How "Confidential" Works When The Government's All Up In Your Healthcare
A Toronto woman was denied entry to the United States when a U.S. border agent somehow knew about her confidential medical details.
Valerie Hauch writes in the Toronto Star:
Ellen Richardson went to Pearson airport on Monday full of joy about flying to New York City and from there going on a 10-day Caribbean cruise for which she'd paid about $6,000.
But a U.S. Customs and Border Protection agent with the Department of Homeland Security killed that dream when he denied her entry.
"I was turned away, I was told, because I had a hospitalization in the summer of 2012 for clinical depression,'' said Richardson, who is a paraplegic and set up her cruise in collaboration with a March of Dimes group of about 12 others.
The Weston woman was told by the U.S. agent she would have to get "medical clearance'' and be examined by one of only three doctors in Toronto whose assessments are accepted by Homeland Security. She was given their names and told a call to her psychiatrist "would not suffice.''
At the time, Richardson said, she was so shocked and devastated by what was going on, she wasn't thinking about how U.S. authorities could access her supposedly private medical information.
The piece continues:
MP Mike Sullivan said what has happened to his constituent is "enormously troubling. . . . How did U.S. agents get her personal medical information?''
...U.S. authorities "do not have access to medical or other health records for Ontarians travelling to the U.S.,'' said health ministry spokeswoman Joanne Woodward Fraser, adding the ministry could not provide any additional information.
They don't have access, yet somehow they do.
Be very, very afraid of giving the government any information about you.
It's bad enough we have to give the government a financial stripsearch of ourselves to pay our taxes. Now our health information? If it can be used against you -- well, count on it being used against you.