In yet another observation based on the Twitter musings of Sen. Charles Schumer, the issue of privacy comes up. Senator Schumer released on Twitter the following:
ChuckSchumer Chuck Schumer
A strong stance. A defense of the privacy that Americans hold dear. A great reason for supporters to stand behind Sen. Schumer.
Except when you consider that Sen. Schumer voted for, and strongly supports, the Health Care Reform. A law that few, if any, lawmakers read before voting on. Which has lead to a yet-as-unending series of revelations about what the Health Care Refrom will actually do.
In connection to privacy, which Sen. Schumer is presenting to anyone on Twitter as a position he holds important, the Health Care Reform is allowing the Government to have access to all the private data on the medical records of the American public. Considering the ability of the Government to keep anything secret, which is rare and isolated information at best, your medical records will become about as secure as Government computers allow.
Which doesn’t make us feel secure since an 18 year old in Greece hacked US Government files, and it took 2 years to finally track him down (in June 2011). That same month, June 2011, saw Senate.gov hacked by a group who hacked the FBI, allegedly. The U.S. Department of the Treasury was hacked as reported in May 2010. Which of course says nothing of the massive, scandalous, and arguably treasonous hacking of Wikileaks.
Suffice to say, the Government having access to the medical files of every citizen is more secure than a collander, but hardly guaranteed to be information that won’t be available to someone determined, or skilled, enough to get data about you they shouldn’t have.
How is this happening? According to Peter Roff of U.S. News & World Report, in an article at USnews.com
“The department’s [U.S. Department of Health and Human Services] first choice is to collect them directly. If they can’t manage that, Plan B is to require the states to collect the data and take it from there. Plan C is to lean on health insurers, using a new regulatory scheme that would require private companies to crunch the data according to new federal mandates the ways the feds want it.”
So we have to ask Sen. Schumer, if he is such a standardbearer for the Right to privacy, why did he vote for the Health Care Reform? IF he was unaware of the ability confered to the Government to access the health records of American citizens, by all means possible as Peter Roff states, what else is he unaware of the Health Care Reform allowing the Government to do to the public? Which also begs the question, DID Sen. Schumer read the Health Care Reform before he voted for it?
Politicians always want to have every choice both ways. They are for all the positive things that can get them re-elected, and ardently against those that constituents dislike – but by making that tweet Sen. Schumer owes his constituents an explaination. Either privacy is important, or it is not. He does not deserve applause and support for defending privacy while at the same time he has actively promoted a law that will remove the privacy of the most sensitive of data about any individual American.
Please feel free to ask Sen. Schumer to clarify this for his constituents. His contact is http://schumer.senate.gov/Public/contact.htm