Sen. Mitchell: Your privacy unfairly burdens business

How does it shake down when Colorado’s Republican senators are forced to choose, for the record, between protecting the rights of individuals and the prerogatives of business?

Right this minute, the Senate is debating the degree to which your medical records should be kept private from your employers.

Our Republican senators are arguing against what seems a fairly straightforward amendment to House Bill 1012, which centers on the right of insurance companies to provide incentives to employees to attend health-promoting programs. The amendment the Republicans are now opposing — proposed by Sen. Morgan Carroll, D-Aurora — would increase safeguards against employers learning about your medical history, including, say, your visits to therapist offices, rehab centers, heart doctors or fertility clinics.

Carroll is arguing, essentially, that because our personal information flows increasingly freely around the Web, now is the time to begin to think about how information leaks and to consider what kind of legislative protections to put in place.

Sen. Shawn Mitchell, R-Broomfield, more conciliatory than usual, is admitting to the need for privacy and Carroll’s good intentions, but feels the vague burdens placed on businesses would be onerous. He is drawing support from his side of the aisle.

Ah, but Mitchell and Co. have lost. Carroll’s amendment just passed.

We have our answer.

Note: This is coming to you in non-real-time because there’s no public Wi-Fi in the “people’s building” here in Colorado, a fact that gives local flavor to what The New York Times today, for other even better reasons, called the “cobwebbed chamber”!


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