Bill Description: House Bill 424 protects the medical privacy of individuals.
Analyst Note: H424 is one of several pieces of legislation introduced during the November meeting of the 2021 session to address the issue of vaccine mandates in Idaho.
Does it violate the spirit or the letter of either the U.S. Constitution or the Idaho Constitution? Examples include restrictions on speech, public assembly, the press, privacy, private property, or firearms. Conversely, does it restore or uphold the protections guaranteed in the U.S. Constitution or the Idaho Constitution?
H424 adds definitions to Section 39-9002, Idaho Code, and creates Section 39-9004, Idaho Code, to protect individual medical privacy in Idaho. The language states affirmatively and unambiguously, "Every person within the state of Idaho has a right to confidentiality and privacy concerning his personal medical information." The recognition of this right is a much-needed addition to Idaho law.
The new language goes on to prohibit conditioning employment or access to the release of personal medical information, even prohibiting employers from requesting it. Health care providers are also forbidden from using personal medical information as a reason for denying access. In this way, a person's immunization status, testing status, or test results cannot be used as a pretext for discrimination or denial of service.
House Bill 424 amends the newly renumbered Section 39-9005, Idaho Code, to provide that a violation of the prohibitions against conditioning access or employment on the release of personal medical information shall constitute a misdemeanor, thereby providing teeth to the prohibitions and more effectively protecting individual privacy.
Analyst Note: In comparison to other bills on the subject, H424 is notable for its intentional lack of exceptions. Its adoption would effectively end all forms of discrimination based on COVID testing and vaccination in Idaho.