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 »
Donald Trump "nearly quintupled the monthly rent his presidential campaign pays for its headquarters at Trump Tower to $169,758 in July, when he was raising funds from donors, compared with March, when he was self-funding his campaign." A campaign spokesman "said the increased office space was needed to accommodate an anticipated increase in employees," but the campaign's paid staff has actually dipped by about 25 since March. The campaign has also paid his golf courses and restaurants about $260,000 since mid-May.
Donald Trump probably isn't taking seriously John Oliver's suggestion that he quit the race. But he has canceled or rescheduled rallies amid questions over his stance on immigration. Trump rescheduled a speech on the topic that he was set to give later this week. Plus, he's also nixed planned rallies in Oregon and Las Vegas this month.
Donald Trump's Fox News brain trust keeps growing. After it was revealed that former Fox chief Roger Ailes is informally advising Trump on debate preparation, host Sean Hannity admitted over the weekend that he's also advising Trump on "strategy and messaging." He told the New York Times: “I’m not hiding the fact that I want Donald Trump to be the next president of the United States. I never claimed to be a journalist.”
"Donald Trump's campaign and the Republican party will coordinate more closely going forward, with the GOP's top communicator and chief strategist Sean Spicer increasingly working out of Trump campaign headquarters, the campaign confirmed Sunday."
In a statement released Friday morning, the Trump campaign announced that Paul Manafort has resigned as campaign chairman. The move comes after fresh questions had been raised about Manafort's work in Russia and Ukraine, and Trump brought in Stephen Bannon "as a de facto demotion for Manafort."