New Legislation Would Delay Opening of Health Insurance Exchanges Until Data Hub Security Operations Are Independently Verified
WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Johnny Isakson, R-Ga., on Tuesday co-sponsored the Trust But Verify Act to delay the opening of Obamacare insurance exchanges until security operations that will handle Americans’ personal information for the exchanges are independently verified. The bill comes in response to rising concerns over the threat of fraud and abuse because of the administration’s rush to implement Obamacare without the proper security measures in place.
The Trust But Verify Act, which was introduced by Sen. Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, would delay enrollment for both the federal and state health insurance exchanges until the Government Accountability Office (GAO) in consultation with the Department of Health and Human Services Office of Inspector General (HHS-OIG) can certify the necessary privacy and data security parameters are in place.
Isakson is a member of the Senate Finance Committee, which oversees the implementation of Obamacare, as well as the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee, which oversees health care.
“I find it very troublesome that in a rush to open the Obamacare exchanges on time, the administration could be compromising Americans’ personal information by not making absolutely certain that the data systems in the exchanges are secure,” said Isakson. “Let me be clear, I have voted nearly 60 times to repeal, replace or dismantle this terrible law, and I will continue to fight against it. But if this law of the land must be implemented, it must be done without risking consumers’ very sensitive and private information. This is yet another example of why Obamacare is a disaster.”
The Obamacare health insurance exchanges, a new online marketplace where the uninsured are mandated to shop for health care coverage, will open on Oct. 1, 2013. Individuals signing up will be required to provide personal information such as Social Security numbers and household income information that will be entered into the Federal Data Services Hub (Data Hub) – a new information sharing network that allows other state and federal agencies, such as the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), to verify a person’s information.
While the administration announced last week that testing had been completed, certification to operate had been granted and that the Data Hub was operational and ready to go, there is no time left for an independent entity to verify the security operation or make recommendations to better safeguard and guarantee the privacy of consumers.
Launching the Data Hub with an unproven security system could put the personal and financial records of millions of Americans at serious risk. The Trust But Verify Act prevents the health insurance exchanges from opening until the GAO and HHS-OIG can independently review and verify the interoperability of the various systems that will be accessed as well as the security and privacy of the data being exchanged through the Data Hub.