State attorneys general warn HHS of ObamaCare’s “privacy disaster waiting to happen”
posted at 9:31 pm on August 15, 2013 by Erika Johnsen
Earlier this week, Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius complained about the continuing opposition to ObamaCare from those damnable red states, and warned that combating the “misinformation” those uncooperative lollygags are spreading is going to be crucial to the health law’s overall success.
Instead of emphasizing the need for combating — oh, I don’t know — actual misinformation.
As the debate rages over who benefits from the Affordable Care Act, one thing is becoming clear: The controversial program is a dream come true for rip-off artists.
Consumer experts warn that the program has created a huge opportunity for swindling people by stealing their money and their sensitive personal information.
“Any time you roll out a big government program like this, confusion is inevitable,” said Lois Greisman, an associate director in the Bureau of Consumer Protection at the Federal Trade Commission. “This confusion creates a tremendous opportunity for the fraudster.”
Scammers have been at it for more than a year now, but consumer advocates and security experts warn that the problem will worsen as we get closer to Oct. 1. …
“There are fake exchanges already up and running on the Internet,” said Monica Lindeen, Montana’s Commissioner of Securities and Insurance. “If you do a search and type in ‘exchange,’ you’ll find all sorts of websites that claim to be in the exchange when they are not.”
Gulp. Last month, California’s insurance commissioner warned that “we could have a real disaster on our hands” in terms of identity theft and fraud, while the GOP was rather curious as to whether all of the Obama administration’s unilateral delays and obvious flailing in implementing the law also mean that they are shirking on privacy protection and system security. On Wednesday, a group of thirteen state attorneys general followed up on that lingering question, expressing their trepidation over the same:
Thirteen state attorneys general wrote to Secretary Sebelius yesterday to say they’re worried that her agency isn’t adequately protecting the privacy of those shopping in the insurance exchanges. Among their worries: that navigators and other assisters aren’t being trained well enough to protect personal data.
“When the exchanges begin enrollment, various ‘navigators,’ assister, application counselor and other consumer outreach programs will begin inputting consumers’ private data into insurance applications to help consumers enroll in health insurance plans,” the letter says. “We take very seriously the privacy of our state consumers and believe that your agency’s current guidance regarding these groups suffers numerous deficiencies.” The letter: http://bit.ly/14djcdf
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