WASHINGTON, D.C., November 6, 2013 (LifeSiteNews.com) – HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius told the U.S. Senate this morning it “is possible” that the ObamaCare navigator program could give convicted felons access to every single American's Social Security number, tax form, banking information, and medical records.
The revelation came as part of the secretary's testimony before the Senate Finance Committee this morning.
After she declined to ask a number of true-or-false questions about the implementation of the Affordable Care Act, Sen. John Cornyn of Texas asked about the program's penchant for identity theft.
“Isn’t it true that there is no federal requirement for navigators to undergo a criminal background check, even though they will receive sensitive personal information from the people they sign up for the Affordable Care Act?” Cornyn asked.
“That is true,” Sebelius answered. “States could add in additional background checks and other features, but it is not part of the federal requirement.”
“So, a convicted felon could be a navigator and could acquire sensitive personal information from an individual unbeknownst to them?” he followed up.
“This is possible,” Sebelius replied.
Navigators are counselors who are supposed to assist consumers signing up for plans through the new health care system. To facilitate the process, navigators will have access to the federal data hub, a vast database that connects the HHS to records compiled by the IRS, the Social Security Administration, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), the Defense Department, the Office of Personnel Management, the Veterans Health Administration, and the Peace Corps.
But the federal government outsourced its hiring to 105 organizations receiving $67 million in federal grants.
Sebelius added these contractors are in charge of the employee screening process.
Among them are three Planned Parenthood affiliates, which received $655,000 to participate in the navigator program, in Iowa, Montana, and New Hampshire: Planned Parenthood of the Heartland ($214,427), Intermountain Planned Parenthood, Inc.($295,604), and Planned Parenthood of Northern New England ($145,161).
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Consumers buying health insurance plans through ObamaCare state exchanges face additional concerns about identity theft, aside from unscrupulous navigators. This week Congressman Mike Rogers, R-MI, exposed an internal memo from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) that said HealthCare.gov “system readiness issues” have, in Rogers' words, “put personal information at risk.”