar screens Friday, will have important implications for all Americans and their confidential medical records.

Bush’s decision came as a surprise.

On Monday of last week, Secretary of Health and Human Services Thompson told a press conference that his office had been swamped by public comments and that the HHS would need more time beyond the April 14 deadline to consider more than 1,500 pages of new regulations Clinton proposed over the Christmas holiday.

President Bush decided to override Thompson and ordered him to adopt the Clinton rule changes and to implement them without delay.

Bush said "for the first time, patients will have full access to their medical records and more control over how their personal information will be used and disclosed."

"This rule will help address patients’ growing concerns regarding medical privacy," the president said in a statement.

In several reports on NewsMax.com, we have been warning the opposite – that the Clinton rule changes would do precisely the opposite of what Clinton and now Bush have claimed.

We have reported, after reviewing the regulations, that the new regulations would permit:

The effect of the regulations are clearcut, according to the Association of American Physicians and Doctors (AAPS), one of the most respected medical groups.

It was AAPS that successfully sued Hillary Clinton over her Health Care Plan. Now AAPS has taken the lead to stop these regulations.

Guess who is supporting the new Clinton-Bush regulations?

The two most vocal supporters in the U.S. Senate for the regulations are also the two most liberal and the two biggest supporters of Hillary's failed Health Care Plan: Sens. Ted Kennedy and Patrick Leahy.

Press reports are claiming that the new rules are opposed by the health care industry largely because of the costs involved in digitizing all medical records.

Insurance companies and drug marketing companies are salivating that the new rules will enable access to medical records.

And there is no question the new rules allow third-party marketing companies to have access to your medical records.

As NewsMax previously reported, Bob Gellman, a medical privacy consultant and former congressional staffer, states that under the new rules someone can knock on your door and say, 'I've learned from your doctor you have hemorrhoids; would you like to buy this treatment?' "

Gellman added: "You can only opt out after you have been marketed to. I've been working on this issue for 20 years, and it's the worst anti-privacy thing I've seen."

Last week we had more confirmation of this incredible invasion of personal privacy.

The Washington Post reported that Secretary Thompson "said the administration was somewhat less likely to review a provision, opposed by consumer advocates, that allows patients' information to be shared for marketing purposes."

Let me ask the new Bush administration, if the purpose of these rules is to protect patient medical privacy, why do they allow marketing companies to have access to them, as the Washington Post reports?

Obviously, claims that these rules "protect privacy" are as deceptive as redefining the meanining of "is."

Slapping on a label of "privacy" doesn’t mean it really safeguards privacy. We expected that from Clinton, but not from Bush.

The Clinton years were filled with doublespeak.

Today Wes Vernon reports that legislation passed by Congress late last year and signed by Clinton supposedly claims to protect individuals' private financial data, including their confidential Social Security numbers.

Now we learn the privacy safeguards were a sham and that banks can sell your Social Security information to marketing companies. Sounds familiar.

The new Bush administration would do well to rethink its hasty decision to adopt the Clinton "privacy" rules.

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Bush's move, which came Thursday and barely blipped on media radar screens Friday, will have important implications for all Americans and their confidential medical records. Bush's decision came as a surprise. On Monday of last week, Secretary of Health and Human Services...
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Monday, 16 April 2001 12:00 AM
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