We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
Why is this being treated as a tort and not a crime for the FBI to investigate? It was described as a THEFT and a violation of the federal law that protects the privacy of medical records. Given the circumstances, I don't see how the IRS agents could claim immunity from prosecution. It seems like it's an egregious violation of federal law.
For all the fear of a HIPAA violation in medical offices and other Covered Entities, I've never heard of a regulatory enforcement action under the regulations. Never; and my business sells software in that market. Why, it's almost as if HHS doesn't really care about privacy of health care data.
Here's one example: the regulations appear to bar shipping personally identifiable health information overseas, and yet virtually everyone does. Without naming names, I'm aware of two very large public companies who used to send every incoming claim, for example, to date entry centers in India, the Phillipines or China and may still do so.