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- HIPAA, for good and/or ill, is the law of the land. How can Healthcare.gov’s operators/planners not be liable to the law?
- How can a system that warns that users have “no reasonable expectation of privacy” be HIPAA compliant?
- What is the point of a warning that no reader can normally read (unless perhaps they use a “view source” option on their browser)?
- How can a Democrat who is supposed to care about privacy attack a Republican for discouraging people to use Healthcare.gov as if privacy doesn’t matter?
To my mind, Healthcare.gov has just reached Science Fiction/Conspiracy levels of creepiness. This is too bizarre.
The Heritage Foundation reports that already one user has been given private information for another user:
[Justin] Hadley, a North Carolina father, buys his insurance on the individual market. His insurance company, Blue Cross Blue Shield of North Carolina, directed him to HealthCare.gov in a cancellation letter he received in September.
After multiple attempts to access the problem-plagued website, Hadley finally made it past the registration page Thursday. That’s when he was greeted with a downloadable letter about eligibility — for two people in South Carolina…
The letter, dated October 8, acknowledges receipt of an application to the Health Insurance Marketplace and the eligibility of family members to purchase health coverage. The letter was addressed to Thomas Dougall, a lawyer from Elgin, SC…
Hadley wrote to Heritage on Thursday night and also contacted the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, which administers HealthCare.gov, as well as elected officials in his state. He has yet to hear back from HHS, even though HealthCare.gov still displays the personal information of the South Carolina residents on his account.
Hadley reached out to Dougall on Friday to notify him of the breach. Dougall, who spoke to Heritage this evening, said he was evaluating health care options in early October. Dougall said he was able to register on HealthCare.gov, but decided not to sign up for insurance.
“The plans they offered were grossly expensive and didn’t provide the level of care I have now,” he said.
Dougall said he never saw the October 8 letter until Hadley sent it to him Friday.
After learning of the privacy breach, Dougall spent Friday evening trying to contact representatives from HealthCare.gov to no avail; he spent an hour waiting on the telephone and an online chat session was unhelpful…
So, leaving aside the bizarre “warning” in the source code, the Obama Administration rolled out and encouraged people to give their private information to a website that was not remotely secure and which they knew was insecure.
Any private company that engaged in that kind of behavior would be in civil and probably in criminal court.