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Friday, October 25, 2013
CNS Pushes Bogus Claim About Obamacare Website Privacy

Melanie Hunter writes in an Oct. 24 article:

Rep. Joe Barton (R-Texas), a member of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, on Thursday grilled Cheryl Campbell, senior vice president of CGI Federal Inc., the company that built the Obamacare health-insurance exchange website, on language hidden in source code on the site that says applicants have “no reasonable expectation of privacy.”


The HIPAA Privacy Rule “establishes national standards to protect individuals’ medical records and other personal health information and applies to health plans, health care clearinghouses, and those health care providers that conduct certain health care transactions electronically.”

“HIPAA is designed to protect the patient’s privacy, and this explicitly says in order to continue, you have to accept this condition that you have no privacy, or no reasonable expectation of privacy,” he said.

At the hearing on Obamacare implementation failures, Campbell admitted that she was aware of the language in the source code. However, she told the committee earlier that her company was HIPAA compliant.

When Barton pressed her on whether the source code was HIPAA compliant, Campbell said it was a decision for CMS (Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services) to make.

Hunter fails to mention that Campbell is correct that her company is HIPAA compliant. As Hunter acknowledges, HIPAA applies to "health plans, health care clearinghouses, and those health care providers that conduct certain health care transactions electronically" -- none of which describes Campbell's website-building company.

Hunter also failed to tell her readers that the "no reasonable expectation of privacy" gotcha is totally bogus. Because that language was "hidden in source code," it is not applicable -- such language is part of standard "terms and conditions" clauses and because it was removed from display text, it is not legally enforceable.

But telling the truth was not the point of Hunter's article -- fearmongering about the Affordable Care Act was.

Posted by Terry K. at 8:58 PM EDT

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