Here’s the query, requested of Greene by a reporter throughout a press availability in her workplace: “Have you yourself gotten vaccinated?”
And now for her reply: “Your first question is a violation of my HIPAA rights. You see with HIPAA rights we don’t have to reveal our medical records and that also includes our vaccine records.”
Greene — and cease me in the event you’ve heard this earlier than, is solely mistaken about HIPAA aka the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act.
But, Greene’s feedback about a reporter’s query being some type of HIPAA violation and that her vaccination standing is roofed by HIPAA suggests she has no earthly thought what the legislation really does (and doesn’t) defend.
“Greene’s comment — which, again, claimed that the ‘question’ itself violated HIPAA — was entirely inaccurate. Journalists are not banned, barred, or bound by HIPAA from inquiring about anyone’s health status or their vaccination status. It’s up to the individual to whom the question is posed to decide whether or not to answer. HIPAA does not ban journalists from asking about health information. Indeed, if it did, then the law would almost surely have been met with a vigorous First Amendment challenge.”
Then there’s Greene’s second declare that her HIPAA rights imply she doesn’t must say whether or not she has been vaccinated in opposition to Covid-19. Again, Keller is instructive right here:
“People have to reveal medical information all the time. HIPAA does not grant each American medical patient a universal shield against the passing of medical data.
“Employers have a authorized proper (to) query whether or not job candidates are match for service. Schools can ask bus drivers whether or not they can see correctly with or with out corrective lenses. Airlines can ask pilots whether or not they have a historical past of seizures. Railroad engineers will be required to take drug exams. Warehouses can ask candidates if they’ll elevate containers of a sure weight. Firefighters and law enforcement officials are required to show bodily health. Medical examinations are sometimes hooked up to such employment. HIPAA doesn’t ban the asking of such questions or the gleaning of such knowledge.”
There is, of course, irony too in Greene hiding behind a federal law — even if her understanding of said law is, er, limited — as a way to avoid saying whether she has been vaccinated. Greene’s entire political life is based on the idea of an overly controlling and intrusive federal government — except, I guess, when she can use that government to get out of answering a question she doesn’t like.
Look. Greene has the right to refuse to answer a question about her vaccination status. What she doesn’t have a right to do is totally misinterpret HIPAA to do it.