Healthcare & Email under President Ronald Reagan

October 02, 2018
PRIVACY AND FREEDOM

Healthcare under Reagan

The future of healthcare in America has been one of the most contentious debates in recent years, but the discussion is nothing new to American politics. Healthcare under President Reagan was a hot topic even then, and the changes that have—and haven’t—happened since then illustrate the evolving, and complex, nature of the topic.

Reagan took the viewpoint that less government intervention in Americans’ healthcare was needed. He reduced funding for a number of federal health and welfare programs, actions designed to not only cut excessive spending but to enable Americans to have more control over their own wellbeing. Instead, he contended that the country should invest in jobs and empower Americans to take the lead on their own healthcare. The view of healthcare under President Reagan was essentially that health is a private endeavor, and not one that should be regulated by the government.

The privacy aspect of healthcare is now one that’s tied to the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act. The law dictates how health information can be shared by providers and others; while most Americans likely understand the basics of the law, as technology evolves, we also need to shift our awareness of its impact of HIPAA.

For emails to be fully compliant with HIPAA, it’s important to use encrypted email providers. Such services add an extra level of protection that ensures only the sender and receiver see the information contained within the email. That’s a basic tenet of HIPAA: that healthcare communications should be solely restricted to the patient and his or her physician or other provider. Unsecured emails, whether in a professional or personal setting, can put users at risk for violation of HIPAA; if such messages were intercepted—either maliciously or even unintentionally—it could open the user up to liability.

Encrypted email providers support Reagan’s goal for American health to be a private, personal experience.

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