Two weeks into the New Year, I am proud to tell you that my colleagues and I in Congress are continuing to work hard to find areas where both parties can agree. Despite the often partisan nature of the healthcare debate, securing Americans' personal information and requiring adequate data about America's new healthcare system should be changes that both parties can get behind. I am proud to support two bills that will help protect the personal information of Obamacare users and provide increased oversight over the implementation of the healthcare law.
The first bill, the Health Exchange Security and Transparency Act, would require the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to notify individuals within two business days if their personal information has been put at risk by using Healthcare.gov, the website used to sign up for Obamacare. Congressional investigations have unearthed alarming security concerns about the website, including that prior to its October 1, 2013 launch, HHS did not perform crucial complete security tests, putting the personal information and finances of all users at risk. Even the Chief Information Security Officer for the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, Teresa Fryer, admitted that the website isn't secure when she said that there is "no confidence that Personal Identifiable Information (PII) will be protected." By requiring individual notifications of compromised Healthcare.gov data, Americans will have the ability to act to protect their personal information and finances in case a security breach does occur.
The second bill, the Exchange Information Disclosure Act, would require weekly reports on Obamacare enrollment statistics and other key metrics for Healthcare.gov. Although over three months have passed since the launch of the website, the administration has failed to provide adequate enrollment data to allow the American people to judge the progress of Obamacare. If the bill is enacted, the required weekly reports would include data like the number of accounts created, the age of enrollees, and Medicaid enrollment. Most importantly, the reports would show the number of full Obamacare enrollments, the statistic that the administration says will determine whether the healthcare law will succeed or come to a crashing halt. This information will help policymakers and the public keep track of their $2 trillion investment and whether the Obama administration is meeting the goals it set for itself.
While the healthcare law is often polarizing for Congress, both parties can agree that protecting our personal information and ensuring transparency in a $2 trillion taxpayer funded program are important issues for all Americans. The American people should not have to wonder whether their personal data is safe on Healthcare.gov or have to fight with an opaque administration for the necessary information to judge Obamacare's progress. My colleagues and I will continue to provide rigorous oversight over Obamacare's implementation in 2014 and I look forward to hearing from you as we work on this and many other issues facing our nation this year.