My quote, which appeared in an Associated Press story by Judy Lin on July 13, focused specifically on the issue of Covered California’s plan to hire more than 20,000 enrollment counselors or assisters to help consumers apply for health insurance through the state’s health insurance exchange.  In their role assisting consumers, enrollment counselors will have access to consumers’ personal financial and medical information.  The concern I raised in the AP interview is that of making sure Covered California has appropriate consumer protections in place so that counselors or assisters hired to assist consumers do not take advantage of them by stealing their financial or medical identity or otherwise committing fraud.  I have urged Covered California to establish a mechanism for consumers to file complaints and an enforcement system to investigate complaints, sanction bad actors with fines and decertify and pursue criminal prosecution of bad actors where appropriate.

The Affordable Care Act has already provided and will continue to provide significant benefits to Californians.  I am working to ensure it is successfully implemented in California.  To that end, as California's Insurance Commissioner, I will continue to raise and address areas where improvements can be made.

However, the federal data hub was never mentioned in the Associated Press interview and article, and I have never expressed concern or even commented on the federal data hub.   Meehan and Lankford should not have taken my quote entirely out of context and manipulated it to mislead readers of the Congress blog into thinking that I was criticizing the federal data hub.

Jones is Insurance Commissioner for California.