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Consumer Watchdog: U.S. Senate Records Reveal Google Inc. Lobbying Campaign on Personal Medical Records Law Despite Internet Giant's Denials
Date:4/28/2009

WASHINGTON, April 28 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- First quarter federal reports show Google lobbied on the electronic medical records provisions of the federal economic stimulus act, contradicting the Internet giant's earlier claims that Consumer Watchdog's report of its effort was "100 percent false."

Google's report shows a total expenditure of $880,000 on lobbying during the period including on "online health-related initiatives; issues relating to online personal health records, including in connection with H.R. 1: American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009." Google also contracted with an outside firm, the Podesta Group, which independently reported lobbying for Google on "health information technology" and "online privacy."

King and Spalding LLP also independently reported lobbying for Google on "online health-related initiatives, including health information technology provisions in H.R. 1, The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act."

After the nonprofit, nonpartisan Consumer Watchdog reported the "rumored" lobbying in January, Google contacted a charitable foundation about withdrawing Consumer Watchdog's funding.

In a letter to Google CEO Eric Schmidt released today, Consumer Watchdog said the company owes the group an apology. Read Consumer Watchdog's letter here: http://www.consumerwatchdog.org/resources/LtrSchmidt042209.pdf.

"It is now clear from public records that Google was lobbying Congress relating to online personal health records in connection with the economic stimulus act... What else could Google have been seeking except to be excluded from the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) provisions on privacy and forbidding sale of records? Please tell us," wrote Jamie Court, Consumer Watchdog president and John M. Simpson, consumer advocate.


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SOURCE Consumer Watchdog
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