The Obama administration has long tried to calm those getting on board with the HealthCare.gov / Obamacare website, regarding concerns over the integrity of its database. Such worries remain on the part of many when it comes to enrollees’ personal health data. Yet, the Obama White House has never really clearly indicated as to how such persons can feel wholly confident that “privacy and security policies are being adhered to.” This is at least is according to a recent report, by Ricardo Alonso-Zaldivar, on The National Monitor.com’s web site (Jan. 20, 2014).
One glaring security problem for HealthCare.gov is what are defined as “third party data companies.” The National Monitor report says, ”such firms collect critical information anytime a person goes online. They track website performance and thus are able to tailor advertisements.”
Alonso-Zaldivar also explains, “While no personal information can be directly taken, these companies can piece together an Internet user profile based on the sites you visit, the terms for which you search, even your shopping habits.” Accordingly, such companies can even go as far as to bundle data gathered from HealthCare.gov, combining it with information gathered from other Websites, thus creating a reasonably detailed profile of you.
A technology expert not long ago assessed HealthCare.gov and discovered more than 50 third party companies were “running in the background.” Yet they went unnoticed by “average users,” according to the National Monitor account. This is in spite of the fact such intruders actually slow down a website’s overall functionality.
HealthCare.gov is currently operational in some 37 U.S. states. The other 13 U.S. states have their own health insurance exchanges (or marketplaces) for Obamacare.
Darrell Issa, R-Calif., the chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, demands that Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services Administrator Marilyn Tavenner testify on September 18, 2014 over the hacked Obamacare website.
Press reports say a hacker broke into the HealthCare.gov website in July to upload “malicious software.” The Department of Health and Human Services said the server that was attacked didn’t contain any personal data, and said measures have been taken since then to boost security.
Republicans will probably not be satisfied with that response, as many of them have repeatedly warned that there are reasons to worry about personal information being stolen from the huge Obamacare database.
Wisconsin Republican Sen. Ron Johnson has filed suit against U.S. Office of Personnel Management Director Katherine Archuleta and her department, in federal court on Mondaym over the federal funds lawmakers and their staff get to subsidize their healthcare coverage. Johnson is concerned over the damage Obamacare will do the country’s healthcare system and personal freedoms.
Joining Johnson in his legal effort will be Paul Clement, an ex-solicitor general who argued about Obamacare’s constitutionality before the Supreme Court, and Rick Esenberg of the Wisconsin Institute for Law and Liberty.
To enroll in a new ObamaCare health insurance plan on the federal marketplace, most consumers must first provide private personal information.
Buried in the website’s programming code there sits an alarming warning revealed by the Weekly Standard.
“You have no reasonable expectation of privacy regarding any communication or data transiting or stored on this information system,” reads the disclaimer, which does not appear on the site’s visible “Terms and Conditions” page.
The disclaimer continues: “At any time, and for any lawful Government purpose, the government may monitor, intercept, and search and seize any communication or data transiting or stored on this information system.”
Critical article pointing out that insurance premiums have risen an average of 30 percent since Obamacare’s enactment. In Orange County, Calif., premiums for a 25-year-old in good health will rise by 95 percent.
The ACA was to have employers report whether they were offering employees “affordable” care. Now with the employer mandate delayed, exchanges may accept applicants’ statements that they qualify for subsidies without further verification.
If enrollees pay one month’s premium, exchanges provide a grace period of three consecutive months during which coverage cannot be terminated. Insurers, however, are merely required to pay claims during the first 30 days of the grace period. Thus, patients with valid insurance cards in hand can seek treatment at a doctor’s office on day 31 through 90 of the grace period. When the physician in good faith submits a claim to the insurer, the claim can be denied. Although the physician can bill the patient, many patients will not pay. The insurance industry can off-load two-thirds of the risk of nonpayment onto physicians.
The Department of Health and Human Services (HHA) is going to hire many “patient navigators” to inform Americans about the subsidized insurance promised by Obamacare and assist them in enrolling. These organizers will rely on the new Federal Data Hub, which will give them access to reams of personal information compiled by federal agencies ranging from the IRS to the Department of Defense and the Veterans Administration. There are fears this system could be the largest consolidation of personal data in the history of the republic, leading to everyting from identity theft to the ability of navigators to use the system to register Obamacare participants to vote.