The following is a press release from Senator Rand Paul about an issue that you really should be paying attention to if you value your medical privacy and data security:
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Yesterday, U.S. Senator Rand Paul (R-KY) introduced the National Patient Identifier Repeal Act to overturn a dangerous provision of existing law requiring the creation of a “unique health identifier,” also known as a National Patient ID.
“As a physician, I know firsthand how the doctor-patient relationship relies on trust and privacy, which will be thrown into jeopardy by a National Patient ID. Considering how unfortunately familiar our world has become with devastating security breaches and the dangers of the growing surveillance state, it is simply unacceptable for government to centralize some of Americans’ most personal information,” said Dr. Paul.
The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA) established the statutory authority to create a unique health identifier, a distinct ID code to identify the medical records of every individual, employer, health plan, and health care provider in America.
Dr. Paul’s father, former Congressman Ron Paul (R-TX), introduced language to the Labor-HHS appropriations bill in 1998 to restrict the use of federal funds to develop the identifier, and such a ban has been continually renewed in each Labor-HHS appropriations bill since.
This June, however, an amendment stripped this critical protection for Americans out of the version of the Labor-HHS appropriations bill ultimately passed by the U.S. House of Representatives. Enacting the bill into law with this amendment or a similar provision would open the floodgates for a government-issued ID to be linked with the private medical history of every man, woman, and child in America.
Prior to introducing standalone legislation to repeal the original authority created under HIPAA, Dr. Paul successfully advocated this month for keeping language banning federal funding for the unique health identifier in the proposed Senate version of the Labor-HHS appropriations bill.
You can read Dr. Paul’s National Patient Identifier Repeal Act on Scribd