ObamaCare: Exposing Americans’ Personal Information

After spending more than a decade in finance, Michael Volpe has worked as a freelance journalist since 2009. He's based in Chicago. Volpe published his first book in October 2012, titled "Prosecutors Gone Wild: The Inside Story of the Trial of Chuck Panici, John Gliottoni, and Louise Marshall." His new book, "The Definitive Dossier of PTSD in Whistleblowers," is now available.


obamacare8Just a day after the head of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid (CMS) testified in front of the House Energy and Commerce Committee that everything was on track as far as CMS was concerned in implementing Obamacare, a Department of Health and Human Services Office of Inspector General (HHSOIG) report concluded that CMS was behind schedule on testing key information technology security necessary for the automated rollout of key parts of Obamacare. Without this security system, the personal information of tens of millions of people may be exposed.

Marilyn Tavenner, Administrator of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, testified in front of the House Energy and Commerce Committee on August 1 and she testified that everything was on track for the impending rollout of Obamacare.

“Sixty days from now is the beginning of open enrollment when Americans will be able to compare and enroll in affordable health care coverage, and that implementation is on track,” Tavenner said.

Tavenner even went on to specifically identify IT as a specific area where progress was being made and something that CMS had taken seriously for years.

“Over the last three and a half years, CMS and our Federal partners have been hard at work drafting policy, implementing consumer protections, working with stakeholders, and building IT systems that will enable Americans to shop and apply for insurance coverage starting just two months from now.”

On August 2, 2013, however, HHSOIG released a report which concluded that CMS is about two months behind in testing a key IT security system necessary for the smooth rollout of the health care exchanges, and because of this their last test is currently scheduled for the day before enrollment officially is supposed to start in these healthcare exchanges (Sept. 30th).

The system is referred to as the “hub” and it is supposed to be designed to protect the personal information of tens of millions of people from hackers and identity thieves when they enter in their personal information in order to apply for health insurance through these exchanges.

The first test, which included a security system plan assessment and a security risk assessment, was initially supposed to be completed on June 1. That was first pushed back to July 1 and then pushed back again to July 15. Subsequent tests were also pushed back, some more than two months.

Furthermore, Front Page Magazine couldn’t confirm if the initial test was in fact successfully completed on July 15. HHSOIG would not confirm the completion of this test on that date and referred all comment to CMS, which did not return a phone call and email asking for confirmation.

Even at the current schedule, assuming the July 15 test was successfully completed, the final step, a security authorization decision, wouldn’t come until September 30, the day before open enrollment is supposed to begin. Any further delays would mean that the government wouldn’t be able to guarantee personal information for the beginning of open enrollment or would have to push open enrollment back an indefinite period of time.

This latest revelation comes on the heels of a report last week by Front Page Magazine on a key loan program which is also attacking the rest of Obamacare like a bureaucratic cancer. Both stories illustrate that Obamacare is a complicated nightmare, with thousands of moving parts, and if any of those parts ever breaks down, that breakdown leads to a domino effect in the system at large.

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  • Rocky Mountain

    No one wants their personal information exposed and neither do I but I have to have a very hardy laugh at people posting apparently conservative or right wing type of comments (and I’m sure this happens from the other side as well so I’m not singling out conservatives) using Facebook. Just yesterday – and I don’t recall the article where the comments were being made – a guy made a clearly right wing comment and reasonably biting with his name shown. Just for drill, within about 90 seconds I was able to find out where he lived and his address and unquestionably could’ve had more had I been willing to pay the one-off fee to obtain other public records. Now this is something to be concerned about – as well as personal information potentially available as a result of the Affordable Health Care Act. So for all of you out there worked up about the NSA and how they are listening in to your calls to your girl friend, buddy, daughter, wife, or the local pizza shop you’ve probably already given up so much personal information that anyone in his or her basement could build a complete dossier on you, your family, and your whereabouts in a day.

  • WhiteHunter

    Harry Truman never heard of the Manhattan Project until he was sworn in after FDR’s death — but Stalin knew all about it, including the bomb’s design details, thanks to his spies — traitors like Fuchs, Greenglass, and the Rosenbergs.
    The New York Times gleefully published our ability to eavesdrop on bin Laden’s satellite phone calls, and track his financial transactions, on the front page. Instantly, that capability was lost.
    More recently, low-level traitors like Manning and Snowden had easy, unsupervised access to, and spread to the enemy, hundreds of thousands of supposedly “top secret” U.S. military and diplomatic documents.
    And yet the administration expects us to believe their insistent reassurances that our personal and medical information will be “secure,” even from those (like insurance companies and political opponents) who would pay dearly for it?

  • freedomfighterx

    Socialism leads to Communism. Obamacare is about control. Share this documentary now: Grinding Down America: http://vimeo.com/63749370 with your Friends & Family. Vote the Democratic Socialist Party out of office 2014. See what Obama & his communist party have planned for your family & America. You’ll be shocked & appalled.

  • http://www.facebook.com/lrenea.woodward L Renea Woodward

    I wouldn’t even give them the name of my cat’s vet let alone my personal information. If and when I come in contact with one of the Navigators I will ask if they have read the 2,000 pages. If not, I will tell them to come back when they have.