News / USA

Obama Administration Seeks to Bolster US Health Law Privacy

Opponents of President Barack Obama's Affordable Health Care Act rally on the west lawn of the U.S. Capitol in Washington, Sept. 10, 2013.
Opponents of President Barack Obama's Affordable Health Care Act rally on the west lawn of the U.S. Capitol in Washington, Sept. 10, 2013.
Reuters
The Obama administration will announce measures to reassure Americans about the privacy and security of the information they submit when they sign up for insurance under President Barack Obama's signature healthcare law, officials said on Wednesday.
 
The administration plans to promote a toll-free telephone number to report fraud or attempted identity theft under the law, and expects to launch measures such as an online identification-verification system to keep taxpayer-funded subsidies from going to criminals, officials said.
 
Online health insurance exchanges, a key means to enroll an estimated 7 million uninsured Americans for next year, are to open across the country on October 1, and the administration is scrambling to surmount political and operational obstacles to get them running on time. People have until March to sign up for coverage next year.
 
Technology experts have cited the risk of fraud and abuse as factors that could complicate or delay the implementation of the exchanges, and opponents of the law have seized on those worries.
 
Attorney General Eric Holder, Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius, Federal Trade Commission chairwoman Edith Ramirez and other federal and state officials were to discuss the privacy and security issues at a White House meeting on Wednesday, officials said.
 
That will be followed by events this week at the Justice Department and at the Federal Trade Commission aimed at reassuring Americans that their personal information will be safe and to publicize ways to report criminal activity, they said.
 
Republicans are waging a dogged fight against the Affordable Care Act, more commonly known as Obamacare. They have made delaying or defunding Obamacare a top priority and want to make that a condition for passing federal government spending bills or an increase in the nation's debt limit.
 
Florida Governor Rick Scott, a Republican, in August expressed concern about the potential for privacy violations, and Florida recently placed restrictions on counselors trained to help people sign up for healthcare, citing concerns about the theft of personal information.
 
Implementation of Obamacare so far has been faced a series of delays. Most recently, the administration held back the signing of final agreements with insurance plans to be sold on the exchanges, probably because of technology problems.
 
Administration officials have said repeatedly that the marketplaces would begin on time. But the October 1 deadline has begun to falter in some places at the state level, with Oregon announcing plans to scale back the launch of its own marketplace. Meanwhile, California has said it will be ready for full enrollment in time.

You May Like

Video British Fighters On Frontline of ISIS Information War

It’s estimated that several hundred British citizens are fighting for Islamic State alongside other foreign jihadists More

Multimedia Hit Song Delivers Ebola Message in Liberia

'Ebola in Town' has danceable beat, while also delivering serious message about avoiding infection More

Video New Technology Gives Surgeons Unprecedented Views of Patients’ Bodies

Technology offers real-time, interactive, medical visualization and is multi-dimensional More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Native Bees May Help Save Cropsi
X
Deborah Block
August 22, 2014 12:23 AM
U.S. President Barack Obama has called for a federal strategy to promote the health of bees that have been declining. The honeybee has been waning due to parasites, disease and pesticides. Wild bees may be used to take over their role as crop pollinators. Scientists first need to learn a lot more about wild bees, says biologist Sam Droege, who is pioneering the first national inventory on native bees. VOA’s Deborah Block went to his research laboratory in Beltsville, Maryland, to bring you more.
Video

Video Native Bees May Help Save Crops

U.S. President Barack Obama has called for a federal strategy to promote the health of bees that have been declining. The honeybee has been waning due to parasites, disease and pesticides. Wild bees may be used to take over their role as crop pollinators. Scientists first need to learn a lot more about wild bees, says biologist Sam Droege, who is pioneering the first national inventory on native bees. VOA’s Deborah Block went to his research laboratory in Beltsville, Maryland, to bring you more.
Video

Video US Defense Officials Plan for Long-Term Strategy to Contain Islamic State

U.S. defense officials say American air strikes in Iraq have helped deter Islamic State militants for the time being, but that a broad international effort is needed to defeat the extremists permanently. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel warned Thursday that the group formerly known as the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant, or ISIL, is better organized, and financially and militarily stronger than any other known terrorist group. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video Drug-Resistant Malaria Spreads in Southeast Asia

On Thailand’s border with Myanmar, also known as Burma, a malaria research and treatment clinic is stepping up efforts to eliminate a drug-resistant form of the parasite - before it spreads abroad. Steve Sandford reports from Mae Sot, Thailand.
Video

Video Gaza Conflict, Hamas Popularity Challenge Abbas

The Palestinian unity government of Mahmoud Abbas has failed to convince Hamas to agree to Egyptian-negotiated terms with Israel on a Gaza cease-fire. VOA State Department Correspondent Scott Stearns reports on what the Gaza conflict means for President Abbas, with whom U.S. officials have worked for years on a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
Video

Video Nigeria's 'Nollywood' Movie Industry Rolls in High Gear

Twenty years after its birth in a video shop in Lagos, Nigeria's "Nollywood" is one of the most prolific film industries on earth. Despite low budgets and whirlwind production schedules, Nigerian films are wildly popular in Africa and industry professionals say they hope, in the future, their films will be as great in quality as they are in quantity. Heather Murdock has more for VOA from Lagos.
Video

Video UN Launches 'Biggest Aid Operation in 30 Years' in Iraq

The United Nations has launched what it describes as one of the biggest aid operations in 30 years in northern Iraq, as hundreds of thousands of refugees flee the extremist Sunni militant group calling itself the Islamic State. As Kurdish and Iraqi forces battle the Sunni insurgents, the fighting has forced more people to flee their homes. Kurdish authorities say the international community must act now to avert a humanitarian catastrophe. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.
Video

Video Cambodian American Hip Hop Artist Sings of Personal Struggles

A growing underground movement of Cambodian American hip hop artists is rapping about the struggles of living in urban America. Most, if not all of them, are refugees or children of refugees who came to the United States from Cambodia to escape the Khmer Rouge genocide of the 1970s. Through their music, the artists hope to give voice to immigrants who have been struggling quietly for years. Elizabeth Lee reports from Long Beach, California.
Video

Video African Media Tries to Educate Public About Ebola

While the Ebola epidemic continues to claim lives in West Africa, information technology specialists, together with radio and TV reporters, are battling misinformation and prejudice about the disease - using social media to educate the public about the deadly virus. VOA’s George Putic has more.

AppleAndroid