AFFIRMATIVE MEDICAL INHERENCY 227
LOBBYING INTERESTS PREVENT MEDICAL PRIVACY PROTECTION
THE POWER OF THE INFORMATION AND HEALTH INSURANCE INDUSTRIES PREVENT PASSAGE OF LEGISLATION TO PROTECT MEDICAL PRIVACY
Paul Starr, Professor of Sociology, Princeton University, "Health and the Right to Privacy," American Journal of Law & Medicine, 1999, 25 Am. J. L. and Med. 193, EE2001-JGM, p. 194
Despite this public sentiment, health privacy legislation has been stalled for decades. Indeed, privacy legislation generally in the United States has made little legislative headway despite broad support in public opinion polls. Political scientists identify the blockage of privacy protection as a classic case of the triumph of concentrated interests over the diffuse interests - that is, the ability of the information industry and in this case, much of the health insurance industry, with their ample financial resources, to prevail over the broad but weak commitment of the public.
MEDICAL PRIVCY MEASURES HAVE BEEN WATERED DOWN SO THAT INSURERS AND EMPLOYERS STILL GET ACCESS
ALISSA J. RUBIN, TIMES STAFF WRITER, Los Angeles Times June 20, 1999, SECTION: Part A; Page 8; TITLE: CONTINUED ACCESS TO PRIVATE MEDICAL DATA RAISES CONCERNS// acs-VT2001
Legislation that privacy advocates had hoped would give consumers ironclad assurances that their medical records would remain private has evolved into a measure that would allow insurers and employers continued access to sensitive medical information.
One key provision of the legislation, the target of intense lobbying by the insurance industry and employer groups, requires people who sign up for health insurance to grant insurers and employers access to medical records past, present and future.
LOBBYISTS KILL EFFORTS TO PROTECT MEDICAL PRIVACY
The New York Times, June 21, 1999, SECTION: Section A; Page 1; TITLE: Lobby Efforts Doom Medical Privacy Bill // acs-VT2001
Legislation to protect the privacy of patients' medical records is dying under pressure from insurance companies, health care businesses, law-enforcement officials and others lobbying Congress to preserve their access to sensitive information on patients.
As envisioned at first, the bill would have established comprehensive Federal standards for the confidentiality of medical records.
HUGE LOBBYING EFFORTS STOP MEDICAL PRIVACY PROTECTION
The Washington Post, October 31, 1999, SECTION: EDITORIAL; Pg. B06, TITLE: Privacy Cliffhanger // acs-EE2001
Insurers, drug companies and HMOs that had successfully blocked Congress from enacting a medical privacy law declared that the regulations would add $ 43 billion to health care costs over five years. The BlueCross BlueShield Association distributed a scary diagram showing the need for repeated notice to patients as their records were transferred from a physician to a hospital to a lab and back.
HUGE LOBBYING EFFORTS PREVENT MEDICAL PRIVACY CONTROLS FROM BEING ENACTED
USA TODAY, October 28, 1999, SECTION: NEWS; Pg. 18A TITLE: Congress passes up chance to protect your financial privacy // acs-EE2001
The real tragedy is that the lobbying muscle of the industry overwhelmed the public's clear desire to keep their financial books locked tight. A recent survey by AARP found 81% of its members opposed even internal sharing of information by affiliated companies, let alone sales to third parties.
The more than $ 300 million the involved industries spent on lobbying and campaign donations over the past two years ensured that their opposition to tougher privacy laws was heard loud and clear.