A senior Health and Human Services department official said that Healthcare.gov is more secure than private websites and the agency has "gone above and beyond" in protecting information, in testimony on Capitol Hill Thursday.
The Health and Human Services Department and the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services have repeatedly said that the website is secure and while no security professional will ever guarantee any system is hack proof, I am [sure] the FFM is secure, said Teresa Fryer, CMS chief information security officer, director, enterprise information security group, in response to questioning at the hearing by the House Committee on Oversight & Government Reform.
Despite that, Committee Chairman Rep. Darrell Issa (R-Calf.) said in opening the hearing that we must assume that website is still vulnerable and Americans may have [personally identifiable information] hacked and taken.
In response, Ranking Member of the Committee, Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-Md.) said that since the Republicans have been unsuccessful in their efforts to repeal the law, they are instead trying to scare people away from healthcare.gov, and it is important to highlight all the fixes, rather than cherry picking to put out a political narrative that is inaccurate.
Testimony focused on a memo that Fryer drafted on Sept. 24, 2013, in which she wrote she did not have confidence that personal information would be protected in the federal marketplace. The memo was not released to the media.
Fryer said the memo was never presented to CMS Administrator Marilyn Tavenner because it was overcome by events, which she refused to elaborate on. Tavenner provided the authority to operate healthcare.gov on Sept. 27, 2013, the committee said.
She reiterated that there have been no successful malicious attacks against the website, but admitted there has been 13 times where someones personal information on Healthcare.gov has been exposed, meaning it was possibly shared with others.
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