Once upon a time, in the Kingdom of the Caduceus, there was a legendary creature, proud, strong, and noble. Although it had never been seen, many versions of its imagined likeness adorned the coats of arms throughout the Kingdom. Most especially the character qualities attributed to the creature had become the standard for all that was honorable and true in the world. Its influence was felt throughout the Land.
Now, the People of the Kingdom would come often into the Healing Temple for care, and open their lives and hearts to the Healers. These Healers, the high priests of the Temple, gave honor to the legendary creature in their services to the People. And the highest expression of this honor was that they reverently held in sacred and confidential trust the problems and secrets of the People of the Kingdom. .
But keeping the Temple in repair and providing for the Healers was sapping the Kingdom of its gold. The Merchants and the People cried out for a solution to the rising cost of their care. So the Money Changers came into the Temple, and affixed complicated runes to the Peoples’ problems and to the private services rendered to them by the Healers. They then assigned a fixed amount of gold allowable for each of the secret transactions between the Healers and the People. This was, of course, to save the Kingdom’s gold.
It soon became apparent that in so doing, the things that were once hidden from view and entrusted only to those who were trustworthy were now spread abroad. For, as was well known, Money Changers cared not about honor and trust, only gold. They did not subscribe to the Code of the Healer. They had shared among themselves the secret information about the People and their dealings with the Healers
There was no more honor, no more sacred trust. So the People cried out again and the Rulers of the Kingdom stepped in to make Laws to guard the Peoples’ secrets and to honor the legendary creature. The rules grew and grew to fill scroll after scroll of arcane edicts that no one could comprehend, all in the name of protecting the Principles that had once been held in high esteem. The Rulers even gave a name to the noble creature whose life they were trying to save. They called it the HIPAA.
But, alas, the noble creature was long dead.
(And the people spent more gold than ever.)