Now that we have Obamacare, why can't HIPAA be crumpled up and tossed?
The whole point of HIPAA was to keep your health info secret from insurance companies, so that they wouldn't deny you coverage or overcharge you for being a sick person. Of course, that was a stupid idea- insurers don't care about the juicy details of why you're sick. They only care about which policyholders are costing money. You obviously can't keep your insurer from finding out about the claims payments they're making on your behalf. And nothing ever seriously prevented insurers from conspiring with each other about whether to blacklist you, even if your doctors were gagged and prevented from revealing your blood type to each other.
The central feature of Obamacare is supposed to be preventing insurers from overcharging or denying coverage to people with preexisting conditions. If that's the case, then WTF is the purpose of HIPAA anymore? Keeping your spouse in the dark about your herpes? Making sure potential bosses can't google your name against "DSM-5" or "virus"? Preventing WalMart greeters from tackling kleptomaniacs? Ensuring food charities won't withhold green bananas from the terminally ill?
Since HIPAA was enacted, people have really gotten in their heads that the privacy of their health information is their most treasured possession. People are even screaming about HIPAA violations on healthcare.gov because it has a radio button for smokers to click on. But if *insurers* can't do anything with this information anymore, then who cares? Should we still be forcing sick people to make extra trips to the hospital so they can pick up their X-rays in person? This info should still be confidential, but I don't know why it deserves its top secret status anymore.