• The Heritage Network
    • Resize:
    • A
    • A
    • A
  • Donate
  • Obama Administration Blames "Software Code" for HealthCare.gov Privacy Breach

    Four days after being notified of a security breach on HealthCare.gov, the Obama Administration finally acknowledged tonight the website inadvertently disclosed personal information affecting two users.

    The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services blamed it on “software code.”

    “An incident involving the personal information of one consumer was reported to [the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services] and we took immediate steps to address the issue,” spokesman Fabien Levy said. “We identified a piece of software code that needed to be fixed and that fix is now in place.”

    Levy’s characterization of “immediate” is highly suspect. Justin Hadley, the website user who discovered the privacy breach, said he was still able to access another man’s eligibility letter last night — after first discovering it Thursday night.

    When he couldn’t reach anyone at HHS or HealthCare.gov, Hadley contacted Heritage to share his story. The Foundry broke the news Saturday night with an exclusive featuring interviews with Hadley and Thomas Dougall, a South Carolina lawyer whose personal information was compromised.

    With more media attention on the story today, HHS sought to quell fears about the website’s breach of privacy.

    “We have a team working to address security as part of our 24/7 effort,” Levy said in a statement released to the media. “We take security issues very seriously and we will take the appropriate steps to follow up with this individual directly.”

    While the so-called “fix” might bring some relief to the Obama Administration — which has endured problems since Obamacare’s October 1 launch — the two men affected by the security breach said they won’t be satisfied until their personal information is removed from HealthCare.gov.

    And with congressional hearings happening in Washington this week, officials from Health and Human Services are likely to face fresh questions about the problem-plagued Obamacare website.

    The office of Senator Tim Scott (R-SC) released this statement to WIS News 10 in South Carolina, promising to raise the matter during a hearing Tuesday:

    Upon learning about the security breach, Senator Scott’s office was in communication with Mr. Dougall over the weekend. We are researching what caused the breach and how the administration can quickly resolve it.

    Unfortunately, millions of Americans are vulnerable to similar problems because the Obama administration failed to secure its website before the enrollment period began.

    Senator Scott will have the opportunity to discuss this matter during a committee hearing tomorrow with Marilyn Tavenner, who is closely tied to the website as head of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, and will attempt to receive answers about Obamacare’s failure to protect private information.

    For more coverage of this story, including developments from this week’s Obamacare hearings, stay tuned to The Foundry.

    Posted in Featured, Front Page, Obamacare [slideshow_deploy]

    Comments are closed.

    Comments are subject to approval and moderation. We remind everyone that The Heritage Foundation promotes a civil society where ideas and debate flourish. Please be respectful of each other and the subjects of any criticism. While we may not always agree on policy, we should all agree that being appropriately informed is everyone's intention visiting this site. Profanity, lewdness, personal attacks, and other forms of incivility will not be tolerated. Please keep your thoughts brief and avoid ALL CAPS. While we respect your first amendment rights, we are obligated to our readers to maintain these standards. Thanks for joining the conversation.

    Big Government Is NOT the Answer

    Your tax dollars are being spent on programs that we really don't need.

    I Agree I Disagree ×

    Get Heritage In Your Inbox — FREE!

    Heritage Foundation e-mails keep you updated on the ongoing policy battles in Washington and around the country.