CNN has ignored two warnings that Obamacare's privacy protection may be at risk when the state exchanges open October 1, which could leave participants open to the threat of identity theft.
An Inspector General report recently detailed how the security system was months behind schedule, and last week 13 state attorneys general wrote to HHS Secretary Sebelius warning of a possible "privacy disaster" in Obamacare. CNN has not yet reported either warning.
On August 12, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell wrote the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) and asked them to delay the exchanges until the privacy of all users was guaranteed. CNN has still not reported McConnell's letter.
In Obamacare's state exchanges, personal information would be sent to a "data hub" and handled by "navigators" helping customers purchase health insurance on the exchanges. Both the IG report and the attorneys' general letter insisted that if the exchanges opened on time with the noted security flaws still present, customers could be exposed to identity theft.
Reuters added that the government will now wait until the day before the exchanges open to determine if the security IT is "up to snuff," and still the "exchanges might open with security flaws."
Meanwhile, the 13 GOP attorneys general expressed their worry that "navigators," those employees helping customers purchase health insurance on the Obamacare state exchanges, would either be ill-prepared for the task or would not be properly screened, putting customers' personal information at risk of identity theft.
Certain attorneys general continued to make their case over the weekend. Florida attorney general Pam Bondi explained on Friday:
"Because of time constraints, HHS [is] cutting back on the requirement to become a navigator, meaning they're not going to be doing background checks. They're not going to be fingerprinting these people."
West Virginia's AG Patrick Morrisey insisted "We’re going to be vulnerable to massive instances of identity theft across the country, because these navigators are going to have access to some of the most personal and sensitive information that consumers have."
Florida's Governor Rick Scott questioned how personal information of customers will be stored and shared. "What we do not know is how this information will be shared among federal agencies or if the federal government will also distribute it to outside groups," he said.