Oversight Hearing on the Security of Healthcare.gov


Date: Nov. 19, 2013
Location: Washington, DC

This morning, Michael C. Burgess, M.D. (TX-26) made the following statement at the Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigation Hearing regarding the security of the healthcare.gov website:

"I think everyone here would agree that the implementation of the Affordable Care Act is quickly going from bad to worse. Meager enrollment numbers, a website full of glitches and errors, cancelled plans, and broken promises from the President are just the start.

These initial problems simply break the surface of the deeper issues that lie ahead for the law. Mr. Chao's prediction back in March that enrollment in ACA would be a "third-world experience" seems now to be exactly correct. However, it was also Mr. Chao who recommended it was safe to launch the website Oct. 1.

What happened in those six months that led Mr. Chao and the Administration to believe the law was ready for primetime? Not only did CMS fail to establish basic functionality of the website, but healthcare.gov's flaws continue to pose a threat to the security of Americans' personal data. As a physician, my primary rule of practice is "First, do no harm." If I know something will be detrimental to my patients, I don't do it.

In this case, CMS knew of the problems before October 1. Mr. Chao and his team knew that a multitude of gaps remained in the security infrastructure -- making the website a wide open target for hackers and identity thieves. This is about much more than a faulty website. This is about the American people who cannot trust their government to certify that their personal information will be safe on a government-run website. After spending hundreds of millions of dollars of taxpayer dollars, the American people deserve to know, who is responsible? Who can they hold accountable for failing to protect their personal information? It is the American people who are suffering because of the mismanagement and failures of this Administration. It is time they get some answers."