Summarize this content to a maximum of 60 words: With more than 60 Democrats joining the Republican majority, the House of Representatives this past Friday approved a bill that seeks to stem the effects of security breaches on HealthCare.gov.
The bill, “Health Exchange Security and Transparency Act,” also aims to score political points, as GOP lawmakers work to keep the focus on what they say are some of the troubled — but much-improved — site’s lingering vulnerabilities.
As the Washington Post put it in a Jan. 10 blog post, “Republicans openly crowed at Friday’s vote tally, boasting that 67 vulnerable Democrats were willing to buck President Obama, who signaled Thursday that he strongly opposed the proposal.”
[See also: GOP’s Obamacare plan: Focus on security.]
The bill — which stands no chance in the Democratic-controlled Senate – would require the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services to notify users of state or federal exchanges of any data breach within two business days.
The Obama administration opposed the bill, however, saying it would impose “unrealistic and costly paperwork requirements.”
Republicans pointed to a memo from Teresa Fryer, chief information security officer at the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services who had suggested delaying the rollout of the HealthCare.gov site until more security testing could be completed.
Republican House Speaker John Boehner said the bill is meant “to protect the American people from the consequences of this disastrous law,” according to the Post.
[See also: HealthCare.gov security risks laid bare.]
Democrats counter that the GOP have overhyped the site’s vulnerabilities – pointing out that CMS put more security measures in place in the wake of Fryer’s memo, and there have yet to be any security breaches associated with HealthCare.gov – a fact confirmed by CMS.
“Republicans are still obsessed with killing this law,” Democratic Maryland Rep. Elijah Cummings told the Post. “Since they cannot do so legislatively, they have shifted to a different tactic: scaring people away from the website.”
The Health Information Exchange (HIE) market, playing a critical role in facilitating healthcare data sharing among providers, is projected to be worth $2 billion by