White House stops short of veto threats on House healthcare bills

The Obama administration stopped short Thursday of threatening to veto House bills to require officials to tell people if their personal data has been compromised through ObamaCare, and to require weekly reports on the health law's implementation.

The White House said in two Statements of Administration Policy that it opposed both bills, one of which is set for a Friday vote in the House.

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Weekly reporting requirements on both enrollments and the operation of the HealthCare.gov website would require "unfunded, unprecedented, and unnecessary reporting requirements" on the health insurance exchanges, it said in one statement.

"It would require the reporting of data on a weekly basis that is generally being provided on a monthly basis," the White House wrote. "Few major indicators — from job growth to Medicare Advantage enrollment to private shareholder reports — are provided more frequently than monthly; this bill would hold the Marketplaces and State Medicaid programs to unprecedented standards."

The White House added that more staff would likely be needed to comply, which would add "millions of dollars in costs to the States and the Federal Government, without additional funding from the Congress."

The bill requiring weekly reports, H.R. 3362, was originally scheduled for this week, but could come up next week.

In its second statement, the White House said officials are already working on security issues with the HealthCare.gov website. Additionally, it repeated that the legislation requiring reports on data breaches would create "costly paperwork requirements."

"For example, the indiscriminate reporting requirement in H.R. 3811 may seriously impede the law enforcement investigation of a breach," the White House said. "Unlike existing requirements, H.R. 3811 requires expensive and unnecessary notification for the compromise of publicly-available information, even if there is no reasonable risk that information could be used to cause harm."

This legislation on security notifications is set to be passed by the House Friday morning.

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