According to an article from Capitalism Magazine,

ObamaCare is perhaps the ultimate in busybody politics. People who have never even run a drugstore, much less a hospital, blithely prescribe what must be done by the entire medical system, from doctors to hospitals to producers of pharmaceutical drugs to health insurance companies.

This includes federal laws requiring the turning over of patients’ confidential medical records to the federal government, where these records can be looked at by politicians, bureaucrats and whoever can hack into the government’s computers. Neither you nor your doctor has a right to keep this information confidential.

I've never heard this before, it's unreferenced, and is from a political source; this combination makes me rather skeptical that such laws exist.

  • Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act mind you there have been many changes to this bill since it was passed, mostly house led repeals. But there it is for you to try to read and decipher for yourself if it gives HIPAA protected information to the government. Commented Aug 8, 2013 at 3:35

1 Answer 1


This Politifact.com page examines a similar claim made by Michelle Bachmann. It gives her claim their worst rating: "Pants on Fire". Bachmann claimed that the government was going to be collecting intimate details about people as a result of Obamacare, and in fact, the government is not. This claim is a misinterpretation of a "Hub" that the government is creating, which will allow appropriate government agencies to look up data that it already has.

This Politico page discusses claims that Obamacare would expose your medical tests and other medical data to the government. The government would access and request some data indicating eligibility for subsidies, but, as you can see from this Obamacare application form, no medical information is requested.

The notion that the Affordable Care Act will expose sensitive data to the government appears to be nothing but a hyperbolic misinterpretation.

  • 2
    just because the patient doesn't have to turn over that information, doesn't mean the Obamacare organisation doesn't get the power to access that information as desired from his/her physicians (who will be known from things like payment records) in the same way I don't have to turn over my browsing history to the NSA but they can access it anyway through their access to the records of companies like Google and Yahoo. In other words your counter means exactly nothing.
    – jwenting
    Commented Aug 8, 2013 at 5:49
  • 7
    The link to the application form indicating that information didn't have to be turned over was just a part of my answer. The rest was dedicated to disproving the notion that infrastructure within Obamacare gives the government medical information. It's conceivable that the government might otherwise, potentially because of Obamacare, be tapping medical information, but I can't be asked to prove a negative.
    – Publius
    Commented Aug 8, 2013 at 6:03
  • 8
    @jwenting: the question asks whether the reform require patients to turn their medical data to the government, which it does not. Whether the government illegaly would try and find those data through other means is completely irrelevant to the claim.
    – nico
    Commented Aug 8, 2013 at 10:56
  • 1
    @nico it asks whether that data is handed over, not by who it is handed over.
    – jwenting
    Commented Aug 8, 2013 at 10:57
  • 8
    @jwenting: it aks whether the data is handed over legally and the claim speaks of "federal laws requiring the turning over of patients’ confidential medical records to the federal government"
    – nico
    Commented Aug 8, 2013 at 12:52

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