Just a minor glitch. Move along, nothing to see here.
North Carolina health officials said Friday that they had inadvertently disclosed the personal information of tens of thousands of children receiving Medicaid coverage, but were tight-lipped about precisely what caused the massive privacy breach.
The state Department of Health and Human Services issued a written release saying that new Medicaid cards for nearly 49,000 children were mailed on Dec. 30 to the wrong people. The information on the cards includes the children’s names, Medicaid identification numbers, dates of birth and the names of their primary care doctors — personal medical data that is supposed to be tightly protected under federal law.
“The department has begun a careful review of this incident to determine how it occurred and to ensure personal information is protected,” said Sandra Terrell, the state’s acting Medicaid director. “DHHS knows exactly which Medicaid cards were sent to which addresses, and is rapidly working to issue correct Medicaid cards.”
Agency spokesman Ricky Diaz said state officials were first informed of the problem on Thursday by county officials. The release publicly disclosing the breach was emailed Friday at 5:20 p.m., shortly after WSOC-TV in Charlotte posted a story about the error.
Diaz insisted that the agency disclosed the information to the public “as quickly as possible.”
New federal eligibility rules starting Jan. 1 under the Affordable Care Act allowed the agency to shift medical coverage for more than 70,000 children of low-income families from the state-paid NC Health Choice program to Medicaid.
Meanwhile, Kentucky Senator Rand Paul Sunday disclosed his son was enrolled in Medicaid even though he’s not eligible.
Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., poked a hole Sunday in the argument that the ObamaCare rollout is on the upswing and that Kentucky’s state-run program is a model of excellence, saying it mistakenly issued his son a Medicaid card.
Paul — a doctor who left the medical profession to join Congress in 2010 and whose base Senate salary is $174,000 — says he makes enough money that he doesn’t need Medicaid, which helps low-income families.
Nevertheless, the Kentucky exchange put his son into the Medicaid program after Paul went online to register him for ObamaCare, he said.
“I actually tried to get my son signed up through the Kentucky exchange, you know, that the Democrats have said is so good,” Paul told ABC’s “This Week,” while holding up what appeared to be Medicaid card. “We didn’t try to get him Medicaid. I’m trying to pay for his insurance. But they automatically enrolled him in Medicaid.”
Paul, who has been a sharp critic of ObamaCare, said officials wouldn’t talk to him or other members of his family because they were unsure about whether his son existed.
The arrogance and incompetence of these people is just breathtaking.