Kassebaum Reflects On HIPAA’s Impact
Modern Healthcare: A Senator Reflects On HIPAA's Legacy
[Nancy Landon] Kassebaum [Baker], the name she went by in the Senate as a three-term Republican from Kansas and before her marriage to former Sen. Howard Baker (R-Tenn.), was a co-sponsor along with Edward Kennedy (D-Mass.) of the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act. Kassebaum, now 79, is living with her husband in Huntsville, Baker's hometown in the Cumberlands of northeastern Tennessee. We spoke by phone, touching base on the 15th anniversary of President Bill Clinton signing HIPAA into law on Aug. 21, 1996. The Institute of Medicine has concluded that as many as 18,000 Americans die each year for lack of health care coverage. HIPAA banned large employer health plans from excluding people from coverage for their pre-existing medical conditions when they moved from one job and one HIPAA-covered health plan to another (Conn, 8/26).