Friday, January 10, 2014

Moran introduces bill to require more transparency, security for insurance exchanges

News Release:
WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senator Jerry Moran (R-Kan.), Ranking Member of the Appropriations Subcommittee on Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, and Related Agencies sponsored two bills this week to protect American individuals and families from the consequences of Obamacare’s implementation.

The Exchange Information Disclosure Act (S. 1590) requires the Obama Administration to disclose detailed information about the performance of the Obamacare health insurance Exchange website, HealthCare.Gov.  The other bill, the Health Exchange Security and Transparency Act (S. 1902), would increase the Administration’s responsibility for safeguarding personal information of Exchange users in response to growing security concerns about the website. Today the House of Representatives passed its own version of (S. 1902) with broad bipartisan support. A House vote on legislation similar to (S. 1590) is expected as soon as next week.

“Americans are tired of politically motivated distractions and broken promises related to Obamacare,” Sen. Moran said. “While this Administration continues to spend taxpayer dollars on this flawed law’s problematic implementation, it still refuses to provide a true account of how money is being spent or how the website is performing. Given the Administration’s misrepresentations regarding the readiness of the Exchange, I am extremely concerned about the security of Americans’ personal information in the Exchange. These commonsense bills would increase transparency surrounding Obamacare’s implementation and help address the serious privacy and data security concerns associated with the law.”

The Exchange Information Disclosure Act (S. 1590) would require the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to publish reports weekly detailing the performance of HealthCare.Gov. Such reports would include state-by-state breakdowns of new account creations, unique website visits, and successful enrollments in Exchange health plans and Medicaid.

The Health Exchange Security and Transparency Act (S. 1902) would require HHS to notify individuals within two days of any Exchange system security breach resulting in their personal information being unlawfully accessed.

Prior to the launch of HealthCare.Gov, an internal memo from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) warned of a potential security threat to the Exchange.  Aspects of the system were not security tested prior to the website’s launch as the Administration decided to proceed with the October 1, 2013 launch date.

In December 2013, seven weeks after Sen. Moran repeatedly sought answers from HHS on the cost of the failed Obamacare roll out, the Department responded with vague and incomplete answers. The straightforward questions included how much the President’s “tech surge” is costing taxpayers and whether the HealthCare.Gov website was adequately tested before it was opened for public use.