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. @RI_Roger

    Unintelligent comments from typical Progressives who are will to wait for a catastrophe to happen before they attempt to fix it. Let those who don't want to address any potential breach of my personal information vote NO for any personal security legislation, I'll make sure I vote for someone else. Those of you who are screaming about the intent of pro-active Republicans need to give up your rights to internet privacy and not accept Privacy disclosure agreements on required on all Web sites.... Let's see how far in life you will go from now on.

    January 3, 2014 06:47 am at 6:47 am |
  2. A True Conservative

    Hey Dutch – you say that extending unemployment benefits and then changing imigration laws should be the first order of business for the Congress. Typical – you want more government handouts followed by amnesty for criminals! Will the left EVER learn? You need to move to the Red APple...I mean the Big Apple where everyone will soon be equal.....poor that it is.....

    January 3, 2014 07:11 am at 7:11 am |
  3. Minnie Mouse

    The law passed and is in place including has been working, so cut with the bashing and move on to something else. Maybe it does need to be more secure, so fix just that one problem area and without putting the law on the chopping block again for a big fat "NO" vote. Your wasting everyone's time again, including your own.

    Your talking about peoples health care and a lot of peoples lives depend on this health care. People have gone years without the care they need because they have been denied coverage, so this law is 100% necessary and doesn't need to be repealed or replaced.

    This is a new year, so make a difference by doing something in another category instead of trying to take peoples health care away. People wouldn't be enrolling if they didn't find the good in the ACA law. This law is making everyone responsible for his, her and or families health care and we all get better coverage care in the end.

    There are so many other issues in our country that need to be addressed and resolved that nothing is being done about. There's only so much time in a day and no one has any better plans for health care and look at all the time and years spent into the one that did pass. Just move forward with what has passed and enjoy the benefits like the rest of us are.

    January 3, 2014 07:13 am at 7:13 am |
  4. TONE

    The American people have to wake up, and toss these useless good for nothing republicans out of congress.

    January 3, 2014 07:38 am at 7:38 am |
  5. TONE

    We as a voting public should be very cautious when we are considering who to vote for, beware of the candidates who makes the most noise, and have the most money, especially if those monies are not coming from we the people. that candidate is compromise, by big money, and the only thing big money want is more money, and here comes the destruction of the middle class and poor. Both dems, and reps voters need to be very very careful of who we keep, and who we fire from office come 2014. It makes no sense we go out their and vote for the likes of the koch brothers,and hang ourselves in the process.

    January 3, 2014 07:55 am at 7:55 am |
  6. Lynda/Minnesota

    "Cantor's memo promised more action would be coming."

    Just to be clear, I first came to CNN for news. When CNN stopped reporting news, I came to CNN for a few laughs and giggles. When CNN first started trying to bait comments, I thought I'd stick around for a few more laughs and giggles.

    Five years later, I've all but given up. The baiting has fast reached overdone status wherein the baiting has surpassed what can (or should) be considered acceptable ... even for an organization which still touts itself as "major" news.

    If only CNN and others would sit back and start reporting WHY this particular Congressional leadership (as well as the previous two) has been voted the "worst ever" for the past two voting sessions by a majority of Americans perhaps the MSM might actually earn their revenue and up their own "credibility" numbers. Only then will those in congress understand the dept of distaste the majority of Americans have against them and the media forums they primp and flock to for "messaging".

    And, oh yeah ... least I forget: Obama blah, blah, blah. Five years now and still running strong.

    January 3, 2014 07:57 am at 7:57 am |
  7. Dutch/Bad Newz, VA -aka- Take Back The House -aka- No Redemption Votes

    The ironic thing is that a lot of the long term unemployed live in republican districts. Shame on you GOP.

    January 3, 2014 08:14 am at 8:14 am |
  8. rs

    Rick McDaniel
    Expect the GOP to cave in on the debt ceiling yet again...........and allow Obama to increase our debt by ANOTHER trillion dollars in 2014.
    _______________
    A little Civics 101 lesson Rick. The debt ceiling is an artificial spending cap. We keep running into it because the House hasn't passed a balanced budget in quite awhile. By raising the Debt Ceiling, we are merely agreeing to pay for things we as a nation said we'd pay for in the previous budget cycle. In other words, Congress agrees to do what it said it would do in the first place in regards to our nation's finances.
    To not raise the debt limit simply makes us a deadbeat nation, and that my fried impacts the nation's credit rating, ability to borrow, and to perform the basic functions of government.

    January 3, 2014 08:18 am at 8:18 am |
  9. rs

    A True Conservative
    Hey Dutch – you say that extending unemployment benefits and then changing imigration laws should be the first order of business for the Congress. Typical – you want more government handouts followed by amnesty for criminals! Will the left EVER learn? You need to move to the Red APple...I mean the Big Apple where everyone will soon be equal.....poor that it is…..
    _____________
    Educate yourself, True. The Immigration Bill (passed by both parties in the Senate) does not grant "amnesty" (not that you know what that is). It does provide for a 7-10 year-long process for people to apply for citizenship. Sure, twist that, 10 years is a real "giveaway". And, yes, according to the CBO, the Immigration Reform Bill is stimulative, and does get more revenue to the federal government.
    As to the unemployment thing- so, what's your recommendation? Let people lose homes? Let people starve? According to you, there are no jobs out there. So is your solution for the poor death? How Christian of you!
    Meanwhile, know that money given to the poor and hungry has the greatest stimulus effect. So that getting funds to the unemployed not only helps them, it helps the economy. I know, you hear some rich person who desperately needs a tax cut, but fear not. Giving them one only addicts them to that free money, and all they do is put jot in a bank. It certainly doesn't make jobs.

    January 3, 2014 08:26 am at 8:26 am |
  10. Malory Archer

    @RI_Roger

    Unintelligent comments from typical Progressives who are will to wait for a catastrophe to happen before they attempt to fix it.

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

    LOL!!! EVERYTHING is "unintelligent" when one is illiterate.

    January 3, 2014 08:36 am at 8:36 am |
  11. TONE

    @Gunderson-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

    The only people who screwed the country over are Republicans, and they were doing it for the past 40 years with voodoo, trickle down economic policies that has been a dismal failure all these years, take from the middle class and poor give to the rich talkin about wealth distribution here.(gop talking points) the Republicans have been at the helm of the biggest economic disaster in America's history, it's time for them to go.

    January 3, 2014 08:42 am at 8:42 am |
  12. rs

    Dutch/Bad Newz, VA -aka- Take Back The House -aka- No Redemption Votes
    The ironic thing is that a lot of the long term unemployed live in republican districts. Shame on you GOP.
    _______________
    It kind of transcends irony my friend. Here in sunny Arizona- the GOP run state wastes millions drug checking the poor- it doesn't save any money; we have private prisons that by agreement the state must keep filled with prisoners- or it costs the taxpayer; Sheriff Joe loves his fake immigration raids so much he pulled all the detectives off of the Child Abuse unit- the result 9,000 un-investigated cases. Not to mention the endless lawsuits the state loses, Arizona has more unemployment than the nation, lower income (because we are a "right to work" state); lower education attainment (that affects income). As a state, Arizona is a veritable catalog of what happens when you let the TEA Party, ALEC and the GOP roam free.You had to hear the whining during the GOP's government shutdown because of the damage to the state's tourism….they couldn't even see that the shutdown they supported might have a nasty consequence or two.

    January 3, 2014 08:57 am at 8:57 am |
  13. rla

    And the senate ill continue it ways of not bringing bills to teh floor, passing measures that the constitution does not allow and maybe passing a budget after 5 years... Reid and the senate are the cause of the mess as they follow like lemmings the progressive destruction of America. Get out and vote,,, vote any of the bums out up for reelection and vote TEA PARTY candidates in- THEY HAVE A PLAN AND THEY CARE!

    January 3, 2014 08:59 am at 8:59 am |
  14. Norma Vessels

    Tone .. I couldn't agree with you more.

    January 3, 2014 09:11 am at 9:11 am |
  15. Norma Vessels

    It's astounding that when I hear a Republican talking about how our President is dismantling our society, our safety, and how the Democrats in Congress are taking away our rights .. they are talking about their own party of Republicans in Congress, and don't even realize it!

    January 3, 2014 09:14 am at 9:14 am |
  16. Norma Vessels

    The Tea Party has a plan, they care, ria? They are trying to tear down our whole Government! They want to do away with Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, Civil Rights, the Job Corb, the Peace Corb ... all run by our Government, with our imput, since our Government is run by us, and who we send to represent us in each state. They desperately want to dismantle all that. We'd be going back to the 'old west' attitude, with everyone wearing guns again, and stealing what we can to feed ourselves, because there won't be any jobs, any insurance we can afford, any hospitals that will take us in, and the list goes on. The Tea Party people are brain washed to think that is a good thing.

    January 3, 2014 09:21 am at 9:21 am |
  17. rs

    vote any of the bums out up for reelection and vote TEA PARTY candidates in- THEY HAVE A PLAN AND THEY CARE!
    ________________
    Oh, dear, someone who doesn't realize the TEA Party is nothing more than a front for the Texas oil industry, and that there is nothing "grass roots" or real about it.

    January 3, 2014 09:21 am at 9:21 am |
  18. EDDIE

    Stupid as stupid does. Why don't they have a look into why 40 million people had their credit info stolen at Target.

    January 3, 2014 09:30 am at 9:30 am |
  19. Norma Vessels

    Know what I think? I think the Republicans (not all, but a bunch) have had their brains frozen. They hear words, they copy what they see, they repeat what they hear .. then they hear the same words again, they copy what they see, they repeat what they hear .... then they repeat again .. and it comes from Fox News and or people who have posted on here, who listen to Fox News, and Hannity, and the cigar smoking man who thinks he knows it all. And the cycle continues.

    January 3, 2014 09:30 am at 9:30 am |
  20. Marcus (from...?)

    OK, let's suppose the House Republicans' check on the security of the website does find a flaw that could cause some damage to those who applied through it, not all of them acts like Issa thus it is possible to happen, what will they do?:
    1 – Demand that the security of the website is improved.
    2 – Vote for the dismantle of 'Obamacare' (after all they 'proved' their point).
    3 – Start the impeachment of the POTUS.

    '1' is unlikely to happen, '2' is my bet and '3' is not a wild fantasy (ALAS!).

    January 3, 2014 09:32 am at 9:32 am |
  21. Dennis Freeman

    What no vote to repeal the ACA? They must still be tired from all their hard work in 2013...

    January 3, 2014 09:39 am at 9:39 am |
  22. foxghostwriter

    And here I thought the new year would bring about some common sense. I'm guessing....no.

    Now, discounting the fact that Cantor probably knows more about nuclear physics than he does about websites, I'd like to know where he's getting his information on the security. And what changes he would suggest. I'm willing to bet Rick's trillion that one of the options is to postpone Obamacare.

    January 3, 2014 09:41 am at 9:41 am |
  23. Robert

    The GOP DO NOTHING CONGRESS continues to DO NOTHING. They have to go in November to SAVE the country

    January 3, 2014 09:54 am at 9:54 am |
  24. rs

    Website "security" is just another straw dog for the GOP. They can't have it both ways- hey ascent hardly anyone signed up in October, so obviously there was no massive security breach- especially as the gap is fixed.
    Meanwhile, out in corporate America, banks refuse to use higher security standards for cards and pins (such as are in use in Europe), and Retailers like Target screw up so badly that 40 million Americans are exposed to fraud. Who does the GOP go after?
    Yeah, business as usual, attack the government.

    January 3, 2014 09:56 am at 9:56 am |
  25. Fair is Fair

    Marcus (from...?)

    OK, let's suppose the House Republicans' check on the security of the website does find a flaw that could cause some damage to those who applied through it, not all of them acts like Issa thus it is possible to happen, what will they do?:
    1 – Demand that the security of the website is improved.
    2 – Vote for the dismantle of 'Obamacare' (after all they 'proved' their point).
    3 – Start the impeachment of the POTUS.

    '1' is unlikely to happen, '2' is my bet and '3' is not a wild fantasy (ALAS!).
    ---------
    '3' is delusional paranoia on your part. '2' won't happen until after "Mid-Term Shellacking – Part Deux". And '1' needed to be done BEFORE this debacle went prime time. You know, Marcus from somewhere, the best way to keep the horse from escaping is to build a strong gate.

    January 3, 2014 09:57 am at 9:57 am |
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