A surprising new provision of Obamacare asks patients to get personal.
According to the New York Post, new regulations of the Affordable Care Act will require patients to disclose personal information about their sex life, even if such information is unrelated to the medical visit.
One provision will ask patients how often they have sex, and with how many partners.
“This is nasty business,” said New York cardiologist Dr. Adam Budzikowski, who called the sex questions “insensitive, stupid and very intrusive.”
The provision will also have doctors asking patients whether they’ve ever used drugs, including IV drugs.
The Goldwater Institute, a conservative public policy organization, is challenging the Affordable Care Act in federal court, reports Fox News. The organization claims the new law violates patients’ medical privacy.
“Once you’ve shared your information with a private third party, the Supreme Court has ruled that is fair game for the government,” said Christina Sandefur, a lawyer for the Goldwater Institute.
Accrording to Watchdog.org, that information goes into an electronic personal file, which can be shared between doctors, hospitals and treatment centers. The connection between medical facilities is meant to reduce waiting times and increase speed of treatment.
Many people worry about the potential for personal information to fall into the wrong hands.
The New York chapter of the ACLU reported that “there are significant flaws in the state’s current privacy and security policies and procedures governing computer networks for sharing electronic medical records.”
In order to defend their privacy, patients must refuse to to answer the intrusive social-history questions, said the author of the Post article, Betsy McCaughey. If the question is pertinent to treatment, she advises, ask your doctor to keep two sets of books so that your secret stays in the office.
“Doctors take the Hippocratic Oath seriously and won’t be offended,” added McCaughey.