More than 60 Democrats defy White House, vote for Obamacare security transparency bill
posted at 8:01 pm on January 10, 2014 by Mary Katharine Ham
Yet another anti-Obamacare vote that’s far more bipartisan than the original vote for Obamacare. The Health Exchange Security and Transparency Act is a short and sweet piece of legislation, whcih requires the department of Health and Human Services to reveal security breaches of HealthCare.gov to the public within two days of their occurrence.
The White House deems this requirement, ahem, overly burdensome in the paperwork department.
Democrats are calling the House’s bill little more than a messaging bill, but it deals with a pretty clear problem in federal law— while the feds require all kinds of private entities to quickly report their security breaches, the government itself is apparently allowed to build a website out of popsicle sticks and old Trident, vulnerable to all kinds of hacking, and never tell you your information may have been violated. And, what you don’t know can hurt you, in this case. Mark down 67 Democrats on board with this dastardly message:
The House passed the Health Exchange Security and Transparency Act, H.R. 3811, in a 291-122 vote. Sixty-seven Democrats voted for the bill, ignoring arguments from party leaders that the bill was a “messaging” vote meant to discourage people from signing up for insurance.
The one-sentence bill says that no later than two business days after any security breach on an ObamaCare site is discovered, “the Secretary of Health and Human Services shall provide notice of such breach to each individual.” Republicans said that under current law, the government is not required to notify people if their information is put at risk.
“It may shock some people to learn that there is no legal requirement that the Department of Health and Human Services notify an individual if his or her personal information is breached or improperly accessed through the Affordable Care Act’s exchanges,” said Rep. Joe Pitts (R-Pa.).
The White House said it opposed the bill, arguing the government already has plans to tell people if their information has been compromised.
By the way, someone’s finally been fired for the HealthCare.gov debacle. Goodbye, CGI:
The Obama administration terminated its contract Friday with CGI Federal, the contractor who built healthcare.gov.
The site experienced overwhelming problems over the first several weeks of its existence. In CGI’s place, the Post says that the White House is preparing to sign a year-long contract with Accenture worth $90 million to take over operations of the site.
The Post says that CGI’s contract was due to expire at the end of February.
So, it’s yet another “well, this person was kind of leaving anyway, and now they’re gonna leave a couple weeks earlier” firings. Those are so gutsy. I wonder if CGI will get paid leave and a pension, too.
Say hello to Accenture, one of only a handful of federal contractors incorporated in a tax haven country— first Bermuda, and now they’re in Ireland after a Democratic crackdown.
Many … companies have said taxes were a reason behind the move but have also emphasized other strategic reasons for the changes.
Such moves could help companies preserve the tax benefits they had in Bermuda and the Cayman Islands, while using Switzerland or Ireland’s tax treaties with the U.S. to protect them from possible adverse legislation, according to tax experts who have advised companies on the moves. Bermuda imposes no corporate income tax. Switzerland has a corporate income tax, but doesn’t levy it on profits earned by subsidiaries overseas. Ireland also has a corporate income tax but doesn’t impose it on various intracompany transactions, thus making the tax relatively easy to avoid, say tax professionals.
Over the years, various pieces of U.S. antitax-haven legislation specifically targeted countries that don’t have tax treaties with the U.S., such as Bermuda. That could put companies incorporated in countries that do have tax treaties with the U.S. — such as Ireland — in a better position, according to tax experts who have consulted on such moves.
In 2001, Accenture reorganized from a partnership to a public company and incorporated in Bermuda. Mr. McAvoy said that Accenture was never incorporated in the U.S., has no corporate headquarters, and added: “Accenture has always paid its taxes in the countries where the income is generated.” The switch to Ireland still must be approved by the company’s shareholders; a vote is expected in the next three to four months.
Way to live those values, Barack.