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Friday, January 17, 2014 - 12:27am
El Paso, TX (KDBC) — As President Obama continues to make a national push to get Americans signed up for Obamacare, Republicans are blowing the whistle on the HealthCare.gov website - claiming it's vulnerable to hackers.
"This is a mismanaged issue. I don't know how we are still talking about it. It's insecure. It is," said David Kennedy, a computer security consultant with TrustedSec LLC.
On Thursday, security experts brought in by Republican lawmakers testified in Congress that there are 20 different weak spots on the website that make it easy for cyber criminals to get their hands on the personal information of millions - a situation similar to what has happened at retail giant Target and then at Neiman Marcus.
Security experts say they discovered problems with HealthCare.gov back in November and they say those issues haven't been fixed.
"They have a new tactic, this one is hot off the presses.. Scaring people away from HealthCare.gov website!" said Rep. Elijah Cummings, (D) Maryland.
Democrats say Republicans are just trying to drive Americans away from signing up.
"We've not experienced any issues related to identity theft off the HealthCare.gov website whatsoever here," said Roy Ortega with 'Project Amistad' in El Paso.
'Project Amistad' is an organization that helps El Pasoans sign up for the President's health insurance plan. They say this is the first they've heard about the security warning.
But are their clients concerned?
"Yes, there is always a risk. When you are putting so much information out there on the Internet, there is always a possibility that you'll run into a bigger, more serious problem," said Prieto Soto.
"The threat is always there but I am confident that it wouldn't happen to me," said Edmundo Aguilar.
NewsChannel 9 asked Facebook fans if they'd buy Obamacare on the site and Annie Terrazas said, "Nowadays, you have to assume that no matter how you use your debit/credit cards, whether it's in the store or online, your info is going to get into someone else's hands. Now you just have to ask yourself if whatever you are paying for is worth it."
On Thursday, House Speaker John Boehner said Republicans want to present Americans with an alternative to the Affordable Care Act.