Critics Blast Obamacare Privacy Practices

System stores customer information forever

Rep. Diane Black (R., Tenn.) / AP

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Critics blasted the White House for perceived privacy gaps in the Affordable Care Act on Monday.

Representative Diane Black (R., Tenn.) is concerned about the possible breaches of privacy caused by Multidimensional Insurance Data Analytics System (MIDAS), a storage system for Obamacare participant’s personal information.

"We repeatedly warned of privacy concerns under the data hub only to be told by the Administration that this hub would not collect personally identifiable information—instead it would only be used to pass information between the appropriate agencies to verify an Obamacare applicant’s eligibility status. Clearly, the Obama administration did not deliver the whole truth," Black said in a release.

MIDAS is not included in the Healthcare.gov privacy policy and it was implemented without a privacy assessment, according to Black. MIDAS is said to hold names, financial accounts, Social Security numbers, birthdates, addresses, phone numbers, and passport numbers.

Black has more than 40 years experience in the healthcare industry as a nurse and said that privacy is essential to medical care.

"This should concern every American who desires to see their personal information protected from the prying eyes of Big Brother Obama and it begs the question," she said, adding, "What else don’t we know when it comes to Obamacare?"

The nonpartisan Government Accountability Office (GAO) said in a 2014 report that without a privacy assessment, "It will be difficult for (the administration) to demonstrate that it has . . . taken steps to ensure that the privacy of that data is protected."

MIDAS keeps personal information forever. The Federal information hub is set to be "the largest personal information database the government has ever attempted" according to the Wall Street Journal. Healthcare.gov describes MIDAS as a "perpetual central repository."

Other critics of Obamacare, including Grover Norquist of Americans for Tax Reform, said that the speed with which the Affordable Care Act passed denied the American public the ability to make an informed decision.

"With the news that our health privacy is gone forever, Obamacare is increasingly like an ill-conceived tattoo. The decision was made in the dead of night without thought or consultation and too soon one learns that it will never-ever go away," Norquist said in a statement.

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