[owner-privacy-news@defendyourprivacy.com: PRIVACY ALERT: Last chance to block raid on your medical records]

Brian Minton minton@csc.smsu.edu
Thu Jun 14 05:17:01 2001

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I hope this is not too off-topic, but this potential loss of privacy is a
little bit frightening.

http://cs.smsu.edu/~minton / PGP key id 0x24B44202     _    _my favorite OS!
bjm918s@mail.smsu.edu     / www.bellview.org          | |  <_>._ _  _ _ __
bminton@earthling.net    / What are you waiting for,  | |_ | || ' || | |\ \/
bminton@efn.org         / try Jesus today!!!          |___||_||_|_|`___|/\_\
"Many shall run to and fro, and knowledge shall be increased"  --Daniel 12:4

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From: "Privacy News Update" <owner-privacy-news@defendyourprivacy.com>
To: <privacy-news@defendyourprivacy.com>
Subject: PRIVACY ALERT: Last chance to block raid on your medical records
Date: Wed, 13 Jun 2001 02:21:23 -0400
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Reply-To: owner-privacy-news@defendyourprivacy.com

        Last chance to block the government's raid on 
        your medical records -- including your DNA!

        You are receiving this update because you registered at
http://www.DefendYourPrivacy.com, the site that was instrumental 
in killing the FDIC's Know Your Customer regulation in 1999. We 
are writing to notify you that this is your *LAST CHANCE* to 
stop the new HHS "medical privacy rule," which would allow the
government to seize control over your private medical records 
and transfer them to other parties. However, if you do not want 
to receive further updates, please use the unsubscribe directions 
at the end of this message.

        Only three days left to kill
        Federal anti-privacy regulation

        Dear Privacy Advocate:

        We have an urgent request: Please pick up the 
phone and call Congress today, or the fight for medical 
privacy could be lost. That is because the Health and 
Human Services regulation that turns your medical data 
over to the government will go into effect permanently -- 
unless Congress passes HJR 38 by Friday, June 15.

        Please read this short memo, immediately take the 
action at the bottom, then forward it to others who might 
be interested.


        On April 14, President Bush quietly directed 
Health and Human Services Secretary Tommy Thompson to 
impose the so-called "medical privacy regulations" that 
were originally developed by the Clinton administration. 
Bush's maneuver came despite the fact that the HHS had 
been inundated with nearly 100,000 angry letters and 
e-mails from Americans around the country.

        The most dangerous aspect of this regulation -- 
and the one most overlooked in news reports -- is that 
for the first time the government, rather than patients 
and doctors, would be in complete control of your 
private medical records. That's because the regulation 
forces doctors and hospitals to share all electronic 
medical records with the government for a variety of 
vague purposes, such as to "streamline medical billing 
procedures" or for "public health surveillance." Then the 
government, rather than individual patients, will decide 
who gets to see them.
        No wonder Americans are so worried. This 
regulation, which was published in the Federal Register 
on December 28, 2000, would:

      * Give dozens of government agencies and thousands 
        of bureaucrats access to your medical records -- 
        including the private notes of a psychotherapist 
        -- without your consent.

      * Let government agencies share your records with 
        marketing companies. The rules specifically allow 
        pharmacies to share prescription records "for the 
        purpose of marketing health-related products and 
        services" without your consent. 

      * Do nothing to prevent the government from 
        accessing your DNA information and transferring 
        it to "third parties."

      * Permit police agencies to access medical records 
        without a search warrant. 

      * Allow private insurance companies to compile the 
        medical information into a database. 

      * Prevent patients involved in health research 
        projects from accessing their own medical records 
        in some cases.

        How would you like a prospective employer to know 
if you have a "genetic predisposition" to contract a serious 
-- and expensive -- illness?

        What if an acquaintance who worked for an insurance 
company or government agency could read the private notes of 
your psychotherapist, or find out if you have ever undergone 
drug or alcohol treatment?

        Would you want others to know whether you've had an 
abortion or been treated for an embarrassing disease?

        All of those things could happen if this 
Clinton-Bush regulation is allowed to stand.

        That's why it's so important to pick up the phone 
and call your U.S. representative today. If we can't get 
Congress to vote on HJR 38 by Friday, you can kiss your 
medical privacy goodbye!

        WHAT TO DO:

        Call your U.S. House representative immediately at 
202-225-3121 or 202-224-3121 to request an immediate vote on 
House Joint Resolution 38 (HJR 38). This measure, sponsored 
by U.S. Rep. Ron Paul of Texas, declares that the HHS 
regulation "shall have no force or effect." 

        WHAT TO SAY:

        (1) Identify yourself and let them know you are a 
voter in their district. Leave your name, address, complete 
with ZIP code, and phone number. Please be brief, especially 
if you are leaving a message. 

        (2) Ask them to tell House Speaker Dennis Hastert to 
schedule an immediate vote on HJR 38. Let them know that this 
measure must pass Congress by Friday -- or the HHS rules will 
remain in effect.

        (3) Ask them to vote *YES* on HJR 38. Then ask for a 
letter confirming their position.

        Is there anything else you can do? Yes! Please 
forward this E-mail to a friend, and ask them to call their 
representative as well.

        Thank you for your help! 


        Steve Dasbach
        National Director
        Libertarian Party


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