“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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The Michael Flynn story is not going away for the White House as it tries to refocus its attention. The White House has denied requests from the House Oversight Committee for information and documents regarding payments that the former nationals security adviser received from Russian state television station RT and Russian firms. House Oversight Chairman Jason Chaffetz and ranking members Elijah Cummings also said that Flynn failed to report these payments on his security clearance application. White House legislative director Marc Short argued that the documents request are either not in the possession of the White House or contain sensitive information he believes are not applicable to the committee's stated investigation.
The U.S. deployed "F-35 joint strike fighters" to Estonia on Tuesday. The "jets will stay in Estonia for several weeks and will be a part of training flights with U.S. and other NATO air forces." The move comes at a time of high tension between the U.S. and Estonia's neighbor, Russia. The two nations have been at odds over a number of issues recently, most of all being Vladimir Putin's support of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad in light of Assad's chemical weapons attack on his own people in the midst of a civil war.
It took long enough, but the Trump administration finally includes an Agriculture secretary. "The Senate easily approved Sonny Perdue on Monday" by a count of 87-11. Perdue enjoyed the support of Democrats like Delaware's Chris Coons and Wisconsin's Tammy Baldwin, both of whom spoke in his favor.
"A media arm of the State Department is using federal resources to promote President Donald Trump’s private Florida golf club, fueling scrutiny of the nexus between the president’s official duties and his personal financial interests." On April 4, "Share America, the State Department’s social media-friendly news website, paid homage to Trump’s Mar-a-Lago club ... hailing the president’s use of 'the winter White House, as Share America dubbed it, to host world leaders."