MNsure data security breach prompts new bill

Catherine Richert of Minnesota Public Radio reports:

A data security breach at the state’s new online insurance marketplace has prompted two members of Minnesota’s Congressional delegation to write a bill designed to prevent confidential information from being leaked again.

Starting Oct. 1, uninsured Minnesotans will be using MNsure to purchase health insurance, and they’ll have to provide information about themselves in the process.

After a MNsure employee mistakenly leaked the personal information of 2,400 insurance brokers earlier this month, Republican U.S. Reps. Erik Paulsen and John Kline said they’re worried about MNsure’s ability to keep consumer information private.

Their bill would require the federal Health and Human Services Department to certify that insurance exchanges like MNsure have robust data security measures in place.

The requirement would be on top of the numerous state and federal privacy rules MNsure already has to follow.

Once again, it seems, that privacy and security concerns are being used to attempt to delay implementation of Obamacare. Would that all these people screaming about privacy and security really meant it. Why isn’t Rep. Paulsen screaming about privacy and security in the education sector, where more and more records with students’ and parents’ personal and sensitive information are being compiled in massive databases? Why isn’t he screaming about the abuses of national and state databases used for law enforcement purposes that get abused and misused? Why isn’t he screaming about the fact that IRS reportedly scooped up over 10 million patients’ records without a warrant?

C’mon folks. I’m serious about data security and privacy, and I do want to see improvements, but using security concerns selectively for political purposes just won’t cut it with me.

Related: ‘‘Health Information Privacy Protection Act of 2013’’

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