Since Obamacare was signed into law six years ago, HHS claims that approximately 20 million Americans have gained health insurance coverage. The uninsured rate is said to be below 10% for the first time. HHS Secretary Sylvia Burwell acknowledges that many Americans are unhappy with their health care experience due to the high costs. She says the Obama administration is working to change this. They plan on shifting to systems that pay physicians for “outcomes” rather than on quantity of procedures. Critics believe this new red tape will only increase costs and lower quality.
Besides problems with costs, the technical segment of the law – Healthcare.gov – continues to struggle with security issues. The website acts as a “marketplace” where people can purchase health insurance outside of the workplace. A report from the Government Accountability Office stated there had been 316 cybersecurity incidents and remains vulnerable to hackers. Investigators found weaknesses protecting the flow of sensitive information in the data services hub, and “significant weaknesses” in sites run by states. There were insufficiently tight restrictions on administrative settings, inconsistent use of security fixes, and an unsecure network. Some of the incidents involved information not being secured and exposed to unauthorized personnel. Another incident released government-employee account information in an unencrypted email. The report concludes that the security flaws “will continue to jeopardize the confidentiality, integrity, and availability of HealthCare.gov.” HHS says that security and privacy of consumer data is a top priority and are accepting the GAO’s recommendations to improve.
Earlier this year, Congress passed legislation to repeal the main parts of Obamacare, which President Obama vetoed. Republican presidential nominees have vowed to strike down the law.
Armour, Stephanie. “On Health Law’s Anniversary, Burwell Extols Successes and Acknowledges Frustrations.” Washington Wire. The Wall Street Journal, 23 Mar 2016. Web. 24 Mar 2016.
Alonso-Zaldivar, Ricardo. “Report: HealthCare.gov Logged 316 Cybersecurity Incidents.” Technology. ABCNews, 23 Mar 2016. Web. 24 Mar 2016.