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WASHINGTON-Congressman Rahm Emmanuel (D-Ill.) recently introduced legislation to prevent affiliate sharing of medical information in lending or employment decisions. The Identity Theft Protection and Information Blackout Act of 2003 (H.R. 2633), dealing with FCRA issues, sets out to develop methods to prevent identity theft, as well as protect consumers’ health-related information from being used in making decisions on whether to lend money and at what rate. The issue has arisen since Gramm-Leach-Bliley was signed into law, allowing banks and insurers to merge. The bill, sponsored by 18 Democrats and one Republican, would block medical information from being exchanged between affiliates, including information obtained with the individual’s consent from doctors and hospitals or medically related facilities or individualized lists with identifiable medical information or services, among other things.

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