Roll Call: Latest News on Capitol Hill, Congress, Politics and Elections
February 9, 2016

House Will Vote on Obamacare Security Bill Next Week

Cantor told GOP lawmakers to expect a vote next week on another Obamacare-related measure. (Douglas Graham/CQ Roll Call)

Cantor told GOP lawmakers to expect a vote next week on another Obamacare-related measure. (Douglas Graham/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

House Republicans will kick off the second session of the 113th Congress next week by voting on another bill to undercut the president’s health care law.

In a memo sent to Republican colleagues on Thursday, Majority Leader Eric Cantor, R-Va., announced that the chamber would take up a measure next week to “strengthen security requirements” on the error-plagued website and “require prompt notification in the event of a breach involving personal information.”

“American families have enough to worry about as we enter the new year without having to wonder if they can trust the government to inform them when their personal information — entered into a government mandated website — has been compromised,” Cantor added.

Republican chairmen for four Congressional committees — Oversight and Government Reform Chairman Darrell Issa, R-Calif., chief among them — have spent considerable time and effort in recent weeks trying to prove that administration officials overlooked or flat-out ignored warnings that the security infrastructure of had vulnerabilities. Now, House GOP leaders are riding the wave of public outcry over these reports to schedule a vote on related legislation.

“To date, the Administration has downplayed the risk of a data breach, perhaps in part because their primary goal is signing people up for insurance through the Exchange,” Cantor told his members in the Thursday memo.

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, responsible for the October 2013 launch of the insurance enrollment website, has denied there is any reason for concern.

“As we have said, the components that are operational have been determined to be compliant with the Federal Information Security Management Act … based on standards promulgated by the National Institutes of Standards and Technology,” CMS said in a statement emailed to CQ Roll Call. “There have been no successful security attacks on and no person or group has maliciously accessed personally identifiable information.”

House Democratic leaders, too, are on the offensive against GOP attacks.

“It is clear that the New Year has brought no change in heart for House Republicans. They continue to remain intent on undermining the Affordable Care Act at every turn, and that effort even extends to scaring their constituents from obtaining health coverage,” Drew Hammill, a spokesman for House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., said in a statement. “It’s time for Republicans to drop the partisan and ideological games, and work with Democrats to strengthen and build upon this historic law.”

In mid-October, Republicans were reeling from the negative political fallout of the government shutdown, but they were able to rise quickly from the ashes when they seized on the botched roll-out of the enrollment website, and President Barack Obama’s erroneous “if you like it, you can keep it” promise.

House Democrats, who claimed victory after the shutdown, soon found themselves struggling with how to message around the public relations nightmare. Simmering frustration at times roared to a boil and pitted some members against leadership.

And Cantor indicated that Republicans will continue to make life difficult for Democrats when it comes to the health care law.

“In the coming weeks, we will continue to address other areas were greater transparency is demanded, including the disclosure of reliable and complete enrollment data,” Cantor wrote to members. “These steps will be part of the overall effort to protect the American people from the harmful effects of Obamacare by ultimately repealing and replacing the law with patient focused reforms that expand access, ensure quality care, and help control costs.”

  • Diogenesxxx

    Any explanation why security requirements and notification in case personal information is compromised “undercuts” the law?

    • Ygorbla

      The Republican answer to any issues they can find with ACA, no matter how minor, is to gut the entire law, since their fundamental issue isn’t with any one thing in it, but with the president who passed it.

      We already have a law that “expands access, ensures quality care, and helps control costs.” Cantor is being very very frank here that his goal is to undermine and eliminate it, and his only real motivation for that is because it’s associated with the wrong political party.

  • dectra

    Stupid is as Stupid Does…….Thanks for wasting even MORE time, GOP.

    What ever happend to the “Jobs, Jobs, Jobs” platform the GOP ran on?

    NOTHING, of course.

  • cat48

    I have heard no public outcry; guess the GOP are crying to each other……l

    • Layla

      You need to get out of Washington more often, maybe pay for your own health insurance.

      • Jeff Johnson

        Mine went down by over $200/month. Thanks, Obama! Woohoo!

  • LordDart

    **yawn** Thanks for the heads-up, Eric..


  • Pamela Zuppo

    Wasting our tax payer money AGAIN. Idiots being led by other idiots while plundering the U.S. Treasury. Haven’t we had enough of this?

  • One Thirsty Bear

    Here we find a run-of-the-mill liberal describing the roll-out of Obamacare that worked to impose upon the people:

  • Liberalism is Nonsense

    Why does Obama feel the need to lie so much about Obamacare?

    • bob

      How is it that your brain can stretch no farther than what outfox ya news has installed into your being?? lol lol

      • Liberalism is Nonsense

        Ditched my cable service and got rid of my TV in 2006; one of the best decisions I’ve ever made.

  • bob

    Can we move the next election to tomorrow?? It is way past time to get rid of these wacko’s who are seriously stuck in there altered world of self something. Cold front coming bigtime, great time to round them up and throw them out in the cold for a few days to fend for themselves without help including money, food, heat and shelter. Bring them back to reality if that is possible. Okay, not possible, just wishful thinking.

  • Fiji’s Best

    The more that people find out about Obamacare, the more they realize it’s going to hurt people.

  • orange_capz

    That truth of the matter is that Hussein Obama is a liar, a fraud, and a fool.

  • Defend The Constitution

    Obamacare isn’t about more choices and lower prices, it’s about fewer choices, higher prices, and centralized control over your medical care.

  • davidfarrar

    The House can stop Obamacare in its tracks if it wants too.

    Please stop the bail outs — now!
    By Charles Krauthammer

    No amnesty.
    No deficits.
    And, definitely, no Obamacare…Hoorah!

    ex animo

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