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How Obamacare's 'privacy nightmare' database really works

CNNMoney, July 23, 2013

The prospect of one online system having access to so much personal information is making some watchdogs nervous. In a USA Today op-ed decrying the system as a "privacy nightmare," researchers Stephen Parente and Paul Howard penned these scary words: "This hub will achieve what has, until now, only appeared in pulp thrillers: a central database linking critical state and federal data on every U.S. citizen for real-time access." The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, the agency responsible for building the federal "data hub" underpinning the new network of state-based exchanges, says the reality is less Orwellian.