WASHINGTON Jan 2 The U.S. House of
Representatives plans to consider legislation to make data on
the Obamacare website more secure when lawmakers return to
Washington next week, House Majority Leader Eric Cantor said on
In a memo to his fellow House Republicans, Cantor said he
would schedule floor action next week on proposals to make the
healthcare website safer as well as notify consumers when their
personal information has been compromised.
Cantor noted that several bills on the topic of the
website's security had already been introduced by Republicans.
The website HealthCare.gov allows consumers to shop for
insurance plans under President Barack Obama's Affordable Care
Act, which passed in 2010 and mandated that Americans have
health insurance. It also created new marketplaces to buy
The website collects personal data such as names, birth
dates, email addresses and other information that criminals
could use for a variety of scams.
The portal was bedeviled by technical glitches after its
Oct. 1 launch. But in recent weeks its performance has improved,
and the administration announced on Tuesday that more than 2
million people already had enrolled in private health insurance
plans offered under the law, which is popularly called
Some technology experts warned Congress in November that the
Obamacare website had so many security flaws that it was putting
people's data at risk and should be shut down until it is fixed.
An administration spokesman responding to Cantor's memo said
Thursday that security on the website was a top priority and was
protected by stringent standards as well as ongoing testing.
"To date, there have been no successful security attacks on
HealthCare.gov and no person or group has maliciously accessed
personally identifiable information from the site," Aaron
Albright, a spokesman at the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid,
which was in charge of launching HealthCare.gov.
House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi said in a statement
that Republicans appeared intent on undermining the Affordable
Care Act - even if it meant "scaring their constituents from
obtaining health coverage."
Cantor said that in the coming weeks the House of
Representatives would also address other areas where he said
greater transparency is needed on Obama's healthcare program,
"including the disclosure of reliable and complete enrollment
(Reporting by Susan Cornwell; Editing by Lisa Shumaker)