California’s state insurance commissioner Dave Jones recently expressed some serious trepidation about the lack of concrete procedures in place for cracking down on the opportunities for fraud and abuse that are almost certain to arise as the large bureaucratic network of their ObamaCare insurance exchange continues to take shape. The is hiring tens of thousands of enrollment counselors who will shortly have access to a lot of consumers’ personal and financial information, and Jones worried that California might “have a real disaster on our hands” with identity theft especially.
I missed it at first, but at a House hearing last week, lawmakers openly wondered whether all of the delays the Obama administration is implementing as they scramble to prepare the federally-run exchanges mean that the administration is also falling behind on methods for privacy protection, and if they’re planning to go on ahead with signing people up regardless. Via CNBC:
In Washington, the administration has been under increasing pressure to defend the integrity of the federal insurance exchange…
During a hearing last week, members of the House Oversight Committee grilled officials from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) about the status of security and privacy controls being built into the infrastructure of the federal system.
“Are you 100 percent finished establishing appropriate privacy protections?” Rep. Scott DesJarlais asked skeptically, with reference to the GAO report.
“No, we are not,” replied the administration’s point man on the build out of the exchanges, Henry Chao, the deputy director of the Office of Information Services at CMS.
“I would say with regards to privacy and security we’re probably about 80 percent,” Chao admitted, but assured the congressman that privacy controls would be at 100 percent functionality by October. …
Hmmm. Not a super-reassuring sign, what with so many of the ObamaCare implementation’s many other hitches and glitches, is it? From the Washington Examiner:
“It’s the greatest collection of private identification information ever assembled on Americans that will be put into one place,” said Rep. Patrick Meehan, who chairs a House cybersecurity subcommittee. “It is every bit of sensitive information one would need to know to completely take over the identification of a person,” said the Pennsylvania lawmaker.
The Obamacare data hub, he added, “creates a honey pot and the day that it goes online it is going to be a target for hackers and others and they are unprepared to protect the system.” …
“I want to assure you and all Americans, that when they fill out their [health insurance] marketplace applications, they can trust the information they’re providing is protected,” said Marilyn Tavenner, head of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services.