House Republicans will start the year with legislation aimed at security requirements for Obamacare’s health insurance exchanges.
The House next week will consider legislation that would require the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services to notify consumers whenever a security breach occurs, House Majority Leader Eric Cantor announced Thursday in a memo to Republicans.
Under present policy, CMS evaluates whether consumer data were at risk when deciding if an issue warrants notification — but Cantor wants to make notification automatic.
“If a breach occurs, it shouldn’t be up to some bureaucrat to decide when or even whether to inform an individual that their personal information has been accessed,” Cantor said in the memo.
The legislation would address other security concerns, he said, citing Republican Reps. Diane Black of Tennessee, Kerry Bentivolio of Michigan, and Gus Bilirakis of Florida among those who have proposed similar measures.
Security and privacy concerns have been the focus of a handful of hearings on Capitol Hill, where documents revealed that the Health and Human Services Department and contractors involved in the creation of HealthCare.gov were concerned in the days and weeks leading up to the website’s launch.
Ultimately, the move is a part of the House Republican goal to repeal and replace the president’s health law.
Drew Hammill, spokesman for House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, called Cantor’s announcement a partisan game.
House Republicans “continue to remain intent on undermining or repealing the Affordable Care Act at every turn, and that effort even extends to scaring their constituents from obtaining health coverage,” Hammill said in a press release.
The question of data security on the exchanges is hotly contested. Republicans argue the administration is downplaying concerns to protect the law’s standing and encourage enrollment, while Democrats argue the GOP is overstating the problems and crafting legislation to bring more attention to them.
In December, Rep. Henry Waxman, D-Calif., released part of a classified HHS briefing that reported only 32 security incidents since Oct. 1, none of which involved a successful theft of any information.
Some 2.1 million Americans signed up for private health insurance on the exchanges in time for Jan. 1 coverage, as long as they paid their premiums. The Obama administration has repeatedly said in congressional hearings that it does not believe consumer data to be at risk, because the data hub used by HealthCare.gov to verify identity and income does not store personal information.
The House returns Tuesday, Jan. 7.
What We're Following See More »
According to a new CNN/ORC poll, Donald Trump emerged from the GOP convention "ahead of Hillary Clinton in the race for the White House, topping her 44% to 39% in a four-way matchup including Gary Johnson (9%) and Jill Stein (3%) and by three points in a two-way head-to-head, 48% to 45%. That latter finding represents a 6-point convention bounce for Trump, which are traditionally measured in two-way matchups."
As the Democratic National Convention gets underway today in Philadelphia, some prominent Democratic candidates for U.S. Senate are nowhere to be found. "At least four candidates in major races are opting out, including Russ Feingold, who is challengingSen. Ron Johnson in Wisconsin; Rep. Ann Kirkpatrick, who is taking on Sen. John McCain in Arizona; Missouri Secretary of State Jason Kander, who is running against Sen. Roy Blunt; and Catherine Cortez Masto, who is battling Rep. Joe Heck in Nevada for the seat vacated by retiring Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid." The candidates have stated their decisions aren't motivated by a desire to avoid being tied to the Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton.
Michael Bloomberg will endorse Hillary Clinton this week in a prime-time speech. "The news is an unexpected move from Mr. Bloomberg, who has not been a member of the Democratic Party since 2000; was elected the mayor of New York City as a Republican; and later became an independent. But it reflects Mr. Bloomberg’s increasing dismay about the rise of Donald J. Trump and a determination to see that the Republican nominee is defeated."
"The Democratic Rules Committee voted overwhelmingly in favor of a major shift in the superdelegate system Saturday night after a deal was reached between" the Clinton and Sanders camps. "The committee approved nearly unanimously an amendment that preserves the existing superdelegate role for elected U.S. lawmakers and governors, but will bind the remaining superdelegates — roughly two-thirds — to primary and caucus results."