Heritage Foundation Issue Brief summary provided by The Market Institute.
The Heritage Foundation issued a brief (Issue Brief #4032) about privacy concerns as it relates to the Affordable Care Act. The brief cites a report issued by the Health and Human Services Inspector General in August that outlines many missed deadlines in regards to security measures for the Federal Data Hub. Important aspects of the security measures were delayed for a full 2 months and a final security assessment was not scheduled until September 30, one day before the exchanges were set to open. Michael Astrue, a former general counsel at HHS, called the exchange portal “an overly simplistic system without adequate privacy safeguards.” Several objections were raised on the basis of the Administration circumventing Privacy Act violations with the “routine use” exemption.
Obamacare also calls for “Navigators” to be used for in-home visits. Federal regulations require them to complete only 20 hours of training with few security checks. States will be able to implement more checks, but are not required to do so. The Navigators’ job will be assisting Americans with figuring out their insurance options so they will have access to many different types of personal information: the kind of information used in fraud and identity theft scams.