• My Doctor Can Disclose My Medical Records to the NSA without My Authorization (and so can yours)

    January 16, 2014

    Tags: , , ,
    Posted in: Democracy, Embassy/State

    You can learn a lot about a person from their medical records– what’s that STD test all about? Mental health issues? Hiding a health problem from an employer? Terminated pregnancy? Had a medical issue that might expose your sexuality when you don’t wish to do so? Work for the military or government and trying to keep a health issue off their radar by using a private medical provider?


    Your Doctor Can Tell On You

    I read my healthcare provider’s privacy information, those endless pages you click through signing up. After many, many paragraphs describing how they would not share my Personal Health Information (PHI) even with my spouse without my authorization, I ran straight into this (emphasis added):

    We may sometimes use or disclose the PHI of armed forces personnel to the applicable military authorities when they believe it is necessary to properly carry out military missions. We may also disclose your PHI to authorized federal officials as necessary for national security and intelligence activities or for protection of the president and other government officials and dignitaries.

    I checked a few other major insurance carriers, including Blue Cross and Blue Shield, and they all have the identical language; check yours.

    In other words, your doctor does not need your authorization to share your health information with the government. If the NSA asks for it, they get it. I found no provision requiring your medical provider to tell you the information was passed to the government.


    HIPPA is the Reason

    I asked about this in person at the Member Services office. They were polite, but referred me to their toll-free Member Services number. After a few rounds of Touch Button 1, a very nice woman at the telephone Member Services referred me to their “Congressional Representative.” On hold for a few minutes, then cut off. Called back and worked through the Press Button 4, say Your Birthdate system. Back to Member Services and another long explanation of what I was looking for. In the (ironic) interest of my privacy, I had to reconfirm my name and date of birth more than once. My call was recorded. The Congressional Representative had no idea what I was talking about, and I had to walk her through her company’s own online document. On hold while she checks with a supervisor.

    After quite some time, the person said disclosure to the government without my permission or knowledge was authorized by the Health Information Portability and Accountability Act (HIPPA). I asked her if anyone else had ever asked about this and she said “Not in my personal experience.” Did she know anything more? No. Was there someone else I could speak with? No.

    Protecting Your Privacy by Disclosing Your Health Information

    The Health Information Portability and Accountability Act (HIPPA) was first passed by Congress in 1996. However, the amended HIPPA, which included the Privacy Rule that permits disclosure for national security purposes, was only added in 2002, post-9/11. Why this amendment? The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services says:

    A major goal of the Privacy Rule is to assure that individuals’ health information is properly protected while allowing the flow of health information needed to provide and promote high quality health care and to protect the public’s health and well being. The Rule strikes a balance that permits important uses of information, while protecting the privacy of people who seek care and healing.

    A law passed to ensure the privacy of our health information has a long list of disclosures allowed without your authorization, including this:

    An authorization is not required to use or disclose protected health information for certain essential government functions. Such functions include: assuring proper execution of a military mission, conducting intelligence and national security activities that are authorized by law, providing protective services to the President, making medical suitability determinations for U.S. State Department employees, protecting the health and safety of inmates or employees in a correctional institution, and determining eligibility for or conducting enrollment in certain government benefit programs.

    A reference is made to another law, 45 C.F.R. § 164.512(k), see page 762 at the link, which refers back to “lawful” activities under the National Security Act.

    For former State Department colleagues, please note the release of your health information without your authorization to the State Department is specifically included, for use in the security clearance process. So all you out there who think you’re hiding something from Diplomatic Security by using a private physician, sorry.

    So Doc, What Should I Do?

    Post-9/11, another law we were told was there to protect our privacy does just the opposite. Right-wing claims that Obamacare will let the government into your health records are way out of date. Your healthcare provider is now part of the metastasizing national security state. Be very afraid, but for God’s sake don’t discuss your fears with your doctor.


    Bonus: When I requested my own medical records, I was told it takes two weeks and I have to pay a copying charge. I’m thinking it might be easier to just file a Freedom of Information Act request with the NSA for their copy.



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    Copyright © 2019. All rights reserved. The views expressed here are solely those of the author(s) in their private capacity.

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  • Recent Comments

    • Rich Bauer said...

      1

      Peter,

      Not to worry. The government doesn’t want to know about health issues, considering its willful ignorance about exposure to Agent Orange, Gulf War Syndrome, not to mention those additives to the West Virginia drinking water.

      01/16/14 12:37 PM | Comment Link

    • pitchfork said...

      2

      quote:”Your healthcare provider is now part of the metastasizing national security state. Be very afraid, but for God’s sake don’t discuss your fears with your doctor.”unquote

      Peter, there’s even more tyrannical bullshit to this program. I don’t know what caused your timing for this article, but I suspect a visit to the doctor. Reason is, I recently had reason to set up an appointment, as you know, I moved, and had to get registered with my new state of residence’s Health care system.

      I arrived promptly, and as usual, was led to a room where a nurse started a round of questions regarding my medical background etc, and personal questions. And that’s where things got weird. Out of the clear blue, she says..”Do you own a GUN?”
      After a second or two of shock, I started to answer..and then it hit me. OMG. What the fuck does owning a gun have to do with medical care????
      I immediately told her to fuck off. I wasn’t going to answer that. PERIOD. Even if it meant loosing some benefit. And here is why.

      They are trying to create, behind the curtain, a Gun Owners Database, which is actually illegal. Yes, the ATF has a database of registered guns purchased legally at Federally Licensed gun shops.
      However, since the 2nd Amendment has been around for a couple of hundred years, MILLIONS of guns have been sold, traded, and built without the burden of registering them with the government.

      However,in the last 30 years, the government has tried over and over, to create a Federal statute driven database of gun owners, only to fail, thanks to various Congress members who honor their Constitutional oath. You know, the one that contains the phrase..”…SHALL NOT BE INFRINGED.” Well, as you know, SOME of these Congress critters are of the opinion the Government should own a MONOPOLY ON VIOLENCE, and will do everything in their power to make it so, using power, money, intimidation, and outright unconstitutional legislating to take away your god given right to protect your self and your family.

      And then Sandy Hook happened. In the wake of that tragedy, various jurisdictions, city, county, State, and Federal, have enacted gun control laws that are so extreme, they caused a backlash amongst the gun owners of those jurisdictions. Colorado is a perfect example. In the wake of the governor of Colorado signing into law, various “infringements”, the gun owners of Colorado began a series of 4 RECALL signature collection efforts…
      http://sipseystreetirregulars.blogspot.com/2013/05/colorados-new-gun-law-drives-four.html

      Well sooprise sooprise. Not only did voters in conservative-leaning Colorado Springs remove their senator — also the president of the state senate — but in deeply Democratic Pueblo an apolitical 29-year-old plumber orchestrated a successful grassroots campaign that will go down in history Toward the end of the year, in a third recall Senator Evie Hudak elected to resign rather than take her chances at the ballot box. Further embarrassing the PTB, Magpul, a magazine manufacturing Co. based in Colorado, completely pulled up stakes and moved, causing the loss of MILLIONS in taxes, and 200 jobs.

      Meanwhile, other states such as New York, Maryland, and of course, C have also enacted draconian gun control laws. To the point, they too have begun to see repurcusions as well. One such effort is called the Toys-For-Totalitarians, which given was started by Mike Vanderbough of Fast&Furious fame, is causing those governors and various collectivist journalist’s heads to explode.

      http://sipseystreetirregulars.blogspot.com/2014/01/the-toys-for-totalitarians-program.html

      However, my point is this. Because there already exists a database of registered gun owners, and some of which own OPEN CARRY PERMITS, and now that there is a Interstate access for LEO’s out in the field to IMMEDIATELY query it with no probable cause, and given the computer databases of DMV are now RELATIONAL to the gun owner data base…welcome to the new American Gestapo…

      http://tbo.com/list/columns-tjackson/jackson-gun-owner-unarmed-unwelcome-in-maryland-20140112/

      If that’s not enough to make you understand the dangers of this new form of Surveillance State database collection, understand this. Under “Obamacare”(now there’s an oxymoron), your Constitutional 2nd Amendment right to own the means to self preservation, can and will be thrown out the window by virtue of the new “medical” mandate of “mental health” databases. A doctor, for any reason he deems, can put you in a class of citizens who no longer have the right to own a weapon, which also sets up the immediate possibility of having your door kicked in in the middle of the night, by our new American Stazi, whereby IF, you are in that database as a NON AUTHORIZED GUN OWNER, and you have one..guess what will happen to you? Welcome to Orwell on steroids. Lest you don’t understand, they are setting up the precursors to..you got it. GUN CONFISCATION..sooner or later. Make no mistake. This is EXACTLY what these databases are meant to allow.

      And this is why Peter is DEAD ON! ” Be very afraid, but for God’s sake don’t discuss your fears with your doctor.” Indeed. Your life may depend on it in the future.

      I rest my case.

      01/16/14 3:18 PM | Comment Link

    • pitchfork said...

      3

      ps..Peter, I saw your post at the Dissenter first. Unfortunately, Kevin has seen fit to BAN me by virtue of his distaste for my use of certain “explicatives” and linking to things he doesn’t like, he flagged my account as a ..SPAMMER. We’ll, as much as I respect his journalism, he can eat me.

      Hence my posting my verbose opinion here. Sorry for the length.

      01/16/14 3:45 PM | Comment Link

    • Rich Bauer said...

      4

      Kevin? Seriously, people are still naming their kids Kevin? We beat kids for that in my neighborhood.

      01/16/14 8:55 PM | Comment Link

    • Rich Bauer said...

      5

      OBAMA: Of course, we can all agree spying on US is a very thing, and the NSA would never do this because there are systems to prevent it, like this:

      “The Dishfire system warns analysts they must be careful to make sure they use the form’s toggle before searching, as otherwise the database will return the content of the messages – which would, without a warrant, cause the analyst to “unlawfully be seeing the content of the SMS”.

      01/16/14 9:32 PM | Comment Link

    • pitchfork said...

      6

      BWHAHAHAHAHAHA…HOHOHOHOHOHOHOHOH..HEEEHEHEHEHEHEHE!..hahaha hahah aha haha…!

      They must be careful.

      HOHOHOHOHOHOHOHOH..HEEEHEHEHEHEHEHE..HOHOHOHOHOHOHOHOH..HEEEHEHEHEHEHEHE..HOHOHOHOHOHOHOHOH..HEEEHEHEHEHEHEHEE… please please..HOHOHOHOHOHOHOHOH..HEEEHEHEHEHEHEHE …

      goddamn, that’s almost as good a Evgeniy Voronin. Careful.. unbelievable.

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G6-pelHA_tI

      01/16/14 10:26 PM | Comment Link

    • pitchfork said...

      7

      NEWS FLASH !

      Washington State Senators raises middle finger to Alexander while looking them straight in the eye. Meanwhile, unbeknownst to General Startrek, a Fort Sumpter broadside is delivered to the NSA starship, care of States rights and contempt of the Congress for not taking their oath seriously. The KISS axiom is alive and well. In this case, who needs a President to reign in a flowering tyrant. All you need is the sovereign State jurisdiction enumerated by the Constitution and the will to TURN OFF NSA’s ELECTRICITY, WATER, AND GAS.

      Hahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaa!

      I’d give up my SS to see General Schmuck when he get’s a load of this…

      http://blog.tenthamendmentcenter.com/2014/01/washington-state-bill-proposes-criminalizing-help-to-nsa-turning-off-resources-to-yakima-facility/#.UtgiOr7TmUk

      01/16/14 11:27 PM | Comment Link

    • pitchfork said...

      8

      bartender..line em up.

      01/16/14 11:28 PM | Comment Link

    • wemeantwell said...

      9

      Your bartender also works for the NSA.

      01/17/14 12:29 AM | Comment Link

    • Rich Bauer said...

      10

      01/17/14 2:06 PM | Comment Link

    • Rich Bauer said...

      11

      The 30-year-old’s (Snowden) betrayal of trust in the eyes of U.S. spies has led many to imply that he should be killed.

      Some spooks aren’t hiding their anger anymore, as seen by several candid quotes from a new report by Benny Johnsen of Buzzfeed:

      “In a world where I would not be restricted from killing an American, I personally would go and kill him myself,” a current NSA analyst told BuzzFeed. “A lot of people share this sentiment.”

      Hey, there’s nothing stopping US.

      01/17/14 2:10 PM | Comment Link

    • Rich Bauer said...

      12

      BTW- that popcorn shooter in Florida was just another rotten apple:

      http://www.timesledger.com/stories/2013/51/cannibalconspiracy_tl_2013_12_20_q.html

      01/17/14 2:20 PM | Comment Link

    • pitchfork said...

      13

      quote:”Your bartender also works for the NSA.”unquote

      That’s odd. He said CIA. Of course, he’s been known to lie. But yeah, where else can one overhear old farts plotting an insurrection on the price of beer?
      No doubt I’m on a “don’t serve” list too. But that’s why I suspect he is CIA. Besides, he likes my jokes. Speaking of which…

      A store that sells new husbands has opened in New York, where a woman may go to choose a husband. Among the instructions at the entrance is a description of how the store operates:

      You may visit this store ONLY ONCE! There are six floors and the value of the products increase as the shopper ascends the flights. The shopper may choose any item from a particular floor, or may choose to go up to the next floor, but you cannot go back down except to exit the building!

      So, a woman goes to the Husband Store to find a husband. On the first floor the sign on the door reads:

      Floor 1 – These men Have Jobs

      She is intrigued, but continues to the second floor, where the sign reads:

      Floor 2 – These men Have Jobs and Love Kids.

      ‘That’s nice,’ she thinks, ‘but I want more.’

      So she continues upward. The third floor sign reads:

      Floor 3 – These men Have Jobs, Love Kids, and are Extremely Good Looking.

      ‘Wow,’ she thinks, but feels compelled to keep going.

      She goes to the fourth floor and the sign reads:

      Floor 4 – These men Have Jobs, Love Kids, are Drop-dead Good Looking and Help With Housework.

      ‘Oh, mercy me!’ she exclaims, ‘I can hardly stand it!’

      Still, she goes to the fifth floor and the sign reads:

      Floor 5 – These men Have Jobs, Love Kids, are Drop-dead Gorgeous, Help with Housework, and Have a Strong Romantic Streak.

      She is so tempted to stay, but she goes to the sixth floor, where the sign reads:

      Floor 6 – You are visitor 31,456,012 to this floor. There are no men on this floor. This floor exists solely as proof that women are impossible to please. Thank you for shopping at the Husband Store.

      PLEASE NOTE:

      To avoid gender bias charges, the store’s owner opened a New Wives store just across the street.

      The first floor has wives that love sex.

      T he second floor has wives that love sex and have money and like beer.

      The third, fourth, fifth and sixth floors have never been visited.

      Gotta free beer for that one.

      01/17/14 4:01 PM | Comment Link

    • pitchfork said...

      14

      quote:”“In a world where I would not be restricted from killing an American, I personally would go and kill him myself,” a current NSA analyst told BuzzFeed. “A lot of people share this sentiment.”unquote

      Yeah, well I suspect if at some point, a list of NSA analysts and their address’ magically appears on the net…a lot of people share this sentiment.

      Hey Rich, rumor has it that same analyst was just arrested for peeping through his neighbors bathroom window, whereby he tried to claim immunity as an NSA spy. As I understand it.. the cops busted out in side splitting laughter when he said his dick was only hanging out of his pants as an “antennae”. I guess he assumed the cops were as dumb as the rest of the country.

      01/17/14 4:36 PM | Comment Link

    • Rich Bauer said...

      15

      “The sensational way in which these disclosures have come out has often shed more heat than light, while revealing methods to our adversaries that could impact our operations in ways that we may not fully understand for years to come,” Obama said, mentioning the former NSA contractor by name.”

      And if Big Brother had his way, we would never know.

      01/17/14 6:18 PM | Comment Link

    • Rich Bauer said...

      16

      I AM in favor of the public’s right to know about mental health issues of those who have guns like DS agent Dirty Deedy and other troubled law enforcers:

      http://www.winonadailynews.com/news/national/police-utah-officer-kills-family-members-self/article_d73a8fc3-c77f-5e31-bbb4-a5cc7cf3f016.html

      01/17/14 6:26 PM | Comment Link

    • Rich Bauer said...

      17

      OBAMA: Having faced down the totalitarian dangers of fascism and communism, the world expects us to stand up for the principle that every person has the right to think and write and form relationships freely – because individual freedom is the wellspring of human progress.

      Mr. Obama, the FBI on line one.

      01/17/14 6:35 PM | Comment Link

    • Rich Bauer said...

      18

      If Snowden is such a threat to US, why are we keeping him trapped in the Evil Empire instead of allowing him to travel to Bolivia?

      01/17/14 8:34 PM | Comment Link

    • pitchfork said...

      19

      Mr. Obama, the FBI on line one.

      someone help me off the floor.

      01/17/14 9:12 PM | Comment Link

    • pitchfork said...

      20

      Prez Not sums up NSA “reforms” quote..”Today is no different”.unquote

      yup. thank god. I thought the sun was gonna rise in the west.

      01/17/14 9:15 PM | Comment Link

    • pitchfork said...

      21

      quote “OBAMA: Having faced down the totalitarian dangers of fascism and communism, the world expects us to stand up for the principle that every person has the right to think and write and form relationships freely – because individual freedom is the wellspring of human progress.” unquote

      Having faced down the totalitarian dangers of fascism and communism, …right. Jim Garrison would spit in your face Obama….

      quote from Playboy..exactly 50 yrs ago…

      “National Security” is not mentioned in the Constitution.

      1967 interview of Jim Garrison, District Attorney of New Orleans, who tried to prosecute one of the conspirators in the coup d’etat of November 22, 1963:

      PLAYBOY: Many of the professional critics of the Warren Commission appear to be prompted by political motives: Those on the left are anxious to prove Kennedy was murdered by a conspiracy within the establishment; and those on the right are eager to prove the assassination was an act of “the international Communist conspiracy.” Where would you place yourself on the political spectrum — right, left of center?

      GARRISON: That’s a question I’ve asked myself frequently, especially since this investigation started and I found myself in an incongruous and disillusioning battle with agencies of my own Government. I can’t just sit down and add up my political beliefs like a mathematical sum, but I think, in balance, I’d turn up somewhere around the middle. Over the years, I guess I’ve developed a somewhat conservative attitude — in the traditional libertarian sense of conservatism, as opposed to the thumbscrew-and-rack conservatism of the paramilitary right — particularly in regard to the importance of the individual as opposed to the state and the individual’s own responsibilities to humanity. I don’t think I’ve ever tried to formulate this into a coherent political philosophy, but at the root of my concern is the conviction that a human being is not a digit; he’s not a digit in regard to the state and he’s not a digit in the sense that he can ignore his fellow men and his obligations to society. I was with the artillery supporting the division that took Dachau; I arrived there the day after it was taken, when bulldozers were making pyramids of human bodies outside the camp. What I saw there has haunted me ever since. Because the law is my profession, I’ve always wondered about the judges throughout Germany who sentenced men to jail for picking pockets at a time when their own government was jerking gold from the teeth of men murdered in gas chambers. I’m concerned about all of this because it isn’t a German phenomenon; it’s a human phenomenon. It can happen here, because there has been no change and there has been no progress and there has been no increase of understanding on the part of men for their fellow man. What worries me deeply, and I have seen it exemplified in this case, is that we in America are in great danger of slowly evolving into a proto-fascist state. It will be a different kind of fascist state from the one of the Germans evolved; theirs grew out of depression and promised bread and work, while ours, curiously enough, seems to be emerging from prosperity. But in the final analysis, it’s based on power and on the inability to put human goals and human conscience above the dictates of the state. Its origins can be traced in the tremendous war machine we’ve built since 1945, the “military-industrial complex” that Eisenhower vainly warned us about, which now dominates every aspect of our life. The power of the states and Congress has gradually been abandoned to the Executive Department, because of war conditions; and we’ve seen the creation of an arrogant, swollen bureaucratic complex totally unfettered by the checks and balances of the Constitution. In a very real and terrifying sense, our Government is the CIA and the Pentagon, with Congress reduced to a debating society. Of course, you can’t spot this trend to fascism by casually looking around. You can’t look for such familiar signs as the swastika, because they won’t be there. We won’t build Dachaus and Auschwitzes; the clever manipulation of the mass media is creating a concentration camp of the mind that promises to be far more effective in keeping the populace in line. We’re not going to wake up one morning and suddenly find ourselves in gray uniforms goose-stepping off to work. But this isn’t the test. The test is: What happens to the individual who dissents? In Nazi Germany, he was physically destroyed; here, the process is more subtle, but the end results can be the same. I’ve learned enough about the machinations of the CIA in the past year to know that this is no longer the dreamworld America I once believed in. The imperatives of the population explosion, which almost inevitably will lessen our belief in the sanctity of the individual human life, combined with the awesome power of the CIA and the defense establishment, seem destined to seal the fate of the America I knew as a child and bring us into a new Orwellian world where the citizen exists for the state and where raw power justifies any and every immoral act. I’ve always had a kind of knee-jerk trust in my Government’s basic integrity, whatever political blunders it may make. But I’ve come to realize that in Washington, deceiving and manipulating the public are viewed by some as the natural prerogatives of office. Huey Long once said, “Fascism will come to America in the name of anti-fascism.” I’m afraid, based on my own experience, that fascism will come to America in the name of….

      .. national security.”unquote

      NATIONAL SECURITY. gottcha.

      whudda thunk. Obama..you are a fraud.

      01/17/14 9:38 PM | Comment Link

    • Rich Bauer said...

      22

      I do not have any problem with the NSA spying on Congress.

      01/18/14 12:36 PM | Comment Link

    • Obama’s NSA Speech: Pretty Words, No Real Change | Political Ration said...

      23

      […] My Doctor Can Disclose My Private Medical Records to the NSA (and so can yours) and You Can’t Opt Out: 10 NSA Myths Debunked. Read […]

      01/21/14 5:37 PM | Comment Link

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