Thirteen state attorneys general have sent a letter to Health and Human Services secretary Kathleen Sebelius demanding more information and stricter safeguards by the end of the month as concerns continue to mount over consumer privacy under Obamacare and who has access to sensitive information.
West Virginia attorney general Patrick Morrisey, who organized the letter, told Fox News this afternoon that HHS is cutting back on several requirements for its Obamacare “navigators,” who will be tasked with assisting people to sign up for insurance and make sure they understand the law, as the administration rushes to meet the upcoming October 1 deadline. For example, Morrisey noted that HHS, in addition to curbing background checks, was decreasing training-requirement hours from 30 to about 20.
“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,” Morrisey said. He explained that, at this point, it is unclear who would be held accountable for any potential violations or misuse of sensitive information.
He compared the inadequate safeguards for the “navigators” program to concerns over implementing the employer mandate, which was ultimately delayed for another year. “That means that we really have to step up and ensure that we’re going to develop more rigorous standards [for the navigators], and if we can’t do it by October 1, we should delay the law,” he said.
Morrisey and the other attorneys general have asked Sebelius to respond by August 28. He was joined by attorneys general from Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Kansas, Louisiana, Michigan, Montana, Nebraska, North Dakota, Oklahoma, South Carolina, and Texas in his letter to the secretary.