WaPo: CBS Ran Misleading Story On HealthCare.gov Security Issues


CBS News aired a misleading report on Monday about security issues concerning the federal health insurance exchange website based on leaked partial transcripts of a health care official’s testimony, according to the Washington Post.

CBS reported that Henry Chao, lead project manager of Healthcare.gov at the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, had been unaware of two major security holes in the website that could lead to identity theft.

“CBS News has learned that the project manager in charge of building the federal health care website was apparently kept in the dark about serious failures in the website’s security,” the CBS report reads. “Those failures could lead to identity theft among buying insurance.”

When questioned by Rep. Gerald Connolly (D-VA) Wednesday at a House Oversight and Government Reform committee hearing, it became apparent that the security flaws that the CBS report discussed could not actually lead to identity theft.

According to Chao, the two modules the CBS report referenced are not currently active on the exchange website and that neither module used personally identifiable information.

Connolly, while questioning Chao on Wednesday, implied that the partial leaked transcript came from Republican committee staff.

“So when CBS Evening News ran its report based on a leak, presumably from the [Republican] staff, but we don’t know — of a partial transcript — excerpts from a partial transcript — they said the security issues raised in the document, and I quote, ‘could lead to identity theft among buying insurance,’ that cannot be true based on what we established in our back and forth. Is that correct?” Connolly asked during the hearing, as quoted by the Washington Post.

Chao responded that Connolly was correct.

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