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Home > Privacy and Business > Medical Privacy > Select Laws and Regulations > HIPAA Privacy Regulations > Where the HIPAA Privacy Regulations Came From


Where the HIPAA Privacy Regulations Came From

The HIPAA privacy regulations emerged from a whopping giveaway of legislative power by Congress. Congress' abandonment of its responsibility to federal bureaucrats can only be described as scandalous.

The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 had a provision called "Recommendations with Respect to Privacy of Certain Health Information." This section asked the Secretary of Health and Human Services to make recommendations to Congress about the privacy of individually identifiable health information. Congress asked what rights people should have with regard to such information, the procedures that should be used to enforce those rights, and the uses and disclosures of such information that should be authorized or required.

Asking a federal agency for recommendations is acceptable, but Congress went several steps further, telling the Secretary of HHS to go ahead and write into law whatever the recommendations were if Congress did not act. When Congress failed to act, unelected federal bureaucrats created these federal privacy regulations without any further legal guidance.

The results reflect the interests of government agencies and bureaucrats as much as they do the interests of individual Americans in privacy or health care.

Links:

Recommendations with Respect to Privacy of Certain Health Information, Section 264 of the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (August 21, 1996)

Comments? comments@privacilla.org (Subject: AboutHIPAA)

[updated 04/18/02]



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