Wednesday, April 12, 2006

Different Rules on Privacy Act

The NYTimes yesterday reported, Employers Push White House to Disclose Medicare Data:
"WASHINGTON, April 10 — The White House is clashing with the nation's largest employers over their request for huge amounts of government data on the cost and quality of health care provided by doctors around the country.

President Bush has repeatedly urged private insurers to disclose such data, saying it will help consumers choose doctors and hospitals. But Medicare, the nation's largest insurer, has turned down a request for its data from the Business Roundtable, whose member companies provide coverage to more than 25 million people."
Supposedly the Privacy Act prohibits providing this data to businesses. Yet it doesn't prevent the Environmental Working Group from getting payment data from USDA and showing the whole world what farmers got. ( (I wrote a letter to the Times pointing out the inconsistency.)

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