Dear Friends and Neighbors,
Before I get to news from the legislature, I want to congratulate the Andover girls hockey team on an outstanding season. Last week, their playoff run came to an end as they fell in overtime in the state tournament semifinals to Brainerd. The Andover boys hockey team lost last night in the section finals to Duluth East. Congratulations to the boys team on a great season as well.
Before your weekend gets underway, here is an update with some news from the Capitol on healthcare data privacy and the proposed Equal Rights Amendment.
Healthcare Data Privacy
Earlier this week, I introduced healthcare data privacy legislation to give Minnesota patients control over how their private medical information is shared. This bipartisan bill would create a universal consent form for patients to use to make choices about the sharing and use of their confidential medical information. It would do so while also allowing patients with complex medical conditions to choose to have their medical records travel smoothly from appointment to appointment. Therefore, this bill would protect the privacy of patients while still allowing for the convenience of record sharing in order to ensure better coordination of care and the reduction of costs and duplicative tests.
Your health records are private information and belong to you – not insurance companies or healthcare providers. According to a report in the Wall Street Journal, the healthcare data industry is a $7 billion per year industry, meaning private companies are profiting from accessing and trading people’s heathcare information. This benefits companies, not patients. You should be able to determine who can see this private information and deserve the right to choose to keep it confidential.
Equal Rights Amendment
Last week, the House Judiciary Committee heard legislation seeking to implement an Equal Rights Amendment (ERA) by adding to the Minnesota constitution: I am very concerned by this legislation for a number of reasons. Only one other state uses the word “gender” rather than “sex.”
If the ERA is truly about protecting the rights of women, I believe use of the word “gender” would dilute what this bill seeks to accomplish. Think of sports, in particular. A male that identifies as a female is allowed to compete in sports alongside females. Most females could not compete against a male who normally has much more body and muscle mass.
My other reasons for concern is because other states with ERA have subsequently seen pro-choice abortion activists filing lawsuits to expand abortions. (Only a woman can become pregnant so the playing field has to be level.) This legislation has the potential to expand abortion and lead to more taxpayer-funded abortions. During the hearing, I was sure to point out that this legislation and the ERA fails to protect the rights of unborn girls in the womb.
Ultimately, this bill poses a threat to women’s rights and the rights of the unborn.
Please Contact Me
As always, I’m interested in your feedback. Please feel free to contact me by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or contact my office at 651-296-4231. Your input helps me to best represent our community in the legislature and I enjoy hearing from you.
Have a great weekend,