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Senate Mandatory Health-Insurance Bill Infringes on Choice and Privacy
Date:11/20/2009

WASHINGTON, Nov. 20 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The Senate's newly released health-reform bill ("Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act") infringes on Americans' health-insurance choices and medical privacy, says Sue Blevins, president of the Institute for Health Freedom (IHF) -- a patients' rights group in Washington, D.C.

The bill would (among many other provisions):

  • Require nearly every legal resident to buy government-sanctioned health insurance;
  • Increase Medicare payroll taxes on individuals earning over $200,000 per year and couples earning over $250,000 per year (raising $54 billion in taxes over 10 years);
  • Slap a new tax on "Cadillac" health plans (high-cost plans offered by employers to their employees) -- raising $149 billion in taxes over 10 years (2010-2019); and
  • Finish laying the building blocks for a computerized "Nationwide Health Information Network" (NHIN) without patients' consent.

Section 937 of the bill, titled "Dissemination and Building Capacity for Research," includes the following provision:

''(f) BUILDING DATA FOR RESEARCH.--The Secretary [of Health and Human Services] shall provide for the coordination of relevant Federal health programs to build data capacity for comparative clinical effectiveness research, including the development and use of clinical registries and health outcomes research data networks, in order to develop and maintain a comprehensive, interoperable data network to collect, link, and analyze data on outcomes and effectiveness from multiple sources, including electronic health records." [Emphasis added.] (See pages 1683-684 of the bill.)

Dissemination of the collected data will be governed by the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA) privacy rule, which actually permits patients' personal health information to be shared among more than 600,
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SOURCE Institute for Health Freedom
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