If you Like NSA Snooping, You’ll Love the Obamacare Data Hub
July 21, 2013 - 7:16 am
It’s difficult to overstate the potential for abuse of the information the government is going to gather on every American in order to make the Obamacare state insurance exchanges work. Thousands of federal workers will have direct access to some your most personal and private information. And we’re just supposed to trust to fate that no one with an agenda will get a hold of this info>
Ask Tea Party groups how that trust thing is working out.
Would you trust thousands of low-level Federal bureaucrats and contractors with one-touch access to your private financial and medical information? Under Obamacare you won’t have any choice
As the Obamacare train-wreck begins to gather steam, there is increasing concern in Congress over something called the Federal Data Services Hub. The Data Hub is a comprehensive database of personal information being established by the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to implement the federally facilitated health insurance exchanges. The purpose of the Data Hub, according to a June 2013 Government Accountability Office (GAO) report, is to provide “electronic, near real-time access to federal data” and “access to state and third party data sources needed to verify consumer-eligibility information.” In these days of secret domestic surveillance by the intelligence community, rogue IRS officials and state tax agencies using private information for political purposes, and police electronically logging every license plate that passes by, the idea of the centralized Data Hub is making lawmakers and citizens nervous.
They certainly should be; the potential for abuse is enormous. The massive, centralized database will include comprehensive personal information such as income and financial data, family size, citizenship and immigration status, incarceration status, social security numbers, and private health information. It will compile dossiers based on information obtained from the IRS, the Department of Homeland Security, the Department of Defense, the Veterans Administration, the Office of Personnel Management, the Social Security Administration, state Medicaid databases, and for some reason the Peace Corps. The Data Hub will provide web-based, one-stop shopping for prying into people’s personal affairs.
Not to fear, HHS says, the Data Hub will be completely secure. Really? Secure like all the information that has been made public in the Wikileaks era? These days no government agency can realistically claim that private information will be kept private, especially when it is being made so accessible. Putting everyone’s personal information in once place only simplifies the challenge for those looking to hack into the system.
However, the hacker threat is the least of the Data Hub worries. The hub will be used on a daily basis by so-called Navigators, which according to the GAO are “community and consumer-focused nonprofit groups, to which exchanges award grants to provide fair and impartial public education” and “refer consumers as appropriate for further assistance.”
The “navigators” will include union activists and community groups like ACORN. What do you suppose the potential for using your personal info for political purposes might be?
There really isn’t much Congress can do because the government needs this information to give out subsidies and marry consumers to the right health care plan. And forget oversight. HHS is hiring these navigators by letting contracts to the community groups and non-profits. The government won’t even have a say in who will be a navigator and who won’t be.
Amazing what we find in the bill once we read it, eh?