GOP-led House will kick off 2014 like it spent most of 2013
January 2nd, 2014
04:44 PM ET
11 months ago

GOP-led House will kick off 2014 like it spent most of 2013

Washington (CNN) - The GOP-led House of Representatives will kick off 2014 – a midterm election year – addressing an issue it spent much of last year debating: Obamacare.

House Majority Leader Eric Cantor announced Thursday the House's first order of business when it returns next week from its extended holiday break would be a vote on legislation to address potential security risks for personal information collected on the Obamacare website, HealthCare.gov.

In a memo to House Republicans, Cantor compared security problems with HealthCare.gov and other state-based online insurance exchanges to the high-profile hacking that Target experienced last month when the retailer admitted millions of shoppers'personal financial information was compromised.

Cantor pointed to a recent report from Experian, a credit rating company, which predicted the health care industry was especially vulnerable to data security breaches in 2014. He also said four House committees held hearings at the end of last year demonstrating that the protections put in place by the Obama administration for HealthCare.gov were not sufficient.

"To date, the Administration has downplayed the risk of a data breach, perhaps in part because their primary goal is signing people up for insurance through the Exchange," Cantor stated in his memo, arguing there is no system in place to notify those who might be affected by a security problems.

Drew Hammill, spokesman for House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi, panned Cantor's announcement, saying next week’s vote was another GOP effort to undermine the law and “that effort even extends to scaring their constituents from obtaining health coverage. “

“Six million Americans began enjoying the security of health coverage this week, including 2.1 million Americans who have enrolled in a private health insurance plan through health insurance marketplaces,” Hammill said.

Aaron Albright, spokesman for the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, which administers the website, told CNN all personal information entered by those who enrolled in health insurance online is protected.

"To date, there have been no successful security attacks on Healthcare.gov and no person or group has maliciously accessed personally identifiable information from the site. Security testing is conducted on an ongoing basis using industry best practices to appropriately safeguard consumers’ personal information," Albright wrote in a statement. Albright also said the site uses sensor and other security tools to prevent any unauthorized access.

House GOP legislation, according to Cantor, will "strengthen security requirements as well as require prompt notification in the event of a breach involving personal information."

Republicans already planned to make the midterm election a referendum on the President's signature health care law, so the vote next week will be the first among a string of Obamacare-related votes that will likely stretch into the fall. House Speaker John Boehner and other top GOP leaders have made it clear continued oversight of the law and attempts to roll it back would remain a top focus in 2014.

Cantor's memo promised more action would be coming.

"These steps will be part of the overall effort to protect the American people from the harmful effects of Obamacare by ultimately repealing and replacing the law with patient focused reforms that expand access, ensure quality care, and help control costs."


Filed under: House • Obamacare • Republicans
soundoff (118 Responses)
  1. YUCK

    I want to be in a party that helps people in the need,that really cares about ALL AMERICANS not only the rich and the whites.

    January 2, 2014 06:20 pm at 6:20 pm |
  2. bill

    @don in albuquerque-–Check your user name. mine was there to try and get the point across. At least you noticed.

    January 2, 2014 06:24 pm at 6:24 pm |
  3. monster Zero

    Thank God, hopefully they can selectively cut this monstrosity and put togetherl a bill with something that actually serves American citizens. This is a disaster, although I firmly believe it was never designed to work, just another leftist lie to push the ball toward single payer care, another future failure proposition. All you progressive idiots voted for it, now enjoy, wait till you get a load of your premiums and level of care...didn't one of your heroes tell you, there is no such thing as a free lunch? Get ready to pay from your piggy banks and at the polls!

    January 2, 2014 06:46 pm at 6:46 pm |
  4. gb0423

    Even if there are potential security issues with these websites (and no website is 100% "hacker" proof), does anyone really believe that this Congress has the intellectual capacity to understand or uncover the real issues and pass meaningful legislation to address the issues? Come on, Congress is by and large filled with mental lightweights who have no concept, ability or motivation to deal with real problems...they are all about creating a lot of media noise to convince their constituents that they are doing something other than working to get re-elected and fattening their own wallets (yes, I am looking at you Ted Cruz).

    January 2, 2014 06:58 pm at 6:58 pm |
  5. ChodaRagu

    The GOP had 6 YEARS under Bush with control of BOTH Houses in Congress. You think healthcare wasn't an "issue" for Americans back then, and just sort of "became one" in 2009 when a Democrat got into office?!?! The GOP could have done ANYTHING for healthcare, other than the status quo, and people would have gone for it. Hell, I bet if they tried, the could have even got some Dems on-board for a new plan. I always tell my conservative friends when they complain about ACA, that it's the GOPs fault it's hear, because THEY didn't do ANYTHING, when they could have!!

    January 2, 2014 06:58 pm at 6:58 pm |
  6. monster Zero

    I would really prefer they spend a little more time on impeachment proceedings. We all know it can't happen till after the 14 elections but at least tie Obama up so he cannot inflict anymore damage on the citizenry of this Nation.
    Let's see any of the following would probably work:
    Solyndra, IRS, Benghazi, Libya, Fast and Furios, usurping congress and the Constitution with regard to Federal law, NSA, Obamacare, incompetence, golly, pick any there are so many many more to choose from.

    January 2, 2014 07:08 pm at 7:08 pm |
  7. ThinkAgain - If you think Congress can do better, vote out the Repub/tea bag majority

    Not surprising the GOP is going with their 2013 playbook.

    What else to do when you have NOTHING to offer except economic, military and foreign policies that are PROVEN FAILURES?

    January 2, 2014 08:05 pm at 8:05 pm |
  8. ThinkAgain - If you want Congress to actually do something FOR the American people, vote out the Repub/tea bag majority

    @Tampa Tim: "When was there any time the republicans cared about Americans? These congressional idiots are merely doing what the Koch brothers have paid them to do: obstruct and destroy our government."

    The last good repub president was Eisenhower, who warned us about the military-industrial complex and had the good sense to build and restore our nation's infrastructure – and paid for in part by taxing incomes over $400,000 at 92%.

    Making the wealthy pay their fair share is the least they can do for the country that has given them so much.

    January 2, 2014 08:08 pm at 8:08 pm |
  9. ThinkAgain - If you want Congress to actually do something FOR the American people, vote out the Repub/tea bag majority

    Not surprising the GOP is going with their 2013 playbook. What else to do when you have NOTHING to offer except economic, military and foreign policies that are PROVEN FAILURES?

    January 2, 2014 08:10 pm at 8:10 pm |
  10. Liz the First

    God forbid their first order of business should be restoring the unemployment benefits for over a million people who could lose everything. what monsters these rethugs are!

    January 2, 2014 08:30 pm at 8:30 pm |
  11. Evergreen

    I believe this would come under the umbrella of Cyber Security, which President led a meeting with high tech to address, just befor going on vacation. Again, the GOP is a step behind.

    January 2, 2014 08:30 pm at 8:30 pm |
  12. Tony in Maine

    Oh for God's sake..

    Look, you lost. The ACA is law and becomes more popular with each passing day when Americans realize that Fox News and the hate radio crew are just parroting the lies of Republican politicians and their owners.

    January 2, 2014 08:31 pm at 8:31 pm |
  13. rs

    Well, one thing the House likely won't be doing is any more Benghazi "investigation". With the revelations in the NYT this week it ought to be clear the GOP lie machine on Benghazi is out of gas. No al Qaeda, no cover-up. It only cost $60 million, and made Mr. Romney look idiotic in debate # 2 (yes, it's gone on that long) but the Benghazi nonsense is done. With enough beer and Koch funding, I am sure the GOP will cook up something new though...

    January 2, 2014 08:44 pm at 8:44 pm |
  14. Bubba

    GOP-led House will kick off 2014 like it spent most of 2013.......or in other words; The GOP-led House will kick off 2014 with its head up its own rectum. Situation Normal.

    January 2, 2014 08:47 pm at 8:47 pm |
  15. ja

    America should for drug testing of legislators, in light of their failure to to be productive and the congressman being busted, and the hypocrisy

    January 2, 2014 09:31 pm at 9:31 pm |
  16. Dallas

    We can't get rid of Boehner, Canter, etc. soon enough. None of them have any place in our government.

    January 2, 2014 10:15 pm at 10:15 pm |
  17. medicinewoman76

    I can't believe that the American public even elected Obama, a man with NO credentials to lead this country for 4 years in 2008, and then AGAIN. And, what has this administration done? Nada! Obama jets off in AF-1 to the tune of millions of dollars whenever he wants, takes the family, and leaves America behind. AND WE LET HIM DO IT. When he recently said if it took his last 3 years in office to pass his horrendous healthcare bill I wondered if America can afford to continue this backslide. Nope, don't think so... I'm thinking somebody up on the hill needs to stand up and put this guy up for impeachment. Five years, no accomplishments, spending like we've never even imagined we need help now! We're watchine while this administration is killing the elderly by massive denials of medicare assistance, and not even alowing a new generation to be born. Somebody needs to read what happens to countries that do that. It's called "Statistics I."

    January 2, 2014 10:20 pm at 10:20 pm |
  18. Marie MD

    Just read that politics is like driving. R for going backwards and D for going forward.
    Why is mr earthquake I want what I want when I want it front and center again? With tonight's snow I hope the teaklans get stranded in the cold so they get a taste of what it is to be homeless or ready to be homeless since randy the do called doctor has taken unemployment money from Americans.

    January 2, 2014 10:38 pm at 10:38 pm |
  19. S. B. Stein

    You can't compare the healthcare website and Target. If these GOP members of Congress and their supporters really had a plan to get more people covered by medical insurance, then we would have heard about it already. Is there some reason why they don't want to expand medical insurance coverage?

    January 2, 2014 10:46 pm at 10:46 pm |
  20. Peace

    Do republicans have problems in learning anything? Sticking on the same mistake again and again is a recipe for failure. Don't they have not a single person who can rescue their Party and come up with the right thinking?

    January 2, 2014 10:49 pm at 10:49 pm |
  21. Name Uche Agonsi

    The GOPers have branded the ACA a trainwreck/ disaster, it remains to be seen in 2014 whose train is wrecking.

    January 2, 2014 10:51 pm at 10:51 pm |
  22. Thomas

    John Boehner and Eric Cantor would have a hard time holding a real job .

    They will make the midterm election a referendum on the President's signature health care law, so the vote next week will be the first among a string of Obamacare-related votes that will likely stretch into the fall. House Speaker John Boehner and other top GOP leaders have made it clear continued oversight of the law and attempts to roll it back would remain a top focus in 2014.

    These guys must pray for failure of any legislation that benefits the American People before they go to bed each night .

    January 3, 2014 12:17 am at 12:17 am |
  23. ProudDem

    A "Disaster"? 9 million people have coverage today that didn't before the ACA. As of January 1st, you cant be denied for preexisting conditions, they cant cap your benefits, among a host of other things. Did some peoples rates go up or policies get canceled? Sure. But guess what, that happened before the ACA too. Is it perfect? Heck no, they should have just opened Medicare up for all as a single payer system...but oh well. The bottom line is, WAY more people were helped by the ACA than hurt...that's supposed to be what governing is about...helping the most people that you can.

    January 3, 2014 01:33 am at 1:33 am |
  24. BeenThereDoneThat

    If Dems are unified & resolute, and not wandering around lost in the wilderness like in 2010, they'll crush the GOPTP!

    January 3, 2014 01:59 am at 1:59 am |
  25. Gunderson

    Eh,
    So what are the Flap Jaw Liberal's going to do starting in the Year. Oh, that's right continue to screw up the country. But maybe we can still keep the trains running on time.

    January 3, 2014 02:13 am at 2:13 am |
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