The House this week will debate two Republican bills intended to highlight problems with the Obamacare website, including one measure that would require the government to notify users of security breaches and another that would require the administration to regularly report to Congress on the website's operations.
Republican leaders plan a vote Friday on the Health Care Security and Transparency Act, which would require the Department of Health and Human Services to inform the users of state and federal health care exchanges within 48 hours of any security breach that "endangers personal data and information."
Republicans said the legislation is needed because the Obama administration and the contractors who built healthcare.gov admitted that the system's security had not been fully tested to ensure it's protected against cyber attacks.
Despite the risk, there is no plan or law in place to ensure that the government informs the public when their personal information has been exposed on the website.
"A prompt alert deserves strong, bipartisan support and should be fast-tracked to provide Americans peace of mind that their information is safe and secure,” said Rep. Joe Pitts, R-Va., a subcommittee chairman on the House Energy and Commerce Committee.
The House on Friday is also expected to consider The Exchange Information Disclosure Act, sponsored by Rep. Lee Terry, R-Neb., that would require HHS to file weekly reports to Congress about the health care exchanges. The reports would include data on website visits, the number of people creating accounts, chat login information and problems associated with the website or call centers.
Terry said the bill is needed to because HHS has not been publicly forthcoming about the website since its disastrous rollout in October.
Democratic leaders say they oppose the Republican legislation because it would create an unnecessary burden for the administration, which they say is already releasing detailed information about healtcare.gov on a monthly basis.