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Consumer Advocate Speaks Out Against Bill Allowing Invasions of Medical Privacy; Author Received $21k from Bill Benefactors
Date:3/12/2008

SACRAMENTO, Calif., March 12 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The following is being issued by the Foundation for Taxpayer and Consumer Rights:

What:

A consumer advocate will speak out against proposed legislation that would create a loophole in existing law which bars the sharing of private medical information without a patient's consent. The bill, SB 1096 (Calderon), does so by deeming what amounts to marketing material to be necessary to provide health care services. Transfers of private medical information -- including a patient's illnesses and prescribed medications -- to private companies hired by drug manufacturers to increase prescription drug sales would occur without the patient's knowledge or consent. Such databases of medical records are attractive targets to hackers and identity thieves.

In the last 2 years, the bill author, Senator Ronald Calderon, has received at least $21,690 from drug companies and others that will benefit from the legislation.

FTCR's letter to the Senate Health Committee opposing the bill is below.

When: Wednesday, March 12, 2008 -- Press availability @ 1:00 p.m. (Senate Health Committee begins at 1:30)

Where: State Capitol, Outside of Room 4203 - Sacramento, CA

FTCR LETTER TO SENATE HEALTH COMMITTEE:

The Honorable Sheila Kuehl

Chair, Senate Health Committee

State Capitol, Room 5108

Sacramento, CA 95814

RE: SB 1096 - OPPOSE

Dear Senator Kuehl,

We are writing you and members of the Senate Health Committee to urge your opposition to SB 1096. This bill would create a loophole in existing law that bars the sharing of private medical information without a patient's consent. The bill does so by deeming what amounts to marketing material to be necessary to provide health care services. In addition to the broad privacy concerns outlined below, SB 1096 could open the floodgates of inappropriate sharing of medical information. Eve
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SOURCE Foundation for Taxpayer and Consumer Rights
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