How Obamacare's 'privacy nightmare' database really works
July 23rd, 2013
07:27 AM ET
9 months ago

How Obamacare's 'privacy nightmare' database really works

New York (CNNMoney) – When shoppers apply for health insurance through the forthcoming state-based Obamacare exchanges, the online system will verify each applicant's information by pulling in data from more than half a dozen federal agencies ranging from the IRS to the Peace Corps. It will know who you are, how much money you make, and whether or not you're in the United States legally.

The prospect of one online system having access to so much personal information is making some watchdogs nervous. In a USA Today op-ed decrying the system as a "privacy nightmare," researchers Stephen Parente and Paul Howard penned these scary words: "This hub will achieve what has, until now, only appeared in pulp thrillers: a central database linking critical state and federal data on every U.S. citizen for real-time access."

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Filed under: Health care
soundoff (12 Responses)
  1. the facts is the facts

    hahahaha... yeah, our information will be safe. Just ask Edward Snowden how safer NSA data is, the most secret and sensitive government information there is.

    And if this system is hacked or abused, what will be the cost or penalty for the government? Nothing. What will be the cost and penalty to the person whose information is stolen? Huge.

    People are beginning to understand just what the term "big government" means in very real terms now. So are you liking it the more you find out?

    July 23, 2013 07:40 am at 7:40 am |
  2. Shelbyann

    You apply for state insurance plans through the states.

    July 23, 2013 08:10 am at 8:10 am |
  3. Steve

    Here we go again with conspiracy theories and crazy lunatic thoughts that the government is out to get us.

    July 23, 2013 08:24 am at 8:24 am |
  4. tom l.

    That machine just gives me the warm and fuzzies. Hey Dominican, Sniffit, rs, Dutch, Lynda and Rudy, would you feel comfortable with a President Bush having access to all of that information?

    July 23, 2013 08:25 am at 8:25 am |
  5. Marie MD

    "privacy nightmare"? Are we over reaching CNN? Please don't forget that shrub #43 started this NOT Obama.
    Once again, anybody on facebook or tweeter should hold talking or complaining about the government checking on their every word or thought when they do it 24/7/365 and most of us don't care.
    You can't complain about the government listening or reading your emails when you put your children out there like lambs to the wolves and your pictures and where you are going so somebody can come rob your house (just a couple of samples).
    If you have nothing to hide, I don't, I want to make sure that any terrorists are caught before they do harm.

    July 23, 2013 08:33 am at 8:33 am |
  6. Rudy NYC

    Are those letters on the floor for real? If it were up to me I'd have it removed. It's just too political to stay there.

    July 23, 2013 08:56 am at 8:56 am |
  7. Evergreen

    It's called "technology."

    July 23, 2013 09:05 am at 9:05 am |
  8. Gunderson

    Aww,
    Alferd E. Nueman say, What, me worry. You are now oficially in the Twilight Zone. George Orwell is about to arrive. The Computers are now in charge. Resistance is futile.

    July 23, 2013 09:28 am at 9:28 am |
  9. Bessy

    Rudy NYC

    " Are those letters on the floor for real? If it were up to me I'd have it removed. It's just too political to stay there. "

    I think it is probably just something else CNN is doing to promote conspiracy theories. They love to keep the people confused, which hides the " real " problems out there.

    July 23, 2013 09:33 am at 9:33 am |
  10. Larry in Houston

    from all the prominent repubs that I talk to down here, most have said that it was originally romneys idea anyway – and they wish it was a republican that started it at the federal level, instead of a dem. However, I still think it should not be a 1 size fits all thing. In my opinion, this country needs some type of national health care plan – but I think it should be left up to the states, with a certain percentage of it coming from Federal dollars, then the states should pick up the tab, whatever's left to cover the people in their state. And for people that can afford it, should pay their fair share, and abide by the laws in their state.

    July 23, 2013 09:47 am at 9:47 am |
  11. Malory Archer

    the facts is the facts

    hahahaha... yeah, our information will be safe. Just ask Edward Snowden how safer NSA data is, the most secret and sensitive government information there is.

    +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

    So perhaps instead of hiring private firms and their highschool droput contractors to handle national security or the "Obamacare" database, we should hire government workers with top secret clearances and ensure they're aware of the consequences should they choose to commit treason by releasing that information to ANY unauthorized individual or organization. Government employees cost a lot less than private firms, so there's a huge savings to be realized as well.

    July 23, 2013 09:48 am at 9:48 am |
  12. franklovesfl

    The Dems fight this type of system if used to protect us against illegal aliens or terrorists but insist on it so Harvard Law students can get free birth control pills.

    Kinda schizophrenic, isn't it? But that's the Dems for you. Billions to take the life of the unborn and billions to save the live of a murderer.

    July 23, 2013 09:52 am at 9:52 am |