This morning on CNN, Tennessee House Rep (R), Marsha Blackburn asserted that “Obamacare” violates the HIPAA (Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act) law. However, when pressed by anchor, Carol Costello, Blackburn seemed to have little grasp of how Obamacare runs afoul of the law, or even what the law states. The 1994 law states that each patient should be afforded privacy and that providers cannot freely share a person’s medical information without patient consent. The GOP is trying to make the argument that the customers enrolling in the ACA are violating their own rights by sharing their information with multiple providers on the much maligned ACA web site. Which of course, makes no sense.
Not that “sense” should get in the way of a talking point, but Blackburn’s back and forth this morning points out the need to know your brief before walking in the courtroom.
Here’s the exchange:
Costello: “So what specifically were you referring to on the website that violates, that could possibly violate HIPAA?”
Blackburn: “Carol, HIPAA requires you to…It’s the way you structure your website and the way you transit the information, the transfer rights that are there, and when you look at privacy on these websites, what you have to do is keep all of the application information in one server…and then you have to, whether it is a physical server or a cloud server…”
Costello: “I’m trying to understand what kind of information you’re talking about. What kind of information are you talking about? What specifically does the website ask that I might be afraid might shared with whomever? Specifically. What information?”
Blackburn: “You should be very concerned not only as you navigate the website but as you make a purchase, and then as your information is handled,” Blackburn said, “What we want to make certain is that an individual’s medical information, their financial information is all going to be kept in a private manner. What we do not want is a peeping Tom who is going to look through their PII, their personal identifying information…”
Costello: “But HIPAA has to do with medical records. The only medical questions it asks is ‘Do you smoke?’”
View the whole hot mess below.