Under the guise of expanding Americans’ access to healthcare, “the federal government is planning to quietly enact what could be the largest consolidation of personal data in the history of the republic,” Stephen T. Parente and Paul Howard asserted in a USA Today column. That consolidation is called the Federal Data Services Hub, and it is being assembled as part of ObamaCare’s insurance exchange implementation.
Beginning in 2014, Americans who want to obtain federal subsidies for the purchase of health insurance will have to buy their coverage through state insurance exchanges, most of which will be run by the federal government because the majority of states declined to establish them on their own. As is typical of government programs, the exchanges will be difficult for average Americans to understand, so the Obama administration is planning to hire “tens of thousands” of “navigators” earning “$20 an hour or more” to help guide them to their taxpayer-funded coverage, according to the Washington Examiner.
To help these navigators determine which applicants are eligible for subsidies, and in what amounts, the administration is creating the Federal Data Services Hub. The administration, as is its wont, tried to keep the details of the hub under wraps but was finally forced to reveal them under pressure from Senate Finance Committee chairman Max Baucus (D-Mont.).
It’s not hard to see why the administration wouldn’t want the public to find out about the data hub. It links the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) with seven other federal agencies: the Social Security Administration, the Internal Revenue Service, the Department of Homeland Security, the Veterans Administration, the Office of Personnel Management, the Department of Defense, and even the Peace Corps. It will contain such personal information as Social Security numbers, income, family size, citizenship and immigration status, incarceration status, and health coverage status. And it will be connected to some state agencies.
“This hub,” wrote Parente and Howard, “will achieve what has, until now, only appeared in pulp thrillers: a central database linking critical state and federal data on every U.S. citizen for real-time access.”
Click here to read the entire article.