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Re: AIDs testing and privacy
At 10:48 AM 9/7/94 -0700, Timothy C. May wrote:
>And don't forget that hospitals and doctors will be forwarding patient
>records to the National Health Recovery Act headquarters outside
>Washington, right near the CIA, NSA, NRO, Central Imagery Office, FBI,
>and, of course, the Big Three credit agencies.
>I'm less worried that a pharmacist will add me to some database he
>keeps than that my doctor will be instructed to compile a dossier to
>government standards and then zip it off over the Infobahn to the
I suppose I shouldn't admit this as a privacy advocate but I wonder why
anyone is interested in all this health/credit data. Since they can't *do*
anything with it in the real world, seems like a waste of time.
Especially the health data. Suppose "they" find out something about your
health status and "they" deny you insurance. Under the system "they" have
constructed, you just show up and get "health care" anyway -- whether at the
local hospital or in Toronto or London.
The only "advantage" that "they" get from finding out about your health
status and denying you insurance is that you no longer have to pay them any
money. You still get the same level of care.
If you are a bright person with a big mouth, you can get them to spend as
much dough on you -- sans insurance -- as they would on a normal schlubb
*with insurance*. That's the way "they" set up the system.
It may not even be too illibertarian <G> of you to play the system like that
since they have used force to prevent you from buying your care on an open
As for the credit info, since you can get whatever you *really* want without
a good (personal) credit history, what is the point of all these conflicts
over credit reporting.
I like to practice privacy and, like normal medical intervention, it can
help individuals on the margin, neither personal privacy nor personal
medical intervention are statistically significant when we consider the
well-being of the general population.
Strong market institutions are more important than privacy and sewers and
vector control are more important than office visits for securing
(respectively) human wealth and human health.
"You don't have to be nice to nation states that you meet on the way up if
you're not coming back down."