Rep. Chip Roy (TX-21), joined by Reps. Thomas Massie (KY-4) and Mary Miller (IL-15), introduced legislation to protect Americans’ medical privacy and curb the federal government’s ability to track them.
Titled the National Patient Identifier Repeal Act, the bill would overturn provisions that give federal authorities the power to create to create a “unique health identifier” to track Americans’ medical records.
The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA) established the statutory authority to create a unique health identifier, a distinct ID code to identify the medical records of every individual, employer, health plan, and health care provider in America. Last year the Senate ended an important funding ban on the creation of federal health identifiers; the bill introduced Tuesday would eliminate that power completely under federal law.
“Personal privacy is a vital part of a healthcare system that respects patients’ personal freedom,” said Rep. Roy. “A National Patient ID to track and monitor people is a clear and direct threat to that privacy. As the federal government continues efforts to intrude further and further into the medical privacy of every American under the guise of fighting COVID, Congress must do everything in our power to fight back for healthcare freedom. I am proud to introduce this bill alongside Reps. Massie and Miller grateful for my friend Senator Paul’s leadership on this fight in the Senate.”
“As a physician, I know firsthand how much the doctor-patient relationship relies on trust and privacy, which would be undermined by a National Patient ID. Now, more than ever, it is crucial to protect Americans’ genetic information from theft by foreign actors like China, and prevent the government from centralizing patients’ personal health records or interfering with their medical decisions,” said Dr. Rand Paul.
“We cannot give the Biden administration the ability to create a centralized database with the personal health information of every American while they are trying to use OSHA to fire Americans based on their healthcare decisions. Just like the Obama-Biden administration, the Biden-Harris administration is politicizing America’s healthcare system and drastically expanding the power and reach of the federal government to punish anyone who disagrees with their political agenda,” said Rep. Mary Miller.
The effort is joined by Sens. Rand Paul (R-KY) and Marsha Blackburn (R-TN) who have introduced companion legislation in the United States Senate.
“As a physician, I know firsthand how much the doctor-patient relationship relies on trust and privacy, which would be undermined by a National Patient ID. Now, more than ever, it is crucial to protect Americans’ genetic information from theft by foreign actors like China, and prevent the government from centralizing patients’ personal health records or interfering with their medical decisions,” said Dr. Paul.
Dr. Paul’s father, former Congressman Ron Paul (R-TX), introduced language to the Labor-HHS appropriations bill in 1998 to restrict the use of federal funds to develop the identifier, and such a ban has been continually renewed in each Labor-HHS appropriations bill since then.
“The federal government has no right to dictate individual medical decisions or gain access to your private medical records,” said Sen. Blackburn. “The existing National Patient ID sets a dangerous precedent for Big Brother to exert even more control over your life, and it is paramount that we prevent the Biden administration from creating it.”
“We thank Sen. Rand Paul for his hard work as a champion against a national patient ID system. Our FreedomWorks community values patient privacy, that’s why we named the National Patient Identifier Repeal Act as our October 2020 Bill of the Month. We urge the House and Senate to consider this legislation and provide a permanent fix to a bipartisan issue that Congress has supported for over two decades,” said Adam Brandon, President of FreedomWorks.