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Re: Health Portability Bill

  On Mon, 29 Jul 1996, Robert Gellman wrote:
  > I am not following the progress of this bill in conference, but I saw
  > Jamie's message about the privacy part.  My sources tell me that he got it
  > wrong.  The limited privacy language in the bill is either being dumped or
  > narrowed to a limited requirement that the Secretary propose some
  > legislation later on.  There isn't anything much in the bills to begin
  > with.
      There are several things in play with this bill.  Among the possible 
     1.  No "administrative simplification" section.  As I recall, this was 
  only in the house version of the bill.
     2.  The House version of Admin Simp.  This contained several 
  provisions that privacy advocates did not like.  AG or Denise Nagel could 
  explain this view better than I.  On the pre-emption side, however, it 
  simple set a floor for privacy, and allowed states to adopt rules which 
  more completely protected privacy.  This was a good way to treat the 
  pre-emption issue.
    3.  A Bennett bill type provision, tacked on in the Admin 
  Simplification part of the bill.  This with what CDT, IBM, AHIMA and 
  several otheres were hoping for.  Pre-emption sets a ceiling, not a 
  floor, for privacy.
    4.  Some new provision that very few people have seen.
  Today (monday) Don Haines from the ACLU and I both received calls from 
  the Senate telling us something (bad) was up with the bill with regard to 
  the privacy provisions.  We called five senator staffers and the House 
  Ways and Means committee and could not obtain the new language that the 
  house conferees have reportedly offered.  
  If Bob, Janlori or others have better information, please share it.
  James Love / love@tap.org / P.O. Box 19367, Washington, DC 20036
  Voice: 202/387-8030; Fax 202/234-5176
  Center for Study of Responsive Law
     Consumer Project on Technology; http://www.essential.org/cpt
     Taxpayer Assets Project; http://www.tap.org