Tell Governor Brown: Protect Patient Confidentiality

To: Governor Jerry Brown

Over 1,100 CREDO activists in California signed Renee’s petition and sent Gov. Brown a powerful message: Californians should be able to access care without fear that their confidentiality will be violated by insurance companies. In response to Renee's campaign and the organizing efforts of groups like the ACLU of Northern California and the California Family Health Council, Gov. Brown signed SB 138 into law on October 1.
Tell Governor Brown: Protect Patient Confidentiality
1,146
of 2,000 signatures
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Campaign created by Renee Bracey Sherman

Protect the right of Californians to make their own medical decisions. Sign SB 138, the Confidential Health Information Act, to ensure that Californians have confidential access to sensitive health services such as birth control, reproductive healthcare, testing and treatment for sexually transmitted diseases, mental health services and other medical treatments.

Why is this important?

When I was 19, I had an abortion. But because California's laws fail to protect the privacy of patients like me, I was forced to decide whether to allow my insurance company to break the news to my parents or to pay for my abortion out of pocket.

Many Californians can't afford to make that choice and are denied the right to make their own private medical decisions without fear. But SB 138, the Confidential Health Information Act, will change that.

When I handed over my insurance card to pay for my procedure, I was informed that the policy holder—my dad—would receive communication from the insurance company with a list of benefits I had received—including my abortion. While I was planning to tell my parents about my pregnancy and abortion, I wasn't ready to yet. Fortunately, I was privileged to have a credit card on which to charge the $450 procedure—but I still wondered how I’d pay it off working part-time at $8.50 an hour.

If SB 138 is signed into law, it will allow Californians to access health care like birth control and abortion, mental health services, and substance abuse treatment without parents or partners finding out from insurance companies. It will also allow anybody who feels that disclosure of their health information could put them in danger to opt in to additional privacy protections. And because they will be able to use their own insurance without fear, fewer patients will need to rely on state-funded healthcare programs or their own wallet to pay for care, saving Californians and the state money. These protections introduced by SB 138 will especially help young people and those experiencing domestic violence.

As the Affordable Care Act is implemented, millions of Californians will gain access to private health insurance. Young adults will be able to stay on their parents’ health insurance for longer and more people will be eligible for private insurance through Covered California, the state’s new insurance marketplace. But because of these changes, more people will also risk having their personal and sensitive health information revealed through loopholes in current law. That's why it's especially critical to pass SB 138 now and ensure that these individuals are able to access care without fear that their confidentiality will be violated by insurance companies. 

SB 138 has already passed through the California Senate and Assembly and now needs Gov. Brown's signature. We already have momentum on our side, thanks to public demand for patient privacy protections. If enough of you sign my petition, we can keep that momentum building and show Gov. Brown that we need these protections now.

Join me in urging Gov. Brown to sign SB 138 to make California a leader in protecting patient privacy in our new healthcare economy, because Californians who have health insurance should feel safe enough to use it.

How it will be delivered

SB 138 has passed through the California Senate and Assembly. We will be hand-delivering signatures to Gov. Brown's office at the end of September--so please sign and share the petition today!
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Reasons for signing

  • jan A. 2013-09-19 12:11:26 -0700
    There are more barriers to using health insurance than just cost. This is one we can get rid of.
  • Hillary B. 2013-09-20 08:28:18 -0700
    I support SB 138!
  • Julie f. 2013-09-18 19:54:57 -0700
    it's the right thing to do

Updates

6 months ago
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Petition is successful with 1109 signatures

6 months ago

1,000 signatures reached

6 months ago

500 signatures reached

6 months ago

100 signatures reached

6 months ago

50 signatures reached

6 months ago

25 signatures reached

6 months ago

10 signatures reached