Statement of Senator Patrick Leahy:
Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) Tuesday urged Congress to support critical health information privacy protections included in the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, which the Senate is considering this week. The legislation includes funding for investments and incentives in health information technology.
The increased use of technology and the Internet can help reduce health care costs and increase Americansâ€™ accessibility to health care services. Leahy has advocated important, meaningful privacy safeguards to protect Americansâ€™ most private personal information.
â€œI have long held the view that American innovation can â€“ and should â€“ play a vital role in revitalizing our economy and in improving our Nationâ€™s health care system,â€ Leahy said in a Senate floor statement. â€œThe privacy safeguards in the economic recovery package take an important step towards tackling the difficult, but essential task of ensuring meaningful health information privacy for all Americans.â€
In past years, Leahy has partnered with other Members of Congress including Senator Edward Kennedy to introduce health privacy legislation, and to include important privacy protections in health care reform proposals.