MEDICAL PRIVACY: Clinton Pushes Stricter Laws
President Clinton yesterday outlined his plans to expand federal privacy laws, including stricter safeguards for medical records, the Washington Post reports. Detailing the proposal during commencement remarks at Eastern Michigan University, he said, "We can't let breakthroughs in technology break down walls of privacy. We must be able to enjoy the benefits of technology without sacrificing our privacy." Clinton argued for stricter regulations, saying they are needed "because computer technologies are making it easier to businesses to collect, sort and disseminate personal information that other companies might want." He said, for example, "the life insurance company could share information about your medical history with your bank," which then could make it more difficult to get a loan. Under Clinton's plan, insurance companies and other businesses with information about their customers would have to get the consumer's specific consent before sharing such information with another entity. The proposal "faces stiff opposition in Congress" and objections from many businesses (Babington, 5/1).This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.