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Monday, March 31, 2014

Judicial Watch Battles Obamacare Secrecy, Corruption in Court -- Judicial Watch

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On March 18, 2014, Judicial Watch filed two Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuits against the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to obtain government records about Obamacare.

One lawsuit seeks  information about the December 19, 2013, decision by the Obama administration to establish new “hardship exemptions” that could allow most consumers to escape the Obamacare individual mandate without penalty. The second suit seeks records about security and privacy concerns surrounding the Obamacare healthcare.gov web portal, which has yet to recover from its disastrous roll-out.

JW filed its “hardship exemptions” lawsuit after a December 20, 2013, Judicial Watch FOIA request to HHS that was ignored. The lawsuit seeks the following information:

Any and all records of communications including, but not limited to, electronic communications (e-mails), between any officer or employee of the Centers for Consumer Information and Insurance Oversight (CCIIO), and any other employee or officer of CMS, the Department of Health and Human Services, and/or the Executive Office of the President, regarding the December 19, 2013 policy guidance issued by the CCIIO.  For purposed of clarification, this policy guidance establishes a hardship exemption for consumers whose health insurance policies have been cancelled and allows those consumers to purchase “catastrophic” health insurance policies.

On December 19, 2013, the Obama administration announced it would grant controversial “hardship exemptions” to millions of Americans to allow them to avoid paying tax penalties for failing to comply with the Obamacare individual mandate.

Most observers agree that the “hardship exemptions” may be the most significant unilateral change that the Obama administration has yet made in government healthcare takeover.  The changes would grant broad exemptions to anyone who “believes” that Obamacare coverage options “are unaffordable,” essentially opening the door to exemptions for almost anyone who finds the law unpalatable. In the words of the Wall Street Journal, “these shifting legal benchmarks offer an exemption to everyone who conceivably wants one.”

And why would the Obama administration create exemptions to a mandate it has described as essential to the entire purpose of the healthcare overhaul?

Clearly Barack Obama feels the need to “protect” Democrats from the unpleasant ramifications of his healthcare monstrosity. Obamacare has thrown the country into chaos and Democrats do not want to suffer the consequences at the ballot box. This is all about politics.

The Judicial Watch healthcare.gov web portal security lawsuit was filed after HHS also ignored a December 20, 2013, FOIA request asking for:

Any and all records related to, regarding or in connection with the security of the healthcare.gov web portal including, but no limited to, studies, memoranda, correspondence, electronic communications (e-mails), and slide presentations from January 1, 2012 to the present.

In November 2013, web expert David Kennedy testified that the Obama administration had failed to secure the site from its inception and that adequate security protections were not built into the system. “Based on our findings,” Kennedy told the House Committee on Science, Space, and Technology, “we are confident that the security around the application was not appropriately tested prior to release, that the safeguards to protect sensitive information are not in place, and that there are and will continue to be for a significant amount of time serious security concerns with the website unless direct action is taken to address these concerns.”

In additional testimony provided to the House Committee on Science, Space, and Technology in January 2014, Kennedy said that the Obama administration had done very little to address the web portal security concerns. “Since the November meeting, there has been a half of one issue fixed … of the 18 issues identified through passive reconnaissance,” Kennedy told the committee. “Some issues still include critical or high-risk findings to personal information or risk of loss of confidentiality or integrity of the infrastructure itself.”

This administration is in full stonewall mode on Obamacare.

This president thinks he can change, ignore, and rewrite Obamacare with zero accountability.

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