Rep. Mike Rogers’ questioning of Kathleen Sebelius was a highlight of her appearance before the House Ways and Means Committee last Wednesday. Rogers used his questions to show that codes on the Obamacare website are constantly being “swapped,” and that as a result, the security of the system can’t properly be tested and the personnel information supplied by those who use it isn’t secure.
Rogers is Chairman of the House Intelligence Committee. When it comes to cyber-security issues, he knows what he’s talking about. Sebelius was unable to answer Rogers’ questions of fact, much less address his concerns.
Today, as John Fund reports, Rogers appeared on CBS’s Face the Nation, and called on the Obama administration to shut down the Obamacare site for security reasons:
They need to take the site down, stabilize it, meaning they can’t continue to add code every week, and then they need to stress test the system. Unfortunately, none of that has happened. And they admit it’s going to take six months. . . . .That is unacceptable for the protection of privacy of Americans’ information.
Before the White House dismisses Rogers’ statement as a case of partisan politics, it should consider this: Dianne Feinstein, the liberal Chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee said basically the same thing on the same program. Feinstein told host Bob Schieffer:
I felt and I said this directly to the president’s chief of staff, that they ought to take down the website until it was right. They believe that they need to keep it running and that they can sort out the difficulties.
Fund reports points out that both Rogers and Feinstein have had private briefings on the security weaknesses of Healthcare.gov. Their comments on CBS today show that the White House has been unable to assuage their concerns.
Clearly, the Obama administration places its political fears ahead of valid privacy concerns expressed by two senior members of Congress (one a Republican, the other a Democrat) with considerable relevant expertise. But then, as the Washington Post reported today, the Obama administration’s political fears go a long way towards explaining the failed launch of its Obamacare website.