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Security failure: Hackers will steal your private medical data from Obamacare exchanges

Sunday, August 18, 2013 by: J. D. Heyes
Tags: Obamacare exchanges, security failure, private medical data

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(NaturalNews) One of the more onerous things about Obamacare is its invasiveness. In fact, it's the biggest usurper of Fourth Amendment privacy protections that Congress has ever passed (save the provisions of the Patriot Act which allows the National Security Agency to snoop on every piece of electronic data you transmit).

Far from a law that simply "reforms" healthcare - remember, this monstrosity was 2,700 pages long - Obamacare, as we have reported, is about control - and nothing provides the government with control like information.

Along that line, provisions of Obamacare - the "Affordable Care Act" - require that you surrender vast amounts of your personal medical information. What's more, experts are noting, there is no guarantee that your information will be adequately protected. And so far, of course, the government isn't providing good answers for how to deal with that dilemma.

Yeah, about that 'securing your health info' thing...

Per McClatchy Newspapers:

The opening of the health insurance marketplaces in October - key to Obamacare - is in jeopardy because of looming questions about information security. The problem stems from tight deadlines that must be met to ensure the security of data moving through an information system that supports the marketplaces, sometimes referred to as exchanges, according to a new government watchdog report.

Your health information will be routed through a $394 million federal data-services "hub" when marketplaces request it from federal and state databases. Yes, your once-private health information will now be stored in databases, accessible by federal and state bureaucrats over whom you have no control.

According to McClatchy, the Obama administration thought Tony Trenkle, the chief information officer for the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, would decide by Sept. 4 whether health info routed through the hub was protected from hackers and identity thieves. However, a new report by the Department of Health and Human Services inspector general says Trenkle's decision isn't expected now before Sept. 30 - just one day before open enrollment in the state health insurance exchanges called for by the law are scheduled to begin. (As an aside, no one really knows how the exchanges are supposed to work, either, and no one from the administration is doing much to explain them).

"Any further delays, the report said, mean the chief information officer may not have enough time to gauge the security of data transfers," McClatchy Newspapers reported. "The Obama administration and private contractors are testing the data hub for defects and vulnerabilities, but a draft report with the results of the testing isn't due until Sept. 20, the report noted."

What happens if the tests find there are security problems? What then? Well, the information officer might be forced to delay the marketplace opening. Or he might decide to open the insurance exchanges without assurances that information passing through the hub is adequately protected. Feeling better about your health information now?

McClatchy reports that Marilyn Tavenner, the Medicare and Medicaid Services administrator, said in response to the report that her agency was "conducting internal security-testing reviews and fixing system weaknesses." And, of course, she says her agency "is confident the hub will be operationally secure and it will have an authority to operate prior to Oct. 1."

What would we expect her to say? Something like, "Well, you know, it'll be a crap shoot as to whether or not we will be able to protect your data." Not likely - even if true.

Gee - another Obamacare glitch

The report also said that Tavenner's agency is "working with very tight deadlines to ensure that security measures for the hub are assessed, tested and implemented" by Oct. 1. Well, the law has been the law since 2010; it's been upheld by the U.S. Supreme Court more than a year ago. What has the federal government been doing since to ensure our medical information, as it bounces around from Obamacare database to Obamacare database, remains secure? Apparently, not much. Now, deadlines are approaching and the timeline is "tight."

"The HHS report is the latest government analysis to show that work on the marketplaces is behind schedule," reports McClatchy. "In July, two reports by the Government Accountability Office found that HHS had missed numerous deadlines for the computer and technical work that's necessary to make the marketplaces function properly in the 34 states where the federal government will operate them."

This is so not surprising. After all, when was the last time the federal government did anything well or efficiently?

Obamacare is just the latest bureaucratic nightmare. Unfortunately, it is also one of the biggest.





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