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When Roger West first launched the progressive political blog "News From The Other Side" in May 2010, he could hardly have predicted the impact that his venture would have on the media and political debate. As the New Media emerged as a counterbalance to established media sources, Roger wrote his copious blogs about national politics, the tea party movement, mid-term elections, and the failings of the radical right to the vanguard of the New Media movement. Roger West's efforts as a leading blogger have tremendous reach. NFTOS has led the effort to bring accountability to mainstream media sources such as FOX NEWS, Breitbart's "Big Journalism. Roger's breadth of experience, engaging style, and cultivation of loyal readership - over 92 million visitors - give him unique insight into the past, present, and future of the New Media and political rhetoric that exists in our society today. What we are against: Radical Right Wing Agendas Incompetent Establishment Donald J. Trump Corporate Malfeasence We are for: Global and Econmoic Security Social and Economic Justice Media Accountability THE RESISTANCE

Thursday, October 24, 2013



“I will not yield to this monkey court or whatever it is,” Pallone said in response to Republican interruptions. “Why are we going down this path?” he asked. “Because you are trying to scare people so they don’t apply and so therefore the legislation gets delayed or the Affordable Care Act gets defunded or it’s repealed. That’s all it is, hoping people won’t apply.”


Rather than focusing on the real problems plaguing, House Republicans sought to portray the website as an insecure portal that will endanger the privacy of American’s medical information during a House Energy and Commerce Committee hearing focusing on the implementation of the Affordable Care Act. The accusations led one Democratic lawmaker to label the hearing “a monkey court.”

In heated exchanges, Reps. Marsha Blackburn (R-TN) and Joe Barton (R-TX) pressed the contractors responsible for writing the code behind about why some of their employees had access to “the database servers storing the enrolling information,” and questioned source code informing users that they “have no reasonable expectation of privacy regarding any communication or data transiting stored on this information system.”
“How in the world can this be HIPAA compliant when HIPAA is designed to protect the patient’s privacy and this explicitly says in order to continue you have to accept this condition that you have no privacy — no reasonable expectation of privacy?” Barton asked Cheryl Campbell, senior vice president of CGI, one of the firms that wrote the website. He was referring to The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996, the law that guarantees “federal protections for individually identifiable health information held by covered entities and their business associates and gives patients an array of rights with respect to that information.”

Rep. Frank Pallone (D-NJ) pushed back against the implications, arguing that “HIPAA only applies when there’s health information is being provided,” not the biographical enrollment information that’s being entered by programmers. “HIPAA doesn’t apply. There is no health information in the process. You’re asked about your address, your date of birth. you are not asked health information,” he said.

As Washington & Lee Law Professor Timothy S. Jost explained in an email, “HIPAA only applies to health care providers, clearinghouses (and this is a narrowly defined term) health plans, and their business associates.” “Even so, access is available to data without consent for health care operations, which this would be.” Deven McGraw, of the Health Privacy Project at the Center for Democracy & Technology, agreed, adding, “It does not violate HIPAA – it’s not even covered by HIPAA.”

Jost adds that “even if the rule applies to the information and to the exchange, sharing information with a contractor would be a routine operation, and HIPAA allows disclosure of information without consent for operations. Surely a health plan that contracted with a company to build its software would not be violating HIPAA as long as the computer company also observed HIPAA protections. The exchange is subject to the Privacy Act, but the

It should be noted that all of the contractors at the hearing indicated that they had received HIPAA training and were HIPAA compliant.

Roger West



........Millions of Americans tried to enroll in health care benefits during the first days of a new government health care program. They were to rely on indispensable government website that had been touted and “pitched as a high-tech way” to sort through available coverage options. They’re encountering countless glitches and technical errors: the website freezes, displays incorrect plan information and sends insurers erroneous reports.

Administration officials — clearly caught off guard by the surge of technical difficulties — respond to “tens of thousands of complaints” from angry beneficiaries and promise to “fix every problem as quickly possible.”

Doesn't this sounds like the familiar story of the last few days of the Obama administration’s roll-out of the exchanges? But, actually, the above quotes, and the scenarios, are taken from the Bush administration’s efforts to implement the Medicare prescription drug benefit in 2005 and 2006.

Not only was Bush’s roll-out “anything but smooth,” but administration officials had “some trouble getting the [online] tool up and running” and had to delay its debut for weeks. What’s more, computer glitches caused low-income beneficiaries to go without needed medications and sent pharmacies the wrong drug information. Before it was all resolved, Dr. Mark McClellan, Bush’s head of the Center for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), appeared at hearings before the House Committee On Energy And Commerce, laying out the flaws in the law’s implementation and detailing how the administration would address them.

As the House Energy and Commerce Committee holds its first hearing on the implementation of the Affordable Care Act this morning, it’s worth noting that some of the very same Teahadists who are lashing out against Obamacare - arguing that the botched roll-out is proof that the government cannot implement effectively and should repeal the law entirely - gave the Bush administration a free get out trouble pass and urged Americans not to pre-judge such a complicated process. At least four of these Teahadists are still on the committee had argued that early implementation hurdles should not taint the entirety of reform:
REP. JOE BARTON (R-TX): “This is a huge undertaking and there are going to be glitches. My goal is the same as yours: Get rid of the glitches. The committee will work closely with yourself and Dr. Mark McClellan at CMS to get problems noticed and solved.” [Barton Statement via, 2/15/2006
REP. TIM MURPHY (R-PA): “Any time something is new, there is going to be some glitches. All of us, when our children were new, well, we knew as parents we didn’t exactly know everything we were doing and we had a foul-up or two, but we persevered and our children turned out well. No matter what one does in life, when it is something new in learning the ropes of it, it is going to take a little adjustment.” [Murphy Floor Speech via Congressional Record, 4/6/2006
REP. MICHAEL BURGESS (R-TX): “We can’t undo the past, but certainly they can make the argument that we are having this hearing a month late and perhaps we are, but the reality is the prescription drug benefit is 40 years late and seniors who signed up for Medicare those first days back in 1965 when they were 65 years of age are now 106 years of age waiting for that prescription drug benefit, so I hope it doesn't take us that long to get this right and I don’t believe that it will. And I do believe that fundamentally it is a good plan.” [“Medicare Part D: Implementation of the New Drug Benefit,” 3/1/2006] 
REP. PHIL GINGREY (R-GA): “I delivered 5,200 babies, but this may be the best delivery that I have ever been a part of, Mr. Speaker, and that is delivering, as I say, on a promise made by former Congresses and other Presidents over the 45-year history of the Medicare program, which was introduced in 1965 with no prescription drug benefit. And what we have done here is add part D, the ‘D’ for ‘drug’ or, if you want, the ‘delivery’ that we have finally provided to our American seniors.” [Gingrey Floor Speech via Congressional Record, 4/6/06]

Ultimately, the Bush administration fixed the law’s technical glitches, but more than half of the beneficiaries who ended up signing up for insurance didn’t do so until after the first of the year. Significantly, they signed up for coverage despite the Bush administration’s well-publicized initial glitches in extending coverage to low-income beneficiaries. Whereas only 21 percent of seniors had a favorable impression of the law and 66 percent didn't know what was in it in April of 2005, by November of 2006, “half of the seniors polled said the program was working well or that just minor changes were needed.”

Often is the case - that RWNJ's fail to recognize that American history existed prior to 2009.

The party who; wanted to stop the ACA in its tracks, lie about it, derail it, and defund it, are now frothing at the mouth and outraged at the ACA computer issues . Please make up my mind teabaggers, are you for it or against it?

I am reminded of the old adage in politics that says, "it is easier to throw a hand grenade than catch one". The ever so sad corollary says, "you can raise more money by throwing mud than fixing problems".

Right wing shill heads will implode, how dare anybody bash the "Welfare for Big Pharma Act," and compare it to the ACA? Its always acceptable if a "conservative" fucks up, but it's either a felony or a firing if someone else did.

It never ceases to amaze this blogger, the hypocrisy of the Right Wing Nut Job.


Roger West