Only three days left to kill Federal anti-privacy regulation

Dear Privacy Advocate:

We have an urgent request: Please pick up the phone and call Congress today, or the fight for medical privacy could be lost. That is because the Health and  Human Services regulation that turns your medical data over to the government will go into effect permanently -- unless Congress passes HJR 38 by Friday, June 15.

Please read this short memo, immediately take the action at the bottom, then forward it to others who might be interested.


On April 14, 2001, President Bush quietly directed Health and Human Services Secretary Tommy Thompson to  impose the so-called "medical privacy regulations" that were originally developed by the Clinton administration.

Bush's maneuver came despite the fact that the HHS had been inundated with nearly 100,000 angry letters and e-mails from Americans around the country.

The most dangerous aspect of this regulation --and the one most overlooked in news reports -- is that  for the first time the government, rather than patients and doctors, would be in complete control of your private medical records. That's because the regulation forces doctors and hospitals to share all electronic medical records with the government for a variety of vague purposes, such as to "streamline medical billing procedures" or for "public health surveillance." Then the government, rather than individual patients, will decide who gets to see them.

No wonder Americans are so worried. This regulation, which was published in the Federal Register on December 28, 2000, would:

  • * Give dozens of government agencies and thousands of bureaucrats access to your medical records -- including the private notes of a psychotherapist -- without your consent.
  • * Let government agencies share your records with marketing companies. The rules specifically allow pharmacies to share prescription records "for the purpose of marketing health-related products and services" without your consent.
  • * Do nothing to prevent the government from accessing your DNA information and transferring it to "third parties."
  • * Permit police agencies to access medical records without a search warrant.
  • * Allow private insurance companies to compile the medical information into a database.
  • * Prevent patients involved in health research projects from accessing their own medical records in some cases.

How would you like a prospective employer to know if you have a "genetic predisposition" to contract a serious -- and expensive -- illness?

What if an acquaintance who worked for an insurance company or government agency could read the private notes of your psychotherapist, or find out if you have ever undergone drug or alcohol treatment?

Would you want others to know whether you've had an abortion or been treated for an embarrassing disease?

All of those things could happen if this Clinton-Bush regulation is allowed to stand.

That's why it's so important to pick up the phone and call your U.S. representative today. If we can't get Congress to vote on HJR 38 by Friday, you can kiss your medical privacy goodbye!


 Call your U.S. House representative immediately at 202-225-3121 or 202-224-3121 to request an immediate vote on House Joint Resolution 38 (HJR 38). This measure, sponsored by U.S. Rep. Ron Paul of Texas, declares that the HHS  regulation "shall have no force or effect."


(1) Identify yourself and let them know you are a voter in their district. Leave your name, address, complete with ZIP code, and phone number. Please be brief, especially if you are leaving a message.

(2) Ask them to tell House Speaker Dennis Hastert to schedule an immediate vote on HJR 38. Let them know that this measure must pass Congress by Friday -- or the HHS rules will remain in effect.

(3) Ask them to vote *YES* on HJR 38. Then ask for a letter confirming their position.

Is there anything else you can do? Yes! Please forward this E-mail to a friend, and ask them to call their representative as well.

Thank you for your help!

Ps. Please encourage all those with whom you have influence to do the same...Time is of the essence!

Copyright Family Guardian Fellowship

Last revision: March 29, 2009 09:23 AM
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