Issa Subpoenas Obamacare Official After Hack

by Joel Gehrke

One of the top officials overseeing Obamacare has been subpoenaed to testify before a House panel about information security, among other things, following news that the federal health-care website was hacked in July.

Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services administrator Marilyn Tavenner has been called to testify on September 18.

“Considering this Administration launched healthcare.gov over the objections of CMS, it’s unsurprising that the website has suffered a ‘malicious attack,’” House Oversight and Government Reform Committee chairman Darrell Issa (R., Calif.) said in announcing the subpoena. “For nearly a year, the Administration has dismissed concerns about the security of healthcare.gov, even as it obstructed Congressional oversight of the issue. The Committee will continue to push for answers from the Administration and Administrator Tavenner must testify on the subject of transparency, accountability, and information security alongside the Government Accountability Office at our September 18th hearing.”

The Wall Street Journal reported Thursday that a hacker had breached the security of the HealthCare.gov website “and uploaded malicious software,” though the Department of Health and Human Services emphasized that no information was stolen.

“The hacker appears only to have accessed a server used to test code for HealthCare.gov,” according to the report. “The Department of Health and Human Services discovered the attack last week.”

Issa accused President Obama’s team of lying about the security of the Obamacare website in January.

“We can find no other basis but to assume that they were lying about the vulnerabilities on the day they went live on October 1, and that they are still lying,” Issa said during a congressional hearing. “You cannot continue to tell people there is no problem, that there was no problem on October 1 — you cannot tell people it has been mitigated but tell them, ‘don’t release documents because it’s a pathway for hackers.’”