Fitzpatrick, House Bolster Healthcare.gov Security
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Congressman Mike Fitzpatrick (PA-8) joined the House Friday in passing (291-122) bipartisan legislation addressing security and transparency concerns surrounding HealthCare.gov.
Under the Health Exchange Security and Transparency Act [H.R. 3811] – of which Fitzpatrick is an original co-sponsor –the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) would be required to notify individuals no later than two days after discovery of a breach of personally identifiable information on the Affordable Care Act exchange website.
“We live in a connected world that thrives on technology and data transfer – unfortunately, that can lead to disaster if the necessary precautions aren’t taken. In the case of the President’s health care law, there is nothing in the law right now requiring HHS to inform people if their information has been compromised in the event of a security breach,” said Fitzpatrick. “This two-page bill addresses that, because the last thing Americans need to be worried about is having their information stolen trying to buy a product from a broken website.”
Concerns around the security of the website have swirled since its debut in October. HHS officials have acknowledged that security testing for the federal exchange website was delayed multiple times and was never finished before the site’s launch.
“The ACA website will be ground zero for any and all data thieves the world over. As the recent breach of Target Stores credit card data demonstrates, these thieves are sophisticated, motivated, and highly skilled,” said Charles Christenson, director of a Bucks County based IT firm, following the bill’s introduction earlier this week. “The potentially rich data repository ripe for exploitation will lure many to the ACA Website. The unsophisticated build and management of the ACA Website only leaves me more convinced there will be data breaches and the need to be transparent about them is critical.”
“Americans forced to purchase a product, often too expensive, from a website that barely works, at least deserve to know their personal information is protected. Just as importantly, they deserve to know if there is a problem,” continued Fitzpatrick. “This isn’t a partisan issue - the Administration needs to increase transparency when it comes to this law, and in this case that means being open and up front if there are security concerns that could affect Americans.”
Congressman Mike Fitzpatrick is serving his third term in the U.S. House of Representatives. He represents Pennsylvania’s 8th district which includes all of Bucks County as well as a portion of Montgomery County. He serves as the Vice Chairman of the House Financial Services Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations.