Records not as vulnerable as group claims

Critics say new rules on electronic medical records could leave them open to "millions" of people.
Critics say new rules on electronic medical records could leave them open to "millions" of people.

Could Big Brother — or garden-variety snoopers — soon get their hands on your medical data? The Senior Citizens League — a group that boasts 1.2 million members and is affiliated with the Retired Enlisted Association — recently sent out a mailing saying it was possible.

According to a copy obtained by the Huffington Post, the group sent a four-page letter, along with a questionnaire and a cover letter signed by former Rep. David Funderburk, R-N.C., to seniors, expressing two related concerns about Democratic health care reform plans now being debated on Capitol Hill. One is that they could lead to the rationing of care. The other is that the government is assembling a "national government computer network" that will contain Americans' medical files.

We've already addressed the question of rationing , so we'll focus here on the plans for a computer network.
Here's what the Senior Citizens League letter said:

"The key to these changes is a massive national government computer network, which is now being created. When it is complete, your complete medical record will be available 24 hours a day to health care workers at computer terminals in pharmacies, doctors' offices and hospitals across the country and to government workers. ... To ensure that all doctors, hospitals and pharmacies participate and place their records in the new system, a portion of the economic stimulus legislation passed in February includes stiff penalties for doctors and hospitals which do not participate. The complete lack of privacy or confidentiality that comes when millions of people can see your records and the virtual certainty of computer errors has raised concern among many Medicare beneficiaries."

We checked the claim and fould little to back it up .