Nov. 13--U.S. Senator Rob Portman (R-Ohio) made another appearance on Fox News Channel's "America's Newsroom" Tuesday, to discuss what he described as "the failed Obamacare roll out," including the low number of enrollees on the health care exchange, the millions of Americans he said that have lost their health care, and recently revealed security risks to the privacy of those who have signed up on healthcare.gov.
"This thing was destined to fail. You just talked about people losing their insurance. A lot more people have lost insurance coverage than have been able to sign up. I just saw some data this morning. In the state of North Dakota, only 30 people have signed up and yet 35,000 people have lost their individual health care insurance in that state. I can't get the data from Ohio yet. I asked the Secretary of HHS for it last week and she said she doesn't have it. But look, it is something that is even worse than many of us predicted, because people are losing their coverage and not being able to sign up," Portman told Fox News. "I would tell [the Administration], get your act together, get this thing up and working so that my constituents aren't in a state of uncertainty. A lot of them are frightened. They're concerned."
Portman re-inforced the sentiments of many Republicans.
"[Obamacare] is fundamentally flawed. I do think we ought to delay. I think it's very clear that they are not ready for primetime, so they ought to delay it. And then we've got to repeal this thing and start over. And actually put in place policies at the national level that help to get the cost of health care insurance down. You and I talked earlier about how repeal happens. It happens with new people in Congress and a new president. And that's the hard truth," Portman said. "I sent a letter in August to the Secretary saying I had heard about some of these IT problems, including the website just not being accessible, but also some of these security issues. I asked what they had done, asked if they had tested it, asked who was accountable, who was in charge. I never heard back."
Portman said the security issue is something the American people care a lot about.
"We all care about having our personal information kept private and, particularly with what's going on with some of the other scandals out there and some of the other issues, it's one they should have been particularly attuned to," Portman said. "This kind of internal memo is going to be damaging to say, 'Look, at least protect our information.' And we are finding some of that information is getting out."
Frank Lewis may be reached at 740-353-3101, ext. 252, or at [email protected]. For breaking news, follow Frank on Twitter @FrankLewisPDT.
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