Washington, DC — U.S. Representative Randy Hultgren (IL-14) today urged Congress and the White House to quickly pass legislation addressing the disturbing and growing security threats associated with the Affordable Care Act’s online portal, Healthcare.gov.
The data passing through
the Healthcare.gov website is one of the largest collections of personal
information ever assembled. American consumers who use the site must input
personal contact information, birth dates and social security numbers, as well
as income, tax and other financial information. On Friday, the House plans to
vote on the Health
Exchange Security and Transparency Act which would require the Department of Health
and Human Services to notify individuals of any breach on the health care law
exchanges (both state and federal) that endangers personal data and information
within two business days.
“American consumers expect
their online shopping experience to be safe and transparent, but their most
important personal information is threatened by the troubling security vulnerabilities
of Healthcare.gov. Online security experts told the Science Committee that not
only is health consumer information vulnerable to hackers, it is under active
attack,” said Rep. Hultgren. “It is simply outrageous for the administration to
force Americans to buy insurance through a government website and then
jeopardize their personal information. If Target is forced by law to disclose
security breaches of consumer data, federal bureaucrats should be required to
do the same. The President must sign meaningful legislation that protects
Americans by addressing the clear risks associated with the online insurance
At a November 19 hearing
hosted by the House Science, Space, and Technology Committee, Mr. David Kennedy, a so-called ‘white hat hacker,’ demonstrated
how hackers are attempting to access personal information on the website. Mr.
Kennedy testified that there are “clear indicators that even basic security was
not built into the Healthcare.gov website.”
Following his testimony, Rep.
Hultgren and members of the Science Committee sent a letter to President Obama raising concerns over the security and privacy risks surrounding
the online Obamacare portal.
The letter reads: "Unfortunately,
in its haste to launch the Healthcare.gov website, it appears that your
Administration has cut corners that have left the website open to hackers and
other online criminals. If the security flaws go unaddressed, the more people
who use the site will simply mean more Americans vulnerable to identity theft.”