Federal law regarding the release of health records is so restrictive and intimidating, U.S. hospitals could conceivably refuse to confirm or deny if Nazi dictator Adolf Hitler were born in their facility.
That’s the conclusion of some experts who deal with HIPAA, the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act, enacted by Congress in 1996 to help protect the privacy of patients.
The issue of HIPAA’s constraints is coming up now as the law is being cited by Hawaiian hospitals refusing to verify if President Barack Obama were, in fact, born at their facility.
WND has reported there is no clear documentation proving Obama’s birth hospital, since more than one medical facility in Honolulu has been cited in news accounts to be the location, and Obama refuses to reveal his long-form birth certificate.
“The confirmation that an individual was a patient or was not a patient is indeed covered by the statute,” said Helen Oscislawski, a Princeton, N.J., attorney who represents hospitals.
Where’s the proof Barack Obama was born in the U.S. or that he fulfills the “natural-born American” clause in the Constitution? If you still want to see it, join nearly 400,000 others and sign up now!
When presented with the question of denying that anyone, even Adolf Hitler, was ever born in American hospital, Oscislawski indicated medical facilities could keep their lips sealed.
“It’s splitting a hair that most hospitals will not take a chance with,” she told WND. “You have invasion of privacy issues other claims that can be brought against the individual releasing the information.”
Concerning Obama specifically, she said even a denial of his being at one hospital is “backdooring into that.”
“Hospitals are not going to take that risk,” she said. “They cannot confirm or deny because by process of elimination they would indeed be giving the answer.”
Even the Honolulu Advertiser, in a Nov. 9 article, admitted “the hospital where he was born is difficult to document,” as officials clam up while citing federal privacy laws.
can’t confirm or deny it – even though all the information out there
says he was born at Kapi’olani Hospital,” said hospital spokeswoman
Claire Tong. “Our hands are tied.”
As far as what’s protected information, HIPAA law says, “The Privacy Rule protects all ‘individually identifiable health information’ held or transmitted by a covered entity or its business associate, in any form or media, whether electronic, paper, or oral.”
It goes on to specify: “Individually identifiable health information includes many common identifiers (e.g., name, address, birth date, Social Security Number).”
There are some exceptions, including statistics on communicable diseases being relayed to state health departments. Individual patients can also voluntarily opt out of the privacy rules if they wish.
Oscislawski says the protections remain in effect even after someone is deceased, so hospitals could remain silent about Obama’s mother, Ann Dunham.
Another HIPAA expert is not optimistic about hospitals answering even basic questions when it comes to government officials.
“You’re just beating around the bush and running in circles,” said Ronald Worst, a safety and security consultant based in Orlando, Fla. “You wont get any straight answers, trust me.”
He says federal restrictions have been increased over the years, since patients were seeing their personal records stolen and swapped.
“Decades ago before it was enforced, there were health-care facilities selling that cr–,” said Worst. “Because of the lack of protecting that information, it wound up getting in the hands of bad guys for all sorts of crimes including identity theft.”
There’s a schedule of penalties for violating HIPAA, with the most severe stating, “if the offense is committed with intent to sell, transfer, or use individually identifiable health information for commercial advantage, personal gain, or malicious harm, [the person shall] be fined not more than $250,000, imprisoned not more than 10 years, or both.”
Numerous published news accounts have placed Obama’s birth hospital at Queen’s Medical Center as well as the Kapi’olani Medical Center for Women and Children, to which Obama allegedly sent a letter purported to be on White House stationery declaring he was born there. However, new questions have arisen today about the authenticity of the letter, since neither the White House nor Kapi’olani have confirmed its details.
To date, Obama has not revealed his original long-form, hospital-generated “Certificate of Live Birth” that includes details such as the name of the medical facility and the doctor who delivered him.
Here is an actual Hawaiian birth certificate from 1963 (the same era as Obama’s birth), which while redacted includes detailed information documenting a birth, including the name of the birth hospital and the attending physician. Beneath it is the short-form “Certification of Live Birth” offered by President Obama as proof of his Hawaiian birth. It is possible to have been born outside of Hawaii and still obtain the latter form, but not the former:
Long-form birth certificate from state of Hawaii (Image courtesy Philip
Here is the “Certification of Live Birth” presented by
Short-form “Certification of Live
WND has reported on dozens of legal challenges to Obama’s
status as a “natural born citizen.” The Constitution, Article 2, Section 1,
states, “No Person except a natural born Citizen, or a Citizen of the United
States, at the time of the Adoption of this Constitution, shall be eligible to
the Office of President.”
Some of the lawsuits question whether he was actually
born in Hawaii, as he insists. If he was born out of the country, Obama’s
American mother, the suits contend, was too young at the time of his birth to
confer American citizenship to her son under the law at the time.
Other challenges have focused on Obama’s citizenship
through his father, a Kenyan subject to the jurisdiction of the United Kingdom
at the time of his birth, thus making him a dual citizen. The cases contend the
framers of the Constitution excluded dual citizens from qualifying as natural
Complicating the situation is Obama’s decision to spend
sums estimated in the hundreds of thousands of dollars to avoid releasing a
state birth certificate that would put to rest all of the questions.
Among the cases have been several from Democrat Philip
Berg, who has alleged that not only is Obama ineligible to be president, he
was unqualified to be the senator from Illinois and should be prosecuted under
the False Claims Act.
The key question in the dispute also is being raised on billboards nationwide.
“Where’s The Birth Certificate?” billboard in
The billboard campaign follows an ongoing petition
campaign launched several months ago by WND Editor and Chief Executive
Officer Joseph Farah.
They are intended to raise public awareness of the fact
that Obama has never released the standard “long-form” birth certificate that
would show which hospital he was born in, the attending physician and establish
that he truly was born in Hawaii, as his autobiography maintains.