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Wilkow on Obamacare's Data Hub and Looming Privacy Nightmare


The Obama administration is gearing up for the implementation of key provisions of their signature health care reform law. TIME reports that an estimated 7 million Americans under the law will join the first health exchanges from October 1 2013 to April 1 2014.  Supporters of the still unpopular are gearing up for a nationwide campaign to raise awareness about the reform's benefits: 

That unpopularity threatens one of the law’s most ambitious goals—establishing health care exchanges allowing uninsured Americans to purchase affordable coverage. The exchanges need roughly 2.7 million healthy 18-t0-35-year-olds to sign up to be solvent. The majority of that group is nonwhite and male, according to Simas’ data, and a third are located in just three states: California, Texas and Florida. If too few choose to enroll because they don’t know about the law, don’t like it, or feel they don’t need insurance, the exchanges will fail. And so will the law.

The Administration has plotted an extensive social-media campaign designed to reach the young and healthy and is soliciting sports teams to help raise awareness. More than 10 staffers in the Office of Public Engagement are marshalling the help of Latino and African American groups and community nonprofits. And Simas has spent countless hours surrounded by maps of media markets and demographic data on the uninsured trying to remind prospective enrollees of the benefits available to them: “It’s that guy in Dallas, it’s the woman in Los Angeles, it’s the family in Miami-Dade,” he says.

The Government Accountability Office said last week that officials have missed several deadlines and have major work to complete for the health exchanges, which may not be ready by October. 

With the large scope of new regulation and programs put into effect with this law, the Federal Data Services Hub (which some have called "the Obamacare hub") will "interact" with seven federal agencies for the new insurance exchanges to determine eligibility for benefits, exemptions from the federal mandate, and how much to grant in federal insurance subsidies.

With the massive National Security Agency surveillance scandal still very much in the public eye, some worry about privacy concerns and this new hub.

In a column in USA Today, University of Minnesota professor and Manhattan Institute scholar Stephen T. Parente said "when the constantly updated information is combined in a central data hub, the potential for abuse is staggering."

For one thing, the hub will have all the details needed to steal identities and fraudulently access credit.

Given the enormous complexity of the task, and the extremely tight deadlinesspecified under ObamaCare, you would hope that the Obama administration would have been open about exactly how this is being put together, how it will work and what the privacy protections will be. That's not the case.

Dean Clancy of Freedomworks joined 'Wilkow!' Wednesday to discuss the new data hub that will be implemented with Obamacare.

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