June 1, 2003

Pharms, Banks and More

South Knox Bubba, after taking yesterday off, is making up for it today. Plenty of stuff on Bush talk, WMDs, hunting terrorists, bigotry, both Clintons, and the plight of big pharm and finance. Go be entertained.

Those of you pondering the level at which free markets operate in this country should read this report (via SKB) on big Pharm's intended lobbying effort for the coming year. It is pretty clear that governments at all levels are trying to participate in planning for this industry and those of us paying the bill can evaluate the results.

The big banks are fighting for the elimination of our privacy (also via SKB) in the name of providing 'high-quality service'

The banks contend the only consistent way to regulate the industry is through national standards, and that barring information-sharing with affiliates would make it impossible for them to provide high-quality service to customers.
They want regulation and they want to make sure the rules read the way they want. And, if their idea high quality service is the continual flow of snail mail spam flowing from their insurance joint-marketing partners then it must stop.

The appropriate rule regarding customer/patient privacy for all businesses is pretty straight forward:
Information can only be released with the conscious informed consent of the individual customer and only to those organizations specifically approved by the individual customer.
Tweak it a bit if you like but it does not take more then this....not volumes of regs, 100s of attorneys, or $millions wasted in non-productive lobbying efforts.

Posted by Steve on June 1, 2003
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