MEDICAL PRIVACY: Forbes Attacks National Database Plans
GOP presidential candidate Steve Forbes criticized plans for a national medical database, calling it "the greatest assault on the medical privacy of the American people in the history of this country." Blaming the Clinton-Gore administration, he said, "Privacy is the basis for a free society. ... This new system would ... track and monitor your personal medical information and make it available -- without your ... consent and authorization -- to other" agencies, including the government, researchers, law enforcers and employers. But congressional aids contend that Forbes' attacks are "misguided." They say Congress created the database in 1996 and "it is the Clinton administration that has been trying to force Congress to adopt privacy protections for that database." The guidelines proposed by the White House limit the information released without patient consent and require that patients be informed of how their records are to be used (Godfrey, Washington Times, 12/17).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.