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Alan Wilson: Testimony On Obamacare Implementation

S.C. Attorney General Alan Wilson testified before the U.S. House of Representatives oversight and government reform subcommittee this week regarding the implementation of the Affordable Care Act (a.k.a. “Obamacare”). A copy of Wilson’s prepared remarks, provided by his office, is included below … “Thank you for the opportunity to share…

S.C. Attorney General Alan Wilson testified before the U.S. House of Representatives oversight and government reform subcommittee this week regarding the implementation of the Affordable Care Act (a.k.a. “Obamacare”).

A copy of Wilson’s prepared remarks, provided by his office, is included below …

“Thank you for the opportunity to share the concerns of Attorneys General from across the country. Last month, thirteen state Attorneys General, led by West Virginia’s Patrick Morrissey, wrote Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius. Our letter outlined twenty-one simple, time-sensitive questions related to consumer protection and fraud prevention concerns associated with HHS Navigators and the implementation of the Affordable Care Act.

My testimony today has nothing to do with the merits of the Affordable Care Act. It has everything to do with the first obligation of government, the security and safety of its citizens, and sharing with Congress the need to indefinitely suspend implementation of the Affordable Care Act until security risks are mitigated; privacy protections are provided; and legally mandated deadlines are properly met.

Despite the President saying last month “we’re well on our way to fully implementing the Affordable Care Act,” important deadlines are being routinely missed, and more importantly, security concerns are being dismissed. An unpublished Congressional Research Service memo cited by Forbes last month noted the Administration has missed more than half of the legally imposed implementation deadlines (41 of 73).

In order for the ACA to adequately determine the eligibility of consumers for exchange subsidies it must create a data hub that connects data bases from seven different agencies which include Medicare, Medicaid, the IRS, Homeland Security, HHS, VA and the Social Security Administration.

Last week, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services confirmed the ACA’s data “hub” complies with federal standards. However, the hub has not been beta-tested, independently verified or properly audited by the Inspector General. More troubling is the fact senior HHS technology officials lowered previous standards earlier this year by saying, “Let’s just make sure it’s not a third-world experience.”

When it goes live on October 1, it may not be a third world experience, but it will be a con-man’s all-you-can-eat buffet overflowing with a gold mine of sensitive information from the agency databases I just mentioned.

This information in the Hub should be guarded as if it were the gold in Fort Knox, not haphazardly. The Hub should be required to exceed minimally adequate protocols which have allowed the records of more than 20 million veterans to be compromised during at least eight hacks of the VA’s unencrypted computer system between 2010 and 2013.

States are also victims of similar attacks. Exactly one year ago, more than 3.6 million South Carolinians were put at risk when hackers obtained our social security numbers and personal information during a major security breach at the South Carolina Department of Revenue.

Such attacks make the Hub’s insufficient security testing that much more troubling. However, that is not our primary immediate concern. Last month’s letter was prompted by the fact that HHS is not requiring groups receiving roughly $67 million in Navigator grants to properly screen, train, or conduct background checks on individuals who will be entering sensitive information into the federal data hub.

The Vice President for a group which received a $1.2 million grant to “conduct target marketing campaigns and public education events” throughout South Carolina said last week (in The State), “It’s like the Girl Scouts (selling cookies), you go to shopping centers and set up tables to capture people as they come and go.”

The fact is – it is more difficult to help Girl Scouts sell boxes of cookies than it is to become a Healthcare Navigator. While groups like the Girl Scouts require employees to complete background checks, there are no such requirements for Navigators. This is despite the fact that HHS Exchange Regulations require Navigators to “safeguard consumers’ sensitive personal information” including but not limited to health, income, employment, tax, and social security information. The only requirement for Navigators is that they complete 20 hours of online training, less than most states require for a driver’s license.

This weekend, newspapers across the country ran headlines such as, “Rollout of Obamacare spawns slew of scams: Con artists are busy dialing seniors and other consumers as they try to cash in on the confusion around the Affordable Care Act.” Last week, the South Carolina Department of Insurance issued a consumer alert due to the proliferation of online, in person, and telephone scams.

The first obligation of government is maintaining the safety and security of its citizens. Ironically, the implementation of a federal program, designed to provide health care to all Americans, puts us all at severe risk because it is riddled with scams and security breaches. Americans should not have to barter their privacy and financial security for health insurance.

Thus far, the Administration’s implementation of the Affordable Care Act undermines a fundamental responsibility of the federal government – the security of its citizens. Until HHS answers our questions and rectifies this matter by properly safeguarding Americans’ personal information, Congress must suspend implementation of the ACA.”

(Editor’s Note: The above communication is prepared testimony from a public official and does not necessarily reflect the editorial position of To submit your letter, news release, email blast, media advisory or issues statement for publication, click here).

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Kirby September 18, 2013 at 12:54 pm

Amazingly, Mr. Wilson is dead on point.

fred September 18, 2013 at 2:50 pm

Is he Kirby? Kindly explain.

The Ghost of Lee Atwater September 18, 2013 at 3:35 pm

Hes a Republican.That makes him “on point.”

The Unknown Comic September 18, 2013 at 4:10 pm

More specifically, on 1000 points, that happen to be lighted.

? September 18, 2013 at 1:07 pm

lol….the laws/rules, & regulations are so numerous that even the Federal gov’t can’t meet their own edicts…it’s bordering on comical.

Wilson is making a strategic error…he needs to shut his trap and let the bus roll on.

Not only will pointing out the truth simply serve as a platform for others to attack him from, but it will do nothing to actually “help” Obamacare whether you are rooting for or against it.

If he was thinking clearly he’d simply demand that the law be met fully as SC is off the hook for the implementation issues by letting the Feds handle the exchange(one of the few right decisions those in our glorious state gov’t made correctly) instead of trying to help them to save themselves from their own disaster.

Vanguard16 September 18, 2013 at 1:32 pm

Hey dipshit, maybe you should be doing something about that $100M fine levied by the Feds because the SC Court system can’t connect their computer systems together for child support collection!!

nitrat September 18, 2013 at 4:38 pm

Or, suing Florence County at Hugh Leatherman’s request to stop a referendum on a county penny sales tax because they want to spend money on something other than roads, i.e., concrete.

Thanks Alan September 19, 2013 at 6:32 pm

“This information in the Hub should be guarded as if it were the gold in Fort Knox, not haphazardly.”
As a quick side note Mr. Wilson, how goes the investigation of the hackers that stole every taxpayers ID/and information who had filed a tax return in the state for over a decade? Oh, too busy writing idiotic testimony for Congress, I completely understand.

Smirks September 18, 2013 at 1:41 pm

This is ridiculous. They didn’t participate in drafting the reform. They voted against it when it was passed. Republicans tried 40 odd times now to repeal or defund most if not all of Obamacare. We have had outright liars like Cruz and Ryan continue to trot out outright, proven lies and misinform the public. People like DeMint telling states not to run exchanges so that the feds will have to do it, making it harder for the feds to run the system. Clowns in state legislatures or the governor’s seat of various states refusing Medicaid expansion while doing nothing to solve the issue of thousands of poor people without insurance. Constant droning on about repeal and replace when the “replace” part has been constantly missing. Groups like FreedomWorks telling people not to buy insurance from exchanges, even if it is better for them personally. We have had a constant negative PR campaign courtesy of Fox News and the right wing blogosphere. Years of constant criticism towards the legislation in general. Complaints about how parts of the bill are structured. An outcry when SCOTUS ruled the bill constitutional. Not one effort by Republicans to fix anything significant.

Here we are two weeks away from the exchanges opening up, and now, NOW Republicans want to talk about fixing things? Where were they for the past 3 years? You absolutely have to be shitting me on this. Republicans basically ate the clock down to the last minute, called for a timeout, and are now asking for another quarter to be added to the game?

Worst of all, Republicans are acting as if this is “in Obama’s favor” to yet again capitulate and push back his signature reform? Really? This is your last fucking ditch effort to halt things, you are trying to bargain for a delay because that is the only feasible path you have now that your 40 failures have brought you on the doorstep of reform.

Who the fuck actually believes that if given an entire extra year, the Republicans would put forth any attempt whatsoever to fix anything in the bill that they thought was wrong? No, seriously, who in their right mind actually thinks that the Republicans will sponsor, support, vote yes on, or suggest ANYTHING other than “defund” or “repeal” legislation?

Republicans are desperate. Two weeks ago they were talking about holding America hostage to force repeal, now they’re trying to bargain a delay? Hilarious stuff. I hope your little speech made your dad proud, Alan, because otherwise it was entirely meaningless.

ThreePalms September 18, 2013 at 2:41 pm

Tell it like it is.
Like Quixote in front of a windmill, Alan Wilson doesn’t even realize how foolish he appears. And I am not just talking about this issue.

JD September 18, 2013 at 4:32 pm

Geez Smirks, you sound like you have everything to lose if ACA doesn’t get implemented.

bogart September 18, 2013 at 5:06 pm

Good try Smirks,but you’re talking to people who worship at the Fox alter, think Pat Robertson is a Rhodes Scholar and Rush Limbaugh is capable of a natural erection.

MashPotato September 18, 2013 at 7:51 pm

Oh it’s natural alright… certified organic and biodegradable.

Grandparent September 20, 2013 at 12:50 pm

Preach it, brother! You are spot on!

fred September 18, 2013 at 2:49 pm

Hmmm. Like his old man “You Lie” Al. With regards to the safety and security of it’s citizens, apparently Al has conviently forgotten that the sovereign state of South Carolina has put the safety and security of it’s citizens in great jeopardy with the screw up by it’s Department of Revenue, which is still out there and now we are going to pay an additional $20MIL to Experian. Thank you Alan.

Charlemagne, King of France September 18, 2013 at 4:11 pm

“It has everything to do with the first obligation of government, the security and safety of its citizens”
Is that the first obligation of government?

? September 18, 2013 at 5:19 pm

lol…I was thinking the same thing…I guess it is in a fairy tale I’m not familiar with.

Everyone has their own ideas about what gov’t is *supposed* to do….many of them have little relevance to the document that established the gov’t(and I’m not saying that document is “right”) let alone any basis in anything.

It’s all a storybook adventure with pols/bureaucrats spouting platitudes and people waxing philosophically on how things *should* be.

What you’ll never hear is that the gov’t should do *nothing*.

Really, everything is just about a free for all for the thieves anymore…jackasses worshiping jackals as Mencken put it, and everyone fighting over stolen loot.

Jan September 18, 2013 at 4:30 pm

You can’t fix stupid, and like his father before him, this kid is clueless.

don September 18, 2013 at 7:51 pm

This Alan Wilson stuff is just propaganda set up by the National Association of Attorney’s General. They have these cases lined up for years to come. They arrange for the publicity, the speeches on Capital Hill and the press releases. The Association arrange the national TV interviews. The individual AG’s take the credit in their states and demonstrate they are “fighting Obama”.

They rarely win these cases, or if the due, they are partial victories only.

The taxpayer picks up the tab for it all so it is just more politicking on the back of the working class. It sucks.

nitrat September 19, 2013 at 8:20 am

A plethora of frivolous lawsuits from the party that SAYS it hates frivolous lawsuits…apparently, NOT when the taxpayers are paying to file them.

Vanguard16 September 18, 2013 at 10:11 pm

And this dumb fucking idiot can’t even account for $134K in campaign contributions he had for over 2 years!!

Old lawyer September 19, 2013 at 6:12 am

To be the Attorney General in SC is to spend all day collecting checks from special interest, mainly lawyers fronting for those that could be affected by the AG’s office (criminals, special interest. corporate and government scammers, etc).

If this AG, or any AG in the last 25 years, walked out of their office and went to Mars who would notice? Corruption would continue and nothing would change.

TyroneButterballs September 19, 2013 at 11:17 am

Wilson is such a grandstander. Give the man a clown suit. He is dying to become Governor.

The public knows that the GOP lives in an alternative universe, fueled not by facts but by Faux News and phony facts and evidence. I am sure they can get a PhD who went to Bob Jones University to testify on the witness stands that he has solid proof God exists. Any PhD can be hired to say anything about any topic. I don’t know about you, but solid facts and the truth get me all sweaty and excited. Gets my phernomes all juiced up. What can be accepted on faith can also be rejected on faith. The GOP now eats its own and is in disarray. The public will pick up on that especially when they read other articles on your website showing that jobs and growth in South Carolina are mired in the mud set in place by years on inept “conservative” government.

nitrat September 19, 2013 at 5:04 pm

If the taxpayers paid for this trip – and, the trips of the other AGs – they shouldn’t have.
Stuff like this is political theater and totally UN-job related.

Slartibartfast September 20, 2013 at 2:45 pm

Well, if you left the state, we could probably afford twenty or thirty trips.

ELCID September 20, 2013 at 12:04 am

Wilson needs to get his butt home and stop wasting SC taxpayer money Grandstanding for his father: Joe. This is a complete waste of time. The Democrats control the Senate.
Obama-care is the law, and even if both the House and Senate passed a bill it would just be Vetoed by Obama. It’s a lose, lose, situation. In fact: the stupid GOP hound dogs have tried and lost over 32 times to repeal Obama care. It ain’t gonna happen, no way, no how and, it shouldn’t. SC, of all the States needs Health care insurance. We are dirt poor, stupid, fat, and unhealthy as hell.

God we need help and we are getting no help from that stupid, political hack, Alan Wilson.

nitrat September 20, 2013 at 12:51 pm

The GOP is the party of meaningless, pandering political gesture.


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