Dozens of House Democrats broke ranks with President Obama on Friday to support legislation that would require people to be notified of security breaches under ObamaCare.
The House passed the Health Exchange Security and Transparency Act, H.R. 3811, in a 291-122 vote. Sixty-seven Democrats voted for the bill, ignoring arguments from party leaders that the bill was a “messaging” vote meant to discourage people from signing up for insurance.
The one-sentence bill says that no later than two business days after any security breach on an ObamaCare site is discovered, “the Secretary of Health and Human Services shall provide notice of such breach to each individual.” Republicans said that under current law, the government is not required to notify people if their information is put at risk.
“It may shock some people to learn that there is no legal requirement that the Department of Health and Human Services notify an individual if his or her personal information is breached or improperly accessed through the Affordable Care Act’s exchanges,” said Rep. Joe Pitts (R-Pa.).
The White House said it opposed the bill, arguing the government already has plans to tell people if their information has been compromised.
But that argument didn’t sway a large group House Democrats, many of whom fear the problem-plagued rollout of ObamaCare will cost them at the polls in November.
House Oversight and Government Reform Committee Chairman Darrell Issa (R-Calif.) said the new requirement is critical because a senior official at the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) advised in September that the site should not be launched due to security problems. Teresa Fryer, the Chief Information Security Officer at CMS, testified before Issa’s committee late last year.
It’s funny. A lot of people talk about how “polarized” Washington, DC has become with the two major parties constantly at war with each other, but if you can’t get on the side of a one sentence bill that guarantees that affected consumers will be notified of any security breaches, you’re pretty far out there outside of the mainstream. Yes, I’m talking to you, Obama administration.
That being said, we’ll probably have to chalk this up as a “moral victory”, as the article notes the Senate likely will not take up the bill. One guess as to why …