Transparency Czarina Amy Oliver Cooke just sent this press release. It’s not too early to start grieving for your medical privacy. Very soon we could be reminiscing about what it like was when our health care records were kept private seen only by ourselves and our doctors unless we gave permission to do otherwise.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
March 26, 2010
Contact: Linda Gorman, Health Care Policy Center Director, 303-279-6536, or Linda@i2i.org
Amy Oliver Cooke, Colorado Transparency Project Director, 970-371-3413, or Amy@i2i.org
Transparency Trojan Horse:
Legislation Disrespects Colorado Patients and “Makes a Mockery of Medical Privacy”
GOLDEN, Colo.– Coloradans moved one dangerous step closer to losing complete control over who has access to their private medical records. With a 4-3 vote, HB10-1330, the All-Payer Health Care Database, passed out of the Senate Health and Human Services Committee yesterday.
Independence Institute Health Care Policy Center Director Linda Gorman, author of “Bill Summary: HB10-1330, the All-Payer Database: A Transparency Trojan Horse” warns that the legislation grants unlimited power to the Executive Director of Health Care Policy and Financing to mandate the collection of any health care data, to conduct audits, to give the data to third parties without seeking permission, and to impose unlimited fines for refusing to provide data to the database.
Gorman calls the bill “a frightening invasion of privacy” because patients and providers have no say over whether the state may have “access to individual information on physical functioning, medical treatment, supposed mental stability, marital problems, family structure, sexual habits, addictions, adherence to government health recommendations, and individual financial arrangements.”
Noting that Colorado state government has a history of losing supposedly secure data, Gorman is also concerned that the database will be funded by “unknown” sources with “unknown” agendas.
Amy Oliver Cooke, Director of the Colorado Transparency Project, blasted the bill’s supporters who invoked transparency in health care costs as the reason for gathering private medical information, “To call it transparency is an insult to taxpayers and patients and makes a mockery of medical privacy. ” She explained, “transparency means taxpayers keep an eye on government not the other way around.”
The legislation also creates a commission that Gorman describes as little more than window dressing with no power to affect the outcome or protect individual privacy.
HB10-1330 is now headed to the Senate Appropriations Committee. It already has passed the House.
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