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Do You Want Your Medical Records Online? The Economic Stimulus Bill Puts Your Privacy at Risk

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It is time to make your voice known. As the new Obama administration rolls up its collective sleeves, the details of the coming economic stimulus bill have become known. A key issue for everyone is the privacy of your medical records. AAHF has written an excellent position paper on medical privacy.

The current economic stimulus bill mandates that every citizen’s health records be stored electronically, without providing patient consent provisions or offering the right to opt-out. During the presidential campaign, President Obama promised a $50 billion investment to create a national electronic medical record network, to be implemented by 2014. Your health records could potentially be available to over 600,000 covered entities through the health record network. It is also possible that your private health records could be leaked or stolen by hackers who broach the security safeguards.
According to Sue Blevins, president of Institute of Health Freedom, “Unless people have the right to decide if and when their health information is shared or whether to participate in research studies, they don’t have a true right to privacy.” There have been dozens of recorded instances when online medical records have become available for all to see on the Internet. Medical records can contain very private information that could affect your credit, your job, your family, and every aspect of your life.

While electronic medical records has long been one of the planks of healthcare reform, the basic rights of “opting out” and “patient consent” are not to be taken lightly. When credit scores can determine whether you’ll be able to purchase insurance, will your health records determine your ability to get a job or finance a home? Click here to send a letter to your Congressional Representative and Senator to insure you retain the right to keep your health records private.

Before we leave the stimulus bill, we should also mention that the house and senate `version`s contain other provisions about medical care including the establishment of a council that will decide what kind of medicine the government approves of (and will ultimately pay for or allow a tax deduction for). None of this of course has anything whatever to do with stimulus.

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