|"Healthcare.gov security breaches. Don't worry I'm on it."|
House Republicans are kicking off the year with more votes on Obamacare bills, this time pushing a measure they say will help protect people from security breaches of HealthCare.gov.
But there is some irony in their latest whack at the Affordable Care Act. The GOP bill set for a Friday vote would require the Health and Human Services secretary to tell people if their private data was compromised in a security breach, but, as laid out in a Democratic committee memo issued Thursday, HHS is already required to do that, and there haven't been any successful breaches thus far anyway. Not only does the bill target a nonexistent problem, but the most credible threat to the website's security may be the GOP's loudest critic of the website's security: Rep. Darrell Issa (R-Calif.), chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee.
HealthCare.gov could clearly be compromised if, say, sensitive documents were leaked to the public that included software code or other technical information that provided hackers with a road map for vulnerabilities in the site. Such documents currently reside with Issa, who obtained them last month -- unredacted -- after subpoenaing them from MITRE Corporation, the federal contractor overseeing security of the website.
Throughout the subpoena process, MITRE officials warned Issa in three separate letters that the documents could result in "irreparable harm" to the website's security if they end up in the wrong hands, even with redactions. They offered to let him come into MITRE's offices and view redacted versions of them. Beyond that, White House Counsel Kathryn Ruemmler sent Issa a letter warning that disclosures could increase risks to all IT systems across the federal government. Top House Democrats, meanwhile, pressed for a classified briefing with administration cyber security officials to assess the risks posed by a potential leak of those documents.
But Issa insisted on getting the unredacted versions, and on Dec. 17, he posted excerpts from them online in a letter to HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius raising concerns with the website's security.
The move drew a harsh response from Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-Md.), ranking member on the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee. He blasted Issa for being "reckless" with sensitive data.
Are there any among us who would trust Darrell Issa with ANY sensitive material?
Add to that the fact that he wants desperately to sabotage the success of the ACA and we know exactly where the trail should lead if any security breaches do occur.