Tuesday, November 5, 2013

"The Response was... 'Silence'!": Sen. Tim Scott grills Marilyn Tavenner about Healthcare.gov security flaws

Sen. Tim Scott R-S.C. grilled Marilyn Tavenner, the head of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services - the agency responsible for overseeing the troubled HealthCare.gov website - about security flaws in the Obamacare website, during a Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee hearing on Tuesday.

Mr. Scott cited the case of a South Carolina constituent, Thomas Dougall, who used the website, and learned later that some of his personal information had been made available to a different user: North Carolina resident Justin Hadley.

Mr. Dougall said that he received a message from Mr. Hadley last Friday, saying he had received both Mr. Dougall's personal information and his wife's personal information after attempting to log on with his own username and password. Mr. Hadley emailed some screen shots of the personal info he received.

"I believe somehow the ACA, the Healthcare website has sent me your information, is what it looks like," Hadley told Dougall "I think there's a problem with the wrong information getting to the wrong people."

"He clearly had my information," Dougall said. "I knew he was legit. He wasn't a hacker. He's just a nice young guy who's frustrated because now he doesn't trust the system. I feel really sorry for him."

During Tuesday's hearing, Senator Scott grilled Ms. Tavenner about this issue, while raising a number of security concerns he had with the dreadful Obamacare website.

Mr. Dougall said late Tuesday that he "finally" received a phone call from Health & Human Services after the Senate hearing had ended on Tuesday afternoon - after Senator Scott had finished grilling Marilyn Tavenner.

"Miraculously, it appears that they have finally granted my request and taken all of my information and my account off of the website," Dougall said.

Dougall added that he was lucky to receive the phone call from Mr. Hadley informing him of the security breach.

But, he said, "I don't know who else besides Justin [Hadley] in North Carolina got my information. There are just no assurances."

"When I initially went to the website," Dougall said, "the first week, everybody was being told [the site] was secure, and as of yesterday, HHS finally admitted to me that my information wasn't secure. And, we've seen all these stories that this system is not secure, so I have no faith in that system anymore."