Dak Prescott wasn’t biting when he was asked about his vaccination status. But that wasn’t the problem. The issue was the reason he gave for not revealing it.
The Dallas Cowboys quarterback stressed vaccines being a personal decision, a stance a lot of folks — both those who took the vaccine and those who haven’t — have taken.
Here’s how Prescott answered:
Folks, we’ve got to put this HIPAA stuff to rest, OK?
People might have legitimate reasons for not wanting to answer that particular question. A “no comment” suffices. Invoking HIPAA just sets the answerer up for ridicule, fair or not.
The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) was created in the mid-1990s to help streamline and update how health insurance was sold, and it included provisions about how patients’ electronic data was stored.
Within HIPAA is the “privacy rule,” which prohibits medical professionals, insurance employees or the third parties that manage that data from revealing patients’ private medical records.
A media member asking a player his vaccination is not and never has been a HIPAA violation. It doesn’t apply to the media, no matter how badly someone wants it to be.
And Dak isn’t the first person, much less athlete, who has gotten hip-checked by HIPAA. He’s just the most recent one, and that means Twitter let him have it.
Mostly funny. And mostly harmless, too. We left out some of the more, er, nasty attacks on Prescott and his confusion over the law.
But if it enduring those means teaching people at large what is and what isn’t HIPAA, perhaps that’s just collateral damage toward a greater good.
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