As reported by Reuters on August 6th:
The federal government is months behind in testing data security for the main pillar of Obamacare: allowing Americans to buy health insurance on state exchanges due to open by October 1
The missed deadlines have pushed the government’s decision on whether information technology security is up to snuff to exactly one day before that crucial date, the Department of Health and Human Services’ inspector general said in a report.
“They’ve removed their margin for error,” said Deven McGraw, director of the health privacy project at the non-profit Center for Democracy & Technology. “There is huge pressure to get (the exchanges) up and running on time, but if there is a security incident they are done. It would be a complete disaster from a PR viewpoint.”
Based on the IG report Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell sent a letter to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) (embedded below) to tell the the administration that no American should be forced on to the government’s health care y when the government is missing testing deadlines and cannot guarantee the security of personal and financial data.
“While I have grave concerns about this law under any circumstance, Americans should not be forced into the exchanges, and certainly not without these assurances” McConnell wrote. “If you rush to go forward without adequate safeguards in place, any theft of personal information from constituents will be the result of your rush to implement a law to meet the agency’s political needs and not the operational needs of the people it is supposed to serve.”
Town Hall’s Guy Benson explained back in August when the McConnell letter came to light:
Yes, part of this ‘Charlie Foxtrot’ (look it up) is attributable to the fact that Team Obama’s top priority for much of that span had little to do with working to ensure that the president’s jarring re-engineering of Americans’ healthcare system wouldn’t harm said Americans.
To be fair, the Inspector General warned the lack of testing raised questions about whether information routed through the hub was secure from hackers and identity thieves. However if the testing of one part of the exchange hub was left untested a reasonable manager would realize the entire site was not tested for bugs. Indeed we learned two days ago that testing of the entire site was delayed till just before its October 1st opening, that test crashed the site, and the site was opened anyway.
Another issue this raises is Katheen Sebelius’ claim the President didn’t know the website had bugs until it officially opened 23 days ago. The IG’s report was widely covered in the mainstream media; the minority leader of the Senate issued a very public letter of concern about the report, it’s difficult to believe that the President was unaware of the issue with his signature legislation.