September 17,2013

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Hatch Bill Shields Americans’ Private Information from ObamaCare Fraudsters

New Legislation Delays Opening of Health Insurance Exchanges Until Data Hub Security Operations Are Independently Verified

WASHINGTON – Citing concerns over the threat of fraud and abuse in the President’s $2.6 trillion health law, Finance Committee Ranking Member Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) today announced the Trust But Verify Act, legislation to delay enrollment for both the federal and state health insurance exchanges until the Government Accountability Office (GAO) in consultation with the Department of Health and Human Services Office of Inspector General (HHS-OIG) can certify the necessary privacy and data security parameters are in place.

“It would simply be irresponsible to open the exchanges without adequate safeguards to protect and secure consumers’ personal information.  While the administration claims that these safeguards exist, there is simply no way to verify these claims absent an independent review,” said Hatch in a speech on the Senate floor.  “Until we can demonstrate to the public that their personal information is secure, we should not move forward with enrollment in the exchanges.  It’s just that simple. My legislation would ensure that the exchanges remain on ice until this threshold issue is addressed.”

On October 1st, the health insurance exchanges, a new online marketplace where the uninsured are mandated to shop for health care coverage will open. Individuals signing up will be required to provide personal information such as Social Security numbers and household income information that will be entered into the Federal Data Services Hub (Data Hub) - a new information sharing network that allows other state and federal agencies, like the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) to verify a person’s information.

While the Administration announced last week that testing had been completed, certification to operate had been granted and that the Data Hub was operational and ready to go, there is no time left for an independent entity to verify the security operation or make recommendations to better safeguard and guarantee the privacy of consumers.

Launching the Data Hub with an unproven security system could put the personal and financial records of millions of Americans at serious risk. The Trust But Verify Act prevents the health insurance exchanges from opening until the GAO and HHS-OIG can independently review and verify the interoperability of the various systems that will be accessed as well as the security and privacy of the data being exchanged through the Data Hub.

A full copy of Hatch’s remarks delivered on the Senate floor today can be found HERE.