“From a security perspective, the aspects of the system that were not tested due to the ongoing development, exposed a level of uncertainty that can be deemed as high risk for FFM [Federally Facilitated Marketplace],” said the Sept. 27 memo.
The memo was issued by CMS IT officials James Kerr and Henry Chao, and signed by CMS Administrator Marilyn Tavenner.
The agency decided to go ahead with the Oct. 1 launch despite the risks, and it created a dedicated security team to monitor the risk. Tavenner said in a House Ways and Means hearing Tuesday that she believed the website was ready on Oct. 1, although she acknowledged there would be some glitches to work out.
At a House Energy and Commerce meeting Wednesday, Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius said temporary approval was given because there was a security risk “mitigation” plan.
The memo was provided in response to a request from the House Oversight Committee, CNN says. Committee Chairman Darrell Issa, R-Calif., has been launching an investigation into the launch of HealthCare.gov, and who in the administration knew of issues beforehand, and what is involved in the “tech surge” to fix the site.
Potential privacy and security issues have been a large talking point for Republicans against the online federal exchange.
“You accepted a risk on behalf of every person that used this computer that put their personal and financial information at risk because you did not even have the most basic ‘end-to-end’ test on security of this system,” Rep. Mike Rogers, R-Mich., said to Sebelius. “Amazon would never do this. ProFlowers would never do this. Kayak would never do this.”
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Much has been made of David Brooks’s recent New York Times column, in which confesses to missing already the civility and humanity of Barack Obama, compared to who might take his place. In NewYorker.com, Jeffrey Frank reminds us how critical such attributes are to foreign policy. “It’s hard to imagine Kennedy so casually referring to the leader of Russia as a gangster or a thug. For that matter, it’s hard to imagine any president comparing the Russian leader to Hitler [as] Hillary Clinton did at a private fund-raiser. … Kennedy, who always worried that miscalculation could lead to war, paid close attention to the language of diplomacy.”
“We haven’t seen a true leftist since FDR, so many millions are coming out of the woodwork to vote for Bernie Sanders; he is the Occupy movement now come to life in the political arena.” So says Bill Maher in his Hollywood Reporter cover story (more a stream-of-consciousness riff than an essay, actually). Conservative states may never vote for a socialist in the general election, but “this stuff has never been on the table, and these voters have never been activated.” Maher saves most of his bile for Donald Trump and Sarah Palin, writing that by nominating Palin as vice president “John McCain is the one who opened the Book of the Dead and let the monsters out.” And Trump is picking up where Palin left off.