Trying to “Prove” His Lie Against “Obamacare,” Texas Rep. Barton Debunks Himself on Facebook Page

bartonLast night on CNN, New Jersey Representative Frank Pallone went head to head with Texas Representative Joe Barton to address their heated exchange during yesterday’s House Energy and Commerce Committe hearing.  During that hearing yesterday morning, Barton tried to perpetuate the myth that the Marketplace is violating HIPAA laws, while Pallone called him out for blatantly trying to mislead Americans.

Of course the actual back and forth got us nowhere, with both gentlemen claiming that they were right.  It did, however, prompt a promise by Rep. Barton to post on his Facebook page the part of the disclaimer he claims violates HIPAA.

Well, true to his word, he did just that.

There’s only one problem—his “proof” just shows that he has absolutely no idea what he’s talking about.

The Terms and Conditions agreement does have the wording Barton used, except he took it completely out of context and didn’t read the full part of it.  Though he did post it on his page.

The disclaimer reads:

You have no reasonable expectation of privacy regarding any information transiting or stored on this information system.  At any time, and for any lawful government purpose, the government may monitor, intercept, and search and seize any communication or data transiting or stored on this information system.  Any communication or data transiting or stored on this information system may be disclosed or used for any lawful government purpose.

Two things.

First, the word “lawful” is written twice.  Violating HIPAA would be unlawful, therefore not allowed.  Second, you don’t input any HIPAA-related information while signing up on the Marketplace to begin with.  Yes, you have to put your Social Security number and answer a few very basic health questions like “Are you currently disabled?” or for women “Are you currently pregnant?”  These are not intrusive questions about your medical conditions.

Hell, I answer more invasive questions when getting a new auto insurance quote.

So Barton’s “proof” is only evidence of his blatant fear mongering or complete inability to comprehend what he’s reading.

The passage he posted on his Facebook page says the government must act lawfully (violating HIPAA would be unlawful) and it’s only for the data you enter on the website—none of that data falls under HIPAA standards anyway.

So when Rep. Pallone called out Barton’s antics during the website hearings, he was absolutely right.  Barton’s claims are baseless and meant to stir up fear in those who react to what they hear rather than research what they hear.

It’s a clear attempt by Barton, and the Republican party, to try to make Americans fearful of going to the website and signing up for health insurance.

But at the end of the day, Barton’s “proof” only proved his own ignorance.

Allen Clifton

Allen Clifton is a native Texan who now lives in the Austin area. He has a degree in Political Science from Sam Houston State University. Allen is a co-founder of Forward Progressives and creator of the popular Right Off A Cliff column and Facebook page. Be sure to follow Allen on Twitter and Facebook, and subscribe to his channel on YouTube as well.


Facebook comments

  • Raymond Sean Walters

    Keep pointing out the BS, cause some people need to be aware.

    • Skippy56

      It would be nice if our Representatives would work on solving the problems with the ACA instead of only trying to name it as a whole completely wrong. The BS are the loudest talkers looking for things wrong with no solutions being offered except to take the ACA away.

  • ziggywiggy

    now this will show up as a meme from right-wingers, then it will spread around the internet as truth finally showing up in my FB feed from my relatives in Indiana as proof of how horrible the ACA is!

  • Reynard Vulpes

    Used to lecture on HIPAA. Know the law well. The man is lying. Outright lying.

    Is this what Texas elects to our most august law making body?

    Even if your full medical records were on this database (they aren’t, not in the least) it would still be illegal to access and use them for any unauthorized purpose … just like it is for your health care giver now.

  • Tamarack

    I’m sure he still thinks he’s right.

    • Jason

      Seldom right, never in doubt; the motto of the GOP.

  • Fresnoguy

    Actually, you aren’t even required to put your SS# in the application.

  • Mike Williams

    Dude, just saved me time…

    What he said…

  • Camoleft

    Hooray for Frank Palone!

  • edwinna

    I think the wording is badly done however. The whole problem could have been avoided if the statement began,”Except for lawful government purposes, you can have no reasonable expectation of privacy…”
    I think the statement is overall alarming, and people shouldn’t have to read it three times to make sense of it.

  • edwinna

    And what exactly are “lawful government purposes”? Would it include, say, the power to deny you coverage if you were diabetic and failed to eat properly and lose weight? Or the power to kick you off of Disability if you were really crazy, so that you refused to take your medication? Or to find out what your blood type is, if there are no other ways to connect you to a crime, but just because you used to be a friend to a murdered person?

    I have been a strong supporter of the ACA, but I don’t find this paragraph reassuring. If it said, “All data that is now guarded by HIPPA regulations will continue to be protected. There are some lawful government purposes which may allow non-medical data to be released, but private medical data continues to be protected by HIPPA.”

    IF that is what they mean.

    • RoundRocker

      Since those would be unlawful purposes under the ACA and/or HIPPAA, the answer would be no.

  • Arbie Bonfatti

    why do they fear the AHCA, because it’s going to prove the brilliance of the Administration and further erode the legitimacy of the GOP

  • dancer61958

    Nothing medical is in the application process as it no longer matters whether you have a pre-existing condition or not so health questions like that are not asked. Hence no HIPPA violations have been made. Texans need to stop repeating lies they hear and research.