Critic of Security Now Says All Is A-OK

Issa noted the problems encountered by Target, the Minnesota-based department store chain, which recently experienced a cyber-attack that resulted in the hacking of personal information for millions of consumers.

“The difference between Target and other companies who dealt with hackers is that we don't have to deliver that information -- we have the choice of paying cash, we have the choice of not registering,” Issa said. Meanwhile, the Affordable Care Act requires every American to obtain health insurance or face a fine, meaning contact with is unavoidable for millions of consumers.

Issa and other committee Republicans also questioned why the Obama administration proceeded with the launch when so many questions about the site’s security – including the issues cited by Fryer – existed, jeopardizing the release of private information.

Fryer noted that her memo was never completed nor circulated because of fast-moving events. She said her concerns were eventually addressed satisfactorily. Another witness, Frank Baitman, the assistant secretary of information technology in the Department of Health and Human Services, told panel members that he was never convinced that a “red flag” had been raised over security concerns

Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-Md.), the ranking member, expressed frustration with GOP tactics, asserting that Issa was “cherry picking” information in an underhanded way to convince the public that concerns about the site’s security exist despite assurances from experts.

“Republicans are still obsessed with killing this law,” Cummings said. “After more than 40 votes in the House, they shut down the government in an unsuccessful attempt to defund the law. Now they have shifted to a new tactic — hot off the press — scaring people away from the website.”