During a Senate Finance Committee hearing on Wednesday, Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius noted that it’s possible convicted felons could become Obamacare “navigators,” giving them access to personal information of those who sign up for the program.
The admission by Sebelius took place as part of a tense exchange with Texas Republican Senator John Cornyn, according to Mail Online.
Fox News reports that the exchange went as follows:
“Isn’t it true that there is no federal requirement for navigators to undergo a criminal background check,” Cornyn asked Sebelius.
“That is true,” Sebelius answered. “States could add in additional background checks and other features, but it is not part of the federal requirement.”
Cornyn responded, “So a convicted felon could be a navigator and could acquire sensitive personal information from an individual unbeknownst to them?”
Sebelius answered, “This is possible.”
Under questioning from Georgia Republican Sen. Johnny Isakson, Sebelius tried to qualify her startling admission about information security under Obamacare, according to Mail Online.
“The navigators must go through a minimum of 20 hours of training,” she said. “A significant portion focuses on privacy and security issues.”
During the hearing, Sebelius also acknowledged that the early enrollment figures for Obamacare scheduled to be released next week will be “very low.”
Kansas Republican Sen. Pat Roberts called for Sebelius’ resignation over the botched Obamacare website rollout. Sebelius’ home state is Kansas.