The implementation of the Affordable Care Act has exhibited "stunning" lapses, Republican U.S. Rep. Cory Gardner told Newsmax TV on Tuesday.
In an exclusive interview, Colorado's Gardner, a member of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, said that Henry Cho, deputy chief information officer for the Center for Medicare & Medicaid Services, told lawmakers there had been at least one serious security breach on the troubled Obamacare website.
"He mentioned that there was one particular instance that he couldn't talk about in an open committee hearing and, in fact, could only talk about in a classified room in a secured setting," Gardner told Newsmax TV. "I don't think that you have to go to a classified briefing on a security breach unless something went wrong."
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Gardner said HealthCare.gov was "not ready for prime time in any number of areas, and they went ahead and went forward with a website that we don't even think meets our security standards of today."
"This committee hearing today was stunning on a number of levels," he said. "Number one: the fact that the deputy of security wasn't shown a very top-level report about security risks. Number two: the fact that he revealed that significant portions of Obamacare aren't even built yet, that they still have to write code and get ready for the way payments are going to be made to insurance companies.
"At least 30 to 40 percent of the Obamacare infrastructure [is] not built yet. And yet it's going to be turned on against the American people . . . "
Gardner said Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius had access to documents that "talked about the security risks and concerns, the testing and the timeframe that was being met."
"Clearly, Kathleen Sebelius felt that moving forward on October 1st with a website that is not secure, that poses risks, actually outweighed the harm that those security risks posed to the American people," he said. "So, whether it was Marilyn Tavenner, whether it was Kathleen Sebelius, they clearly felt that their best actions were to move forward with a website, to turn it on, expose to the American people to potentially serious privacy concerns."
He also rebuffed criticisms that the committee is politically motivated.
"This isn't about revenge," he said. "This isn't about trying to score political points. This is about trying to protect the American people from a bill that's taking over 20 percent of our economy and potentially going to do grave harm to healthcare around this country."
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