Tonight, InternationalMosaic.com filed another comment about the EPA’s proposed rule. The substance of the comment on the proposed rule is as follows (and selected parts are quoted below):
Among its numerous defects, EPA’s proposed “Anti-Environment” Regulation is invalid because it directly conflicts with HIPAA ‘s patient confidentiality protections.
In America, an important source of health information are medical records protected by HIPAA. That statute protects the privacy of our personal medical information. See, e.g., Ambrosone CB et al., Conducting Molecular Epidemiological Research in the Age of
HIPAA: A Multi-Institutional Case-Control Study of Breast
Cancer in African-American and European-American Women, 2009 J of Oncology, Article ID 871250 (PDF copy attached); id. at 2-3 (noting that test subjects could not be identified by their doctors without prior consent and describing the additional procedures required).
As the Department of Health and Human Services explains: “A major goal of the [HIPAA] Privacy Rule is to assure that individuals’ health information is properly protected while allowing the flow of health information needed to provide and promote high quality health care and to protect the public’s health and well being.” https://www.hhs.gov/hipaa/for-professionals/privacy/laws-regulations/index.html.
By forcing EPA to ignore such private (and appropriately non-public) data, the proposed anti-environment rule is fiendishly calculated to block the EPA staff from considering the best data available. This scheme has at least two devastating impacts.
First, the proposed rule will nonsensically bar EPA from considering the best scientific data available disabling EPA rulemaking. This rule would violate the agency’s common sense and statutory duty to consider the “best” data.
Second, by purporting to limit EPA’s consideration of important data, the proposed rule would cripple EPA efforts to comply with NEPA.
Either impact taken alone compels the conclusion that EPA should reject its proposed “Anti-Environment” Regulation.