Despite Security Vulnerabilities, Obamacare Exchanges Will Open Oct. 1

Despite reports of technical issues facing the healthcare law’s “data hub,” a spokesperson for the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) said the hub “will be ready” when the federal health insurance marketplaces open on Oct. 1.

The Department of Health and Human Services’ inspector general recently reported that the data hub security testing is months behind.

“The delays mean that the ruling by CMS's chief information officer certifying the Obamacare IT system as secure will be pushed back from September 4 to September 30, a day before enrollment under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, the law that established Obamacare, is supposed to start,” Reuters reported on Aug. 4.

"Several critical tasks remain to be completed in a short period of time," the IG report said.

The hub will be used to verify the income and other personal information entered by applicants seeking a health insurance subsidy under Obamacare.

Chiquita Brooks-LaSure, deputy director for policy and regulation, participated in a panel discussion on Capitol Hill about the status of the health insurance exchanges that are set to launch nationally in a month and a half.

Following the event, PJ Media asked Brooks-LaSure if the data hub would be “fully secure” by Oct. 1. She referred the question to a CMS spokesperson.

“We are on schedule and will be ready for the marketplaces to open on Oct. 1. This study was conducted in May, and we have made significant progress in the three months since then,” said CMS spokeswoman Alicia Hartinger in response.

“CMS has extensive experience building and operating information technology systems that handle sensitive data. This experience comes from many years administering the Medicare, Medicaid, and CHIP programs.”