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Re: CPT's March 1 Letter to Senator Kassebaum

  On Mon, 4 Mar 1996, James Love wrote:
  >     who are you then?
  Each message I post includes a signature.  You should have the courtesy 
  to identify me by the description that I use.
  > > my position on the legislation was mischaracterized,
  >    Well, its my opinion.
  Well, you're wrong.
  > > and the 
  > > quote is out of context. 
  > > 
  If you actually read what I wrote, you might have noticed that I was
  arguing against informed consent in some contexts.  I don't think that
  there is anything coercive about some requests for consent.  If it is
  lawful to base life insurance on health condition, then there is nothing
  coercive about asking for people's health records as part of the
  application process.  People who want insurance may not have a choice, but
  no one forces them to buy insurance or to patronize companies that require
  health assessments.  Similarly, if you want your hospital bill paid, it is
  not coercive to ask for consent.  It is an essential part of the
  transaction.  The Condit bill avoids consent for treatment and payment, 
  substituting a statutory access procedure instead.
  You have failed to articulate the problem here, and your solution is 
  meaningless.  Giving the Secretary authority without standards or 
  guidelines is a nonsolution.  If you want to restrict the ability of 
  schools or insurance companies to obtain records with consent, I wish 
  that you would explain what the abuse is and what your specific response 
  would be.  I thought that the problems with employers were largely solved 
  by the ADA.  If you think that law is defective, propose amendments to it 
  as well.  
  In any event, my purpose is not to discuss your proposal.  If you are 
  going to quote me as authority in your lobbying activities, you should be 
  courteous enough to ask me first or careful enough to get it right.
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  +   Robert Gellman          rgellman@cais.com   +
  +   Privacy and Information Policy Consultant   +
  +   431 Fifth Street S.E.                       +    
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