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Issa On HealthCare.gov Hack: Tavenner Must Testify

Oversight chairman Rep. Darrell Issa pledged Thursday evening that the Obama administration’s top Obamacare official must testify to Congress about a July security breach at HealthCare.gov. 

The federal Obamacare website was hacked into in July, The Wall Street Journal first reported Thursday. No personal consumer information was extracted from HealthCare.gov, but the “malicious attack” inserted malware into a weak part of the website that will help the hackers to attack other websites. (RELATED: Hacker Hits HealthCare.gov) 

Now, Republican Rep. Darrell Issa wants Marilyn Tavenner, head of the Obamacare agency the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, to finally testify before Congress about HealthCare.gov’s security. It’s the latest escalation in Congress’s ongoing struggle with the Obama administration to get details about Obamacare’s implementation.

“Considering this administration launched HealthCare.gov over the objections of CMS, it’s unsurprising that the website has suffered a ‘malicious attack,’” Issa said in a statement. “For nearly a year, the administration has dismissed concerns about the security of HealthCare.gov, even as it obstructed congressional oversight of the issue.”

Tavenner has been called to testify before the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee on September 18.

The Obama administration has held that HealthCare.gov — which suffered paralyzing glitches last fall and whose back-end operations still haven’t been created — is secure from cyberattacks.

The July attack was the first successful hack into HealthCare.gov, according to federal officials. It wasn’t detected until last week. The portion of the website which was breached hosted only test code and did not have a firewall installed.

Everyone from Congress to reporters have been trying to get information about Obamacare out of the Obama administration, to little avail. Just last week, CMS denied a Freedom of Information Act request from The Associated Press which requested a security plan for HealthCare.gov, arguing that it making the information public would be “an unwarranted risk to consumers’ private information.”

Republicans in the House and the Senate have been attempting to get information as well. Rep. Issa’s Oversight Committee first subpoenaed Tavenner’s emails on Obamacare information from CMS almost one year ago, but Tavenner admitted last month that she deleted some emails and didn’t retain copies, as federal law requires. (RELATED: Obama Official Deleted Obamacare Emails Sought By Congress)

Tavenner is expected to testify at the hearing September 18 along with administration officials from the Government Accountability Office. 

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