Each new day brings more disturbing news about the reckless rollout of Obamacare. Americans deserve better than this unworkable law. They also deserve the truth. And right now, they are getting neither from the Obama Administration.
Six days ago, a North Carolina man named Justin Hadley logged on to HealthCare.gov to evaluate his insurance options after his current provider canceled his plan — one of an estimated 16 million Americans who could face such a predicament thanks to Obamacare.
Once on the website, Hadley discovered a security breach that exposed the personal information of a total stranger. That man, Tom Dougall of South Carolina, had visited the problem-plagued website in early October to shop for insurance. Even though he opted not to sign up, Hadley was presented with Dougall’s private eligibility letter.
The incident, first reported by The Foundry, made national news and prompted two U.S. senators to quiz a top Obama Administration official at yesterday’s congressional hearing.
Marilyn Tavenner, administrator for the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, repeatedly assured the Senate committee that her team had reached out to Dougall to correct the problem — a statement Dougall told us was false at the time of the hearing. Dougall made his first call Friday after learning of the privacy breach; he finally heard back Tuesday afternoon.
This isn’t the only aspect of the Obama Administration’s story that doesn’t add up. Fabien Levy, a spokesman for the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, said Monday that the government “took immediate steps to address the issue.”
But the man who discovered the problem said that’s not true. Six days after discovering the security breach, Hadley told us he’s still unsatisfied. In fact, a call-center operator for HealthCare.gov actually referred him to Experian, a private, global credit report company that offers identify theft protection services. When he called Experian, Hadley said the representative laughed and told him to call the government.
Frustrated and fed up, Hadley and Dougall want to make sure their personal information is removed from HealthCare.gov. There’s just one problem: Users can’t delete their own accounts.
It took a congressional hearing for Dougall to get help. Other Americans aren’t so fortunate. And even now, after his information was supposedly removed, Dougall isn’t sure who else might have accessed it. Appearing last night on Fox News, he said:
According to HealthCare.gov, I’m the only person in America that this has happened to. I find that hard to believe. But more importantly, I don’t know who else besides Justin in North Carolina has my information. There are just no assurances. … HHS finally admitted to me that my information wasn’t secure. We have seen all these stories that the system is not secure, so I have no faith in that system anymore.
This level of incompetence should come as no surprise.
In August, Heritage Senior Policy Analyst Chris Jacobs warned that Obamacare’s exchanges undermine personal privacy. “In its mad rush to implement its unworkable law,” Jacobs wrote, “the Obama Administration has taken a slapdash and shoddy approach to Americans personal security.”
In September, an employee of Minnesota’s online health insurance exchange accidentally exposed the Social Security numbers, names, addresses and other identifying information of more than 2,400 people.
Enough is enough. The government takeover of health care is disastrous for America. Now it’s also threatening the privacy of millions of Americans.