SC prosecutor Wilson testifying on health care

SC Attorney General Alan Wilson

COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) -- South Carolina's top prosecutor is taking his concerns about implementation of the Affordable Care Act to Congress.

Attorney General Alan Wilson is set to testify Wednesday before a joint hearing of a two U.S. House subcommittees.

Wilson's office says the Republican was one of 13 attorneys general who wrote to Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius regarding security concerns with the so-called navigator program.

"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," he said in the hearing. "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."

More than 100 nonprofits and related organizations have been recruited by the federal government to sign up "navigators" to help the 30 million uninsured people who can now gain coverage under the Affordable Care Act.

Wilson says Congress should put in place safeguards to protect personal information when people consult with navigators.

"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," Wilson said.{}

"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."

close video ad
Unmutetoggle ad audio on off