Obamacare website might have to be rebuilt
By S.A. Miller and Sean Piccoli
October 27, 2013 | 3:29pm
The chairman of the House Intelligence Committee said Obamacare’s Web site, already a tangled mess, might need to be rebuilt from scratch to to protect against cyber-thieves because he fears it’s not a safe place right now for health-care consumers to deposit their personal information.
“ I know that they’ve called in another private entity to try to help with the security of it. The problem is, they may have to redesign the entire system,” Rep. Mike Rogers said on Sunday on CNN’s “State of the Union” political talk show. “The way the system is designed, it is not secure.”
Returning to questions he raised last week at a chaotic oversight hearing on Obamacare, Rogers said healthcare.gov could be vulnerable to cyber-mischief because of a potentially leaky data-sharing arrangement between the seven federal agencies that manage different parts of Obamacare.
“That’s the weakest, most vulnerable part,” Rogers said of the data portals between agencies. “And it was clear to me they don’t have those boundaries secure.”
An estimated 700,000 Americans have managed to claw their way through the site’s infuriating computer glitches and traffic backups to successfully submit their applications for health insurance.
One agency, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, which screens applicants to determine which coverage and subsidies they qualify for, says in its Obamacare fact sheet that their data hub “was specifically designed to minimize security risk, by developing a system that does not retain or store Personally Identifiable Information.”
But Rogers said federal agencies “have to store your application at some point, and that’s a lot of your very personal information. And it was very clear to me in the hearing that they do not have an overarching, solid cybersecurity plan to prevent the loss of private information.”