GOP-led House will kick off 2014 like it spent most of 2013
January 2nd, 2014
04:44 PM ET
7 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. Malory Archer

    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!

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

    It's called projection, and the right has a lock on it!

    January 3, 2014 10:20 am at 10:20 am |
  2. ChrisM

    That's right repubs, try and take away health insurance from millions of Americans with pre existing conditions.(diabetes is considered a pre existing condition) Go right ahead, I dare you !!!

    January 3, 2014 10:20 am at 10:20 am |
  3. Malory Archer

    EDDIE

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

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

    Because Target is a "free enterprise" (the latest r/w rallying cry), and therefore can do no wrong in the r/w's eyes.

    January 3, 2014 10:22 am at 10:22 am |
  4. ChrisM

    It appears the GOP led house will not do any work they were elected to do and still collect a pay check . Time to get representatives in the House that want to work for the Americans people. Bye Bye repubs

    January 3, 2014 10:28 am at 10:28 am |
  5. Marcus (from...?)

    Fair is Fair
    Oh really? Have you read the posts of some of the guys and gals here? I say that, in any given rational reality, '3' would be a wild fantasy, but some guys still think that the shutdown wasn't hard enough on the govt. so, ALAS!, I can't shake it off as impossible.
    As for '1' you are obviously right, maybe one day we will all know how could they mess it up so badly at the implementation of the website.
    As for '2' we will see... Both sides are hoping that all that they did and will do up until election day is enough to stir up their base/voters to go VOTE on the day, and both sides are hoping that the 'other isde' keeps giving them so much ammo as they hade this past year (the shutdown for the (D)s and the problems with the website for the (R)s for example).
    We'll see.

    January 3, 2014 10:39 am at 10:39 am |
  6. Randy, San Francisco

    More of the same old gridlock in the Do Nothing Congress because Republican Tea Party politicians are elected from safe gerrymandered districts in small rural red states.

    January 3, 2014 10:48 am at 10:48 am |
  7. Malory Archer

    ChrisM

    That's right repubs, try and take away health insurance from millions of Americans with pre existing conditions.(diabetes is considered a pre existing condition) Go right ahead, I dare you !!!

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

    Not only would it affect those with preexisting conditions who previously uninsured, it would also affect those with preexisting conditions whose crappy policies that didn't meet the minimum ACA standards were cancelled by their insurer, as we'd return to the days of insurers having the right to deny coverage to Americans with preexisting conditions.

    January 3, 2014 10:48 am at 10:48 am |
  8. current state of the union

    More filibustering in the last five years than in the history of our government, 232 years folks!

    January 3, 2014 10:48 am at 10:48 am |
  9. king

    we should start a petition on fox news forcing them to hire a democratic host. msnbc who has to go against fox news, fox business news, and cnbc. hires joe scarbarow for 3 hours every morning on morning joe. why cant fox news hire one dem in an half an hour slot as host. why all their host on their 24 hour propaganda machine has to be right wingers. its time folks stand up and demand fox news represent the other side of their right wing fiasco, and stop hiring these long legged bimbos who spews what their right winged masters tell them to spew. petition is needed to force this so called fake news station to at least look like they are a viable news station to all the people and not just the right wingers propaganda machine. what are you scared of fox.

    January 3, 2014 10:52 am at 10:52 am |
  10. Boomer in Mo

    Sigh. The country is doomed by the inability of its leaders to act like adults and compromise. I usually think if no one is happy with a legislative action, it might have been the right one. I want my way, my way, my way, all the time, is what the Tea Party (I have teapartier relatives) want 100% of the time. No body can have their way 100% of the time if this country is going to work. The President can't manage anything. Many of the Democrats just want to tax and spend. The government wastes too much, with the Pentagon procurement process totally out of control. And many Republicans have spent decades demonizing the poor and worshipping their rich masters. It's your fault you were born handicapped and are poor. It's your fault your are old and decrepit, spent all of your money on health care and are poor. It's your fault you got a bad education and can't find a good job and are poor. You know, sometimes people are poor through no fault of their own. The poor are not all lazy devils with their hands out. I would have voted for Romney until he made that 47% remark. It showed he has no idea what the working poor, poor, and lower middle classes, along with the elderly who rapidly spend down their net worth and end up destitute go through day after day, week after week, year after year. No one works harder than a single mother working multiple part-time jobs, trying to keep her rusted hulk of a car going does while her ex-husband has to be dragged into court and threatened with prison (at least in MO) in order to hound the child support out of him. America and the American dream are not working for the vast majority of Americans. Sooner or later they are going to figure out who is kicking them off the ladder every time they try to make it up another rung. You really think they are going to continue to take it, and take it and take it? The rumblings I'm hearing out in the hinterlands are getting increasingly dangerous for those who are viewed as gaming the system. I fear there will be an explosion and social wars will erupt in parts of the country. Hope I'm long gone by then but probably won't be.

    January 3, 2014 11:05 am at 11:05 am |
  11. rs

    King-
    I love the idea- but FOX doesn't report the news or reality- they are simply the mouthpiece of the Right- so nothing that does not support the Rights' anti-government, anti-Presidents meme will ever get air time, truth or not.

    January 3, 2014 11:09 am at 11:09 am |
  12. IA

    @ king... Laughable comments as FOX NEWS gives plenty of air time to left wingers as speakers or as panel guests. Joe S. is center to a little center-right. Your argument is really moot. And for what its worth, you might check the ratings to see what people like to see and which network leads the pack.... and by how much. Combine MSNBC and CNN and they still don't come close to Fox. I wonder why?

    January 3, 2014 11:20 am at 11:20 am |
  13. IA

    @ rs...Sure, thats the ticket!

    January 3, 2014 11:21 am at 11:21 am |
  14. Rudy NYC

    "... ... 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."
    ---------------
    Potential risks. I get it. "Let's imagine up some more nightmare scenarios to scare the American People with." Even though there has yet to be one documented security breach, [trust me, Republicans would have made a big fuss had there been], let's pretend that the potential risk for a catastrophic failure is extremely high.

    While we're at it, let's vote to "Repeal Obamacare 2014", which will not only cancel policies for millions, it will take health care away from millions of people.

    January 3, 2014 11:51 am at 11:51 am |
  15. Tampa Tim

    It has been shown that organizations like Fox exist because slow witted people like to be lied to.

    January 3, 2014 12:19 pm at 12:19 pm |
  16. Anonymous

    IA
    And for what its worth, you might check the ratings to see what people like to see and which network leads the pack.... and by how much.
    ==========================================

    Who were you referencing when you stated "what people like to see"? I checked the ratings as you suggested and it looks as if there is a vast majority of people who don't watch CNN or MSNBC or FOX. It looks to be in the well over 330+ millions of people who don't ever watch these three networks.

    January 3, 2014 12:19 pm at 12:19 pm |
  17. Tampa Tim

    One group of people, idiots anonymous, or IA, gets their misinformation from Fox. They are referred to as Doocybots.

    January 3, 2014 12:21 pm at 12:21 pm |
  18. ThinkAgain - If you want Congress to actually do something FOR the American people, vote out the Repub/tea bag majority

    @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."

    Screw up the country how? Then please explain the following, all of which has occurred IN SPITE of the gop/tea bag obstructionists during the Obama administration:

    - bin Laden is DEAD

    - For vets: increased 2010 Department of Veterans Affairs budget by 16% and 2011 budget by 10%. Also signed new GI bill offering $78 billion in tuition assistance over a decade, and provided multiple tax credits to encourage businesses to hire veterans

    - consecutive months of PRIVATE SECTOR job growth since May 2010 (compared to the 500K we were losing each month under Bush)

    - we're out of Iraq and getting out of Afghanistan

    - the housing market is rebounding

    - unemployment continues to fall (currently it's at 7%)

    - healthcare reform; not perfect, but working for the vast majority of people, including being able to keep your kids on your policy until they are 26, not getting dumped by your insurance company when you get sick, and not being denied coverage for a pre-existing condition (including being a woman)

    - stock market rebounded (for those of us who work, that means our retirement portfolios, which were cut in half due to the Bush years, have regained their value and then some)

    - saved the American auto industry and the 1+ million jobs associated with it

    - recapitalized the banks (helped avoid a Great Depression)

    - repealed Don't Ask, Don't Tell

    - tightened sanctions on Iran (Comprehensive Iran Sanctions, Accountability, and Divestment Act 2010), which lead to Iran opening up their nuclear production facilities for international inspection (which is a whole lot better than going to war again in the Middle East)

    - Credit Card Accountability, Responsibility, and Disclosure Act (2009): prohibits credit card companies from raising rates without advance notification, among other things (i.e., credit card companies can't screw you anymore).

    The list goes on and on and on – at least in reality world.

    January 3, 2014 12:22 pm at 12:22 pm |
  19. ThinkAgain - If you want Congress to actually do something FOR the American people, vote out the Repub/tea bag majority

    @IA: "you might check the ratings to see what people like to see and which network leads the pack.... and by how much. Combine MSNBC and CNN and they still don't come close to Fox. I wonder why?"

    Fox plays to the fear and ignorance of people, something the GOP and right-wingers constantly promote because a scared, desperate populace is more easy to manipulate.

    And while you're wondering, chew on this: people who only watch Fox News are less informed than all other news consumers (source: Study by Fairleigh Dickinson University).

    January 3, 2014 12:25 pm at 12:25 pm |
  20. Smitty

    Typical blame Fox News or anybody but the problem. Which is Barry O, who never ran a business or has any military experience, dah, what did you think would happen when you vote for someone this inept.

    January 3, 2014 12:25 pm at 12:25 pm |
  21. Pam from Iowa

    Wonderful!!! another year of do-nothing GOP'ers!!!
    God save us all!!!

    January 3, 2014 12:29 pm at 12:29 pm |
  22. ThinkAgain - If you want Congress to actually do something FOR the American people, vote out the Repub/tea bag majority

    @IA: Fox as a "news" outlet? Now, THAT'S laughable.

    Fox has maintained as part of legal court proceedings that there are no written rules against distorting news in the media. Fox argued in court that, under the First Amendment, broadcasters have the right to lie or deliberately distort news reports on public airwaves. (2003 ruling by the Florida Second District Court of Appeals, in regard to an incident going back to 1996).

    January 3, 2014 12:32 pm at 12:32 pm |
  23. Marcus (from...?)

    IA – Maybe, just maybe, that there's nowhere else so much amount of lies and distortions against the POTUS can be found, forcing those who are ready to dive in into the alternate reality where 'Obamacare' did not fulfilled all legal and Constitutional procedures before being signed by the current POTUS (hence the 'shoved down all Americans throat' nonsense) to go but there?
    FAUX NEWS is but a refuge, a last stand, to those who miss the GWBush 'prosperity' and refuses to believe that it was a lie all along.

    PS: 'Plenty of time'?

    January 3, 2014 12:35 pm at 12:35 pm |
  24. Marcus (from...?)

    IA – 'Laughable' is to really believe that staged debates, where one side is always inept or ill prepared to defend his/her point of view, reflects a variety/diversity of opinions endorsed by a TV channel. Except there, there's no place in the real world where one side is always right (and how!) and the other is always wrong (as it 'is'!).
    As for the ratings, where else can people who believes in the 'Obamacare shoved down our throats' nonsense can go to find 'ammo' for their beliefs?

    January 3, 2014 12:42 pm at 12:42 pm |
  25. Tampa Tim

    You RWNJs know that every one of the Fox/Koch talking points has been debunked? You got nothing. Benghazi lies from Fox sure kept your hatred up, but no conspiracy. IRS was proven you that you lied as it was not a scandal, and the billion dollars the Kochs spent fighting ACA were wasted. Everyone of your hate points has been impeached.

    January 3, 2014 01:06 pm at 1:06 pm |
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