Attacks Continue on Obamacare Enrollment Process

obamacare-dos-toolNew Orleans    Scantily reported in the review of the results and performance of enrollment under the Affordable Care Act are the continued attacks against the heart of the process both on the website and in the field, including in places where the biggest potential enrollment is possible, Texas.  I’m not talking about in Congress either.

            First, cheered on and instigated by conservatives have been concerted cyber-attacks on the healthcare.gov website which is the key portal to obtain health insurance.  Don’t take my word for it though, but pay attention for sure when this comes from the House of Representatives own Homeland Security Committee as reported by the Examiner.com:

…the House Homeland Security Committee published a video on their Youtube page highlighting a portion of the committee questioning Roberta Stempfley, acting assistant secretary of the Department of Homeland Security’s Office of Cyber-security and Communications, who confirmed at least 16 attacks on the Affordable Care Act’s portal Healthcare.gov website in 2013.  Roberta Stempfley highlighted one successful attack that is designed to deny access to the website called a Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attack. A DDoS attack is designed to make a network unavailable to intended users, generally through a concerted effort to disrupt service such as repeatedly accessing the servers, saturating them with more traffic than the website is designed to handle.  Right wingers have been distributing the link to the necessary tools to perform the attacks on the Healthcare.gov website through social networking, as pointed out by Information Week, and other websites.  The name of the attack tool is called, “Destroy Obama Care!”

            Outrageous, right, but I guess who is really surprised.

            More embarrassing is reading that in places like, Texas politicians there, this late in the game, are still attacking the heart of the enrollment process, the navigators and people trying to make uninsured citizens aware of the benefits of enrollment.  The Dallas Morning News reported on a final hearing this week on comments for proposed rules for navigators that are so broad that many are fearing that virtually anyone saying the word “navigator” without special certification could be subject to civil penalties.  Here’s what they say:

Hospital officials, Democratic lawmakers and advocates for the poor complained Monday that the state’s proposed rule on health insurance “navigators” could cripple efforts to educate Texans about their coverage options.  At a final hearing and in written comments submitted by Monday’s deadline, critics called the Texas Department of Insurance’s proposed licensing and training requirements an over-reaction — and a poorly written one, at that.  They pleaded for Insurance Commissioner Julia Rathgeber to refine her rule so it would pinpoint, but not impair, the people hired under federal grants to help people sign up for insurance through the Affordable Care Act. “The navigator rules are overly broad and may be interpreted to require registration of anyone — family members, neighbors, co-workers, a member of the clergy, even my own legislative staff,” said Sen. Sylvia Garcia, D-Houston.

I know there are still some people in the South still fighting the Civil War 150 years ago, but that doesn’t mean we have to follow in their footsteps does it?  I thought we were close to agreeing in Washington that it was time to put the fires out and see if we could make this work, but it looks like the skirmishes and guerrilla warfare in the countryside are set to rage for many years to come.

 

 

 

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