Home > Past Releases and Reports > The HIPAA Regulations: A Gamble with Privacy and Patient Care
For Immediate Release
March 30, 2001
Contact: Jim Harper
The HIPAA Regulations: A Gamble with Privacy and Patient Care
Privacilla Assails Process, Substance of New Federal Regulations
today on federal regulations purporting to protect the privacy of Americans' health
"The regulations amount to a gamble about consumer confidence in the health care
system," the comments state. "The gamble is that . . . patients will more openly and
confidently seek treatment if murky and arcane federal regulations make patients'
personal health care information more available to the government, to researchers,
and to a variety of other interests."
"This bet should be taken off the table," said Jim Harper, editor of Privacilla.
The comments also review the "constitutionally suspect and crassly political" process
that brought about the regulations, noting, "There are many reasons to lack confidence
in the regulations because of the way they were formulated."
The Privacilla comments attempt to clear up some of the incoherence in the privacy
debate, offering up the idea that privacy is an individual condition, like happiness.
"A law or regulation that purported to provide happiness would properly be viewed
as absurd. So it is with privacy."
"Privacy can not be delivered like an entitlement," the comments continue. "It is a
product of individual power and control, coupled with the personal responsibility to
exercise that power and control."
The comments call for the regulations to be withdrawn and for Congress and the President
leaders should take would "prevent governments form actively eroding the ability of
patients to control health information."
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as a public policy issue from a free-market, pro-technology perspective. It has
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