A group of Republican senators and representatives convened on the Senate Swamp this morning to present 1.6 million petition signatures “from American citizens who are urging Congress to immediately repeal Obamacare.” The lawmakers argued that health care reform has undermined job creation and pledged to repeal the law before the Supreme Court rules on its constitutionality in the summer of 2012.
Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-TX) went a step further, suggesting that the justices should find the law unconstitutional in order to protect their own medical privacy:
GOHMERT: If the Supreme Court is really weighing from a personal standpoint, ‘gee do we strike it down or not?’ There is good news for them. In the Obamacre bill, any president they don’t like will have access to any Justice’s health care records and as I understand — I haven’t read the agreement between the administration and GE — GE will have access to their health care records. So a good not for the Supreme Court, all of their medical records will be available to the people they don’t like in the federal government. Good news for them if they don’t strike it down.
It’s unclear which provision Gohmert is referring to, but some Republicans have recently raised concerns about a regulation that would require insurers to send patient information to the government. The rule — which is not yet finalized — is the result of a provision in the law that establishes a “risk adjustment” mechanism to compensate insurers who take on too many sick patients. HHS is currently soliciting comments from the health care industry and the general public about how best to bolster patient confidentiality, but the Affordable Care Act specifically prevents the president or anyone else from obtaining personal medical information. The law requires HHS to obtain “de-identified claims” that would that could not be attributed to individual patients.