- The Washington Times - Tuesday, January 28, 2014

The House’s top investigative panel voted unanimously Tuesday to move a hearing into potential security risks with the main Obamacare website into a closed-door session, citing the sensitive nature of documents before lawmakers.

Rep. Darrell Issa, California Republican and chairman of the Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, said lawmakers should stay, but everyone else must leave. Staff would have to leave the room and then sign back in.

Democrats on Mr. Issa’s committee have warned that documents provided to the committee by the Obama administration and MITRE, a tech security company that worked on HealthCare.gov, could amount to a “roadmap” for hackers who want to breach the federal website that serves 36 states.

Administration officials have said the documents describe a secure website on one hand, yet also have said it could aid hackers, according to Mr. Issa.

He said they can’t have it both ways, and that administration officials must have lied to him about the site’s security at some point.

“I don’t use the word ‘lie’ without real forethought,” he said.

Notwithstanding those concerns, he said he agreed to an executive session that would keep the documents out of the public eye.

Mr. Issa said that the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) decided to launch HealthCare.gov on Oct. 1 despite intra-agency warnings about its security.

“It is a real and tangible threat that could affect millions … It is clear that they knew the risk,” Mr. Issa said.

CMS officials have assured the public that the website is secure and has not been hacked.

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