This week, the House will take up two bills to increase the transparency of the president’s health care law by requiring the administration to disclose information regarding enrollment and security of the ObamaCare exchanges. Here’s a brief summary of each of the bills, and why they’re needed:
- The Health Exchange Security and Transparency Act (H.R. 3811): Legislation introduced by Rep. Joe Pitts (R-PA) that helps protect Americans by requiring the Obama administration to notify individuals if their personal information has been stolen or illegally accessed through the ObamaCare exchanges.
Last year, information uncovered by the Energy & Commerce Committee revealed that the administration knew the ObamaCare website was headed toward disaster and hadn’t undergone complete security testing before its October 1st launch. Several news reports have highlighted security concerns across the U.S. (see: here, here, and here), and there’s more trouble in the year ahead. As House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-VA) notes in a recent memo, an Experian analysis warns “the healthcare industry, by far, will be the most susceptible to publicly disclosed and widely scrutinized data breaches in 2014.” Rep. Pitts’ bill will ensure Americans have the information they need to protect themselves in the event of a data breach.
The Exchange Information Disclosure Act (H.R. 3362): Legislation introduced by Rep. Lee Terry (R-NE) that requires the administration to disclose key ObamaCare exchange and enrollment information, including unique website visits, accounts created, qualified health plan selection, Medicaid enrollment, and demographic data.
- Despite Secretary Sebelius’ pledge to “put out more detailed information” and “additional metrics” regarding ObamaCare enrollment, the administration been “conspicuously mum” when it comes to the key data needed to determine the success (or lack thereof) of the president’s health care law. While the administration has been quick to tout certain enrollment data, it has failed to provide more meaningful information as to the demographics of those who have enrolled in ObamaCare, or even the number of people who have actually obtained coverage. As CNBC reports, “the reluctance—or inability—of federal officials to disclose total national demographic data has led to speculation that the ‘mix’ of enrollees” will include more older Americans with higher health costs than younger Americans, which could “bump up premiums significantly to account for the disparity.” The administration’s recent attempt to move the goal posts on target enrollment warrants more cause for concern, and underscores the need for Rep. Terry’s bill to increase transparency from this administration.
This week’s House floor action is part of Republicans’ ongoing ObamaCare oversight, which has already forced the administration to account for not only the botched rollout of the law, but also the consequences it is having for American families, seniors, and small businesses. That effort will continue in the year ahead as part of House Republicans’ focus on creating a better environment for economic growth and private-sector job creation.
Learn more about the Health Exchange Security and Transparency Act & the Exchange Information Disclosure Act on the Energy & Commerce Committee website, and weigh in on Twitter using the hashtag #openexchanges.