The Washington, D.C.-based watchdog group Judicial Watch has uncovered documents showing that senior officials with the federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) were seriously concerned with the security of HealthCare.gov, the Affordable Care Act’s online portal, in the weeks prior to its disastrous launch.
The documents were obtained, according to Judicial Watch, pursuant to a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuit filed on March 18, 2014, after HHS failed to respond to a December 20, 2013 information request.
From Judicial Watch:
Judicial Watch today released 94 pages of documents obtained from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) revealing that in the days leading up to the rollout of Obamacare, top Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) officials knew of massive security risks with Healthcare.gov and chose to roll out the website without resolving the problems. Detailed information regarding the security flaws, previously withheld from public disclosure, was released to Judicial Watch. Also released to Judicial Watch were “Sensitive Information – Special Handling” memos sent from CMS to Mitre Corporation, the Healthcare.gov security testing company, in which CMS rated “political … damage” and “public embarrassment to CMS” as factors in defining “Risk Rating” priorities.
The security problems with HealthCare.gov put at risk the personal and financial information of nearly everyone who used the website to shop for health insurance. According to news reports, there has been at least one instance of security vulnerabilities in the website being exploited by hackers.
Read more about the documents here.