Sorting out HIPAA confusion: What if your employer demands to know your COVID vaccination status?

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Asking for vaccination status does not violate the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act, says Loyola Law School professor Jessica Levinson. Photo by Shutterstock.

During a recent push from some House Republicans to encourage their supporters to get vaccinated, a reporter asked a pair of questions to one of the party’s rising stars, Georgia Republican Congresswoman Marjorie Taylor Greene: “Have you yourself gotten vaccinated? And do you disagree with the Republican whip?”

Greene replied, “Your first question is a violation of my HIPAA rights. You see, with HIPAA rights, we don’t have to reveal our medical records, and that also involves our vaccine records.”

Loyola Law School professor Jessica Levinson explains, “She can say, ‘I’m not answering.’ But it’s in no way a violation of HIPAA for the question to be asked.”

KCRW looks at what the landmark Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act does and doesn’t do — and how it’s being used as a political prop.

Also on Friday, the Justice Department issued a legal opinion on former President Trump’s tax returns. The DOJ said the Treasury Department has to turn over six years of Trump’s tax returns to the House. It’s a big win for Democrats who’ve spent years pushing to examine Trump’s financial records. But Trump has repeatedly shown that he’ll use every option available to him to keep them private.

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Michell Eloy