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One-Third of House Dems Join GOP on Bill to Require HHS to Tell Public About Obamacare Breaches

White House opposes because people "can trust that the information that they are providing is protected by stringent security standards."

by
Bridget Johnson

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January 10, 2014 - 4:13 pm
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WASHINGTON — Several dozen Democrats joined a unified Republican caucus this morning in passing a bill to protect the security of consumers on Obamacare exchanges — legislation the White House vociferously opposes.

The Health Exchange Security and Transparency Act of 2014, introduced by Rep. Joe Pitts (R-Pa.), would require the Department of Health and Human Services “to notify individuals, within two business days, of a breach of any security system maintained by a federal or state exchange that is known to have resulted in personally identifiable information being stolen or unlawfully accessed.”

Republicans noted the red flags raised about security vulnerabilities even before the Oct. 1 healthcare.gov launch — concerns that only mounted with the website’s technologically rocky debut.

The bill passed easily, 291-122. Sixty-seven Democrats crossed over to vote with the GOP.

“Americans have the right to know if the president’s health care law has put their personal information at risk, and today’s bipartisan vote reflects that concern,” said House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio). “It shouldn’t take an act of Congress for the White House to provide that information, but the lack of transparency surrounding the security of the ObamaCare website has proven that’s the case.”

“The House took an important step to help Americans protect themselves in the event of a security breach, and we will continue our oversight of the president’s healthcare law,” Boehner added. “The Senate ought to bring up this bill and pass it immediately.”

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) hasn’t indicated whether he’ll bring the bill to the floor. It would likely draw the support of at least a handful of Democrats who criticized the Obama administration as unprepared for the healthcare exchange launch. Additionally, a “no” vote on such a simply worded consumer protection clause would reflect poorly among much of the electorate.

But President Obama, while stopping short of using the word “veto,” made clear in a lengthy statement of administration policy from the Office of Management and Budget that the White House opposes the legislation.

“The Federal Government has already put in place an effective and efficient system for securing personally‑identifiable information in the Health Insurance Marketplaces and providing consumers notification if their personally-identifiable information has been compromised. When consumers fill out their online Marketplace applications, they can trust that the information that they are providing is protected by stringent security standards,” read the statement. “The components of the HealthCare.gov website that are now operational comply with Federal security standards. Security testing is conducted on an ongoing basis using industry best practices designed to appropriately safeguard consumers’ personal information.”

“The Administration opposes House passage of H.R. 3811 because it would create unrealistic and costly paperwork requirements that do not improve the safety or security of personally-identifiable information in the Health Insurance Marketplaces. For example, the indiscriminate reporting requirement in H.R. 3811 may seriously impede the law enforcement investigation of a breach.  Unlike existing requirements, H.R. 3811 requires expensive and unnecessary notification for the compromise of publicly-available information, even if there is no reasonable risk that information could be used to cause harm,” the administration reaction continued.

“…H.R. 3811 would impose an administratively burdensome reporting requirement that is less effective than existing industry standards and those already in place for Federal Agencies that possess such information. As such, the Administration opposes its passage.”

Today in the White House briefing room, press secretary Jay Carney didn’t respond directly to a question about so many Democrats joining with Republicans for a veto-proof majority on the bill.

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Top Rated Comments   
“The Administration opposes House passage of H.R. 3811 because it would create unrealistic and costly paperwork requirements that do not improve the safety or security of personally-identifiable information in the Health Insurance Marketplaces."

The incredible irony of this, coming from the administration that never met a regulation it didn't like, is simply breathtaking.

14 weeks ago
14 weeks ago Link To Comment
Let us say that somehow this bill is brought up in the Senate. Let us even fantasize that it passes by a vetoproof majority and becomes the law of the land [whatever that means anymore]. Obama ignores any law that he disagrees with. Let us say that Joe Citizen gets hacked and loses everything he owns. What is he going to do? Sue? Sovereign immunity and the habit of deciding that no one has "standing" to sue the Federal government for violating its own laws or the Constitution means that the law will mean something between diddly and squat.

Subotai Bahadur
14 weeks ago
14 weeks ago Link To Comment
Things to know...that the Propaganda Machine will likely try to coverup:

1) there are laws on the books that require free market companies to notify customers when their private information has been hacked

2) the woman who testified may not have "turned in" her memo...but she clearly stated that she believed the system was NOT adequately safe...and we all know what happens to whistleblowers in tyrannical administrations

3) the testimony has been that after spending hundreds of millions of dollars...a large percentage of the platform wasn't even built at the time of launch

4) the NO BID contract went to the American division of a Canadian company...that just so happened to be the same company of Michelle's crony who spent a Christmas with the Obamas AND coincidentally was the same firm that shut down the credit card security system in both campaigns

5) the latest report is that above company...after collecting millions in the NO BID contract...has been fired...without explanation or investigation
14 weeks ago
14 weeks ago Link To Comment
All Comments   (32)
All Comments   (32)
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13 weeks ago
13 weeks ago Link To Comment
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14 weeks ago
14 weeks ago Link To Comment
I've made $60,000 so far this year working online....I am using an online business opportunityI heard about and I've made such great money.(Mike@).... It's really user friendly and I'm just so happy that I found out about it.... Heres what I dohttp://ow.ly/qekIU
14 weeks ago
14 weeks ago Link To Comment
We lost our Individual Insurance plan, (a premium PPO), because it didn't cover the "minimum"...Maternity Coverage & Birth Control Pills...just what every 61 year old female whose had a hysterectomy needs right? An equivalent plan would cost an additional $350.00 per month, so we got a crappy HMO that covers NONE of our Doctors & will pay them cash, along with all our "wellness" expenses, such as acupuncture for my chemo induced neuropathy (prescribed by my oncologist), Pilates (prescribed by my physical therapist) & organic food (prescribed by my common sense). So for us it's "back to the '50's" when you only carried catastrophic health insurance (my Dad called it "Hospitalization").
14 weeks ago
14 weeks ago Link To Comment
Anyone else see the irony in Obama complaining about burdensome regulations and paperwork if the U.S. gov't must abide by the same consumer protection laws passed by the U.S. gov't?
14 weeks ago
14 weeks ago Link To Comment
and won't it be fun to see harry reid, not let this bill come up in the senate.

Talk about power hungry despot,
14 weeks ago
14 weeks ago Link To Comment
Only a third of House Democrats supported the American people knowing how well their government is performing and whether the information they were forced to provide is secure. That tells you something.
14 weeks ago
14 weeks ago Link To Comment
“The Administration opposes House passage of H.R. 3811 because it would create unrealistic and costly paperwork requirements that do not improve the safety or security of personally-identifiable information in the Health Insurance Marketplaces."

The incredible irony of this, coming from the administration that never met a regulation it didn't like, is simply breathtaking.

14 weeks ago
14 weeks ago Link To Comment
Exchange a few words and one could challenge those who voted for the ACA in the first place since it imposes unrealistic and costly requirements that not only do not improve access to health care for most but also cause many to lose theirs... yet another thing that is not adding up. The most likely reason for the administration's opposition is that they do not want anything to work securely or efficiently that is not single payer.
14 weeks ago
14 weeks ago Link To Comment
and yet pelosi tells us it is wonderful and refuses to use the term obamacare anymore, because the plan is so wonderful and reflects so well on B.O.

Nice soldier that she is, jumping when admin says it has to rebrand obamacare, because it is B.O.'s and he doesn't care.
14 weeks ago
14 weeks ago Link To Comment
Yes- so wonderful that they needed to pass it before we found out what was in it. That alone was so big of a tell that they knew of its toxic effects to the economy that it still astounds me that there wasn't a widespread outcry against it. Everything else concerning the illegal and immoral act of politicians who transcend mere criminal to become pure evil is but a detail... bait for debaters to distract from the fact that the law does not belong in the books at all- and those who fought for its passage need to face charges.
14 weeks ago
14 weeks ago Link To Comment
Stinkfoot...you nailed it!! RE: "We have to pass it to find out what's in it". Here in NV, the "NV HealthLink" exchange website didn't have a direct link to the plans listed on the site so you could drill down into the details, so Hubby said "You have to buy it to find out what's in it". I called the customer service number & they verbally gave me the precise URL to the plan on the United Healthcare website. I said, "can't you guys just embed this link on your website "? I was told they "are woking on it"...TRANSLATION...the website isn't finished. So, I didn't pay with a credit card OR send a check. I went to the bank & got a money order, then went to the Post Office, where I sent my premium Certified Mail with a Return Request Receipt. I will do this EVERY month.
14 weeks ago
14 weeks ago Link To Comment
A cynical person like me might be tempted to view this new bill (if passed) as another excuse to add a whole different branch (money and manpower) to already overburdened HHS, while the bill will do absolutely squat as Subotai Bahadur stated and give these lawmakers the fig leaf.
14 weeks ago
14 weeks ago Link To Comment
Sir Napsalot...substitute " law-breakers " for "lawmakers ". There I fixed it for you. Other than that...SPOT ON!!
14 weeks ago
14 weeks ago Link To Comment
Some reporter should have reminded Mr. Carney that most large commercial businesses also protect their information "with the highest security standards."

And yet, hackers keep finding ways to penetrate those systems anyway. My own Master Card and Visa accounts were hacked. Target was recently hacked too.

And in my own county a few years ago, a hacker managed to penetrate the terminals of the Hannaford supermarket chain, and got all those credit card numbers too.

If Visa can be hacked, so can Obamacare.
14 weeks ago
14 weeks ago Link To Comment
Neiman Marcus just got hacked ... and the arrogance of Obama and Holder, together with their utter contempt for the law of the land and their political "cover-ups"; will come back to haunt them.
14 weeks ago
14 weeks ago Link To Comment
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