Diane Black

Diane Black

TENNESSEE's 6th DISTRICT

Several in Congress demand action on HealthCare.gov data sharing

2015/01/29


Black: Healthcare.gov “Just as Flawed as the Underlying Obamacare Law Itself”

2015/01/28

Click the image above for video of Rep. Black’s remarks

Washington, D.C. – Today Congressman Diane Black (R-TN-06) spoke on the House floor to highlight continued privacy concerns on Healthcare.gov. As Congressman Black noted in her remarks, the Obama Administration was recently found to have shared users’ personal data – including age, income, zip code, and smoking and pregnancy status – with numerous third party vendors.  

Yesterday, Congressman Black and Congressman Patrick Meehan (R-PA-07) led a letter to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) and the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) demanding answers regarding the Administration’s data-sharing practices. Reps. Black and Meehan also reintroduced the Federal Exchange Data Breach Notification Act of 2015, legislation requiring the government to notify affected users if their information is breached on the federal healthcare exchanges. Currently, there is no law requiring the federal government to issue these notifications, even though it is required in most state-based exchanges and in the private sector.

A transcript of Rep. Black’s remarks on the House floor are below, or click here for a video.

Mister Speaker, more than a year after its launch, Healthcare.gov remains just as flawed as the underlying Obamacare law itself. Most recently, we learned the Obama Administration was sharing users’ personal data with numerous third party vendors.

When the Administration was caught with their hand in the cookie jar, they quietly scaled this back but many unanswered questions remain. That is why I led a letter with Congressman Pat Meehan demanding answers regarding Healthcare.gov data security and privacy policies.

While we await their reply, we also reintroduced the Federal Exchange Data Breach Notification Act—legislation simply requiring the government to notify consumers if their personal information is breached on the healthcare exchanges.

It defies all logic that this basic requirement isn’t already law – it’s time we change that. I yield back.

Reps. Black, Meehan Blast Healthcare.gov Data Sharing in Letter to HHS, Introduce Data Breach Legislation

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Congressman Diane Black represents Tennessee’s 6th Congressional District. She has been a registered nurse for more than 40 years and serves on the House Ways and Means and Budget Committees.

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Reps. Black, Meehan Blast Healthcare.gov Data Sharing in Letter to HHS, Introduce Data Breach Legislation

2015/01/27

Washington, D.C. – Today Congressman Diane Black (R-TN-06) and Congressman Patrick Meehan (R-PA-07) led a letter to Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Sylvia Mathews Burwell and Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) Administrator Marilyn Tavenner demanding information on the Obama Administration’s practice of sharing consumers’ private information through Healthcare.gov. You can read a copy of the letter here. Reps. Black and Meehan also introduced the Federal Exchange Data Breach Notification Act of 2015. This legislation would simply require the government to notify consumers if their personal information is breached on the Healthcare.gov exchanges. Currently there is no such requirement under federal law – despite similar standards being in place for the private sector and state-run exchanges.  

The Associated Press reported last week that numerous third-party vendors were given access to consumers’ personal data – including age, income, zip code, and smoking and pregnancy status – through Healthcare.gov. Rep. Black immediately responded to the report, citing “inherent security flaws” in the Healthcare.gov website and calling for data-breach notification legislation to protect users’ personal information when accessing the federal healthcare exchanges. Last Friday, the Obama Administration announced that it would “scale back” data sharing on Healthcare.gov, however it is still unclear what information will continue to be transmitted and what is done with information that was already collected.

As Reps. Black and Meehan point out in their letter to HHS and CMS, the Obama Administration’s practice of disseminating users’ personal information directly contradicts Healthcare.gov’s own privacy policy which states, “No personally identifiable information is collected.” Reps. Black and Meehan released the following statements on their letter and newly introduced legislation:

“I have warned for over a year now of security and privacy concerns under Healthcare.gov. Sadly, from the website’s hacking last summer, to these latest revelations of data-sharing without users’ knowledge or consent, the Obama Administration continues to show that our concerns are well-founded and that Americans’ personal information on this site remains at risk,” said Congressman Diane Black. “Americans deserve the highest standards of privacy and confidentiality when enrolling in health insurance, and they certainly shouldn’t be left holding the bag for this Administration’s failure to maintain a secure website. That is why my letter to the Administration demands answers on Healthcare.gov’s privacy and security standards and seeks information on what data was collected by Healthcare.gov, how long it was stored, and in what way it was secured.”

Congressman Black added, “In light of the Obama Administration’s latest failing, I am proud to reintroduce the Federal Exchange Data Breach Notification Act of 2015. This commonsense legislation will simply require the government to notify affected consumers if their personal information is compromised on Healthcare.gov. It defies all logic that this basic requirement is not already law. I was pleased to carry this legislation in the last Congress and will fight once again for its passage so that Americans can take action to protect themselves in the event of an Obamacare security breach.”

“It is unacceptable that security and privacy failures keep happening with Healthcare.gov,” said Congressman Patrick Meehan. “No American should have to fear their data will be exploited or compromised through HealthCare.gov. The data on the exchanges is among families’ most private, and it should not be shared without a user’s consent. The legislation we have introduced today will ensure that the feds live up to their obligation to disclose data breaches on the federal exchange and come clean with consumers.”

Resources:Reps. Black and Meehan’s Letter to HHS and CMS on Healthcare.gov Data SharingText of the Federal Exchange Data Breach Notification Act of 2015 Rep. Black’s Nov. 2014 Wall Street Journal Op-Ed: “Obamacare Security: Still on Life Support”

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Rep. Black Urges Action for Victims of Human Trafficking: “We Cannot Turn a Blind Eye to their Plight”

2015/01/26

Click the photo above for video of Rep. Black's remarks

Washington, D.C. – Today Congressman Diane Black (R-TN-06) spoke on the House floor to raise awareness of the crisis of human trafficking. As Congressman Black noted in her remarks, human sex trafficking is the third largest criminal enterprise in the world, with an estimated 300,000 young Americans at risk of becoming victims. This week, the House will vote on a series of bipartisan bills aimed at ending this crime, including the Stop Advertising Victims of Exploitation (SAVE) Act of 2015 and the Human Trafficking Prevention, Intervention, and Recovery Act of 2015. Congressman Black is an original cosponsor of both items of legislation. A transcript of Rep. Black’s remarks on the House floor are below or click here for a video.

Mister Speaker, for many Americans, the issue of human trafficking is far removed from their daily lives; something that is relegated to foreign countries and history books. But the truth is, human sex trafficking is the third largest criminal enterprise in the world – with an estimated 300,000 young Americans at risk of becoming victims.

According to the Department of Justice, those most likely to fall prey to this heartbreaking crime are 12 to 14 year old girls. These young women are someone’s daughters, and we cannot turn a blind eye to their plight.

Last year, I visited End Slavery Tennessee – a nonprofit that works tirelessly to confront trafficking in my state. Their mission is taken from the book of Isaiah: “…to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim freedom for the captives, and release from darkness for the prisoners.”

This week, the House will take meaningful steps to fulfill that vision by taking up a series of bipartisan bills addressing the impact of trafficking. This includes the SAVE Act – legislation I am cosponsoring to go after online advertisers who profit off the sale of these innocent victims.

Mister Speaker, no single act of Congress will stop all acts of trafficking, or bring justice for every victim whose innocence has been stolen by this evil.  But we can’t let our inability to do everything stop us from doing something.

I yield back the balance of my time.

PHOTO: Rep. Black Visits End Slavery Tennessee Rep. Black’s Fox News Op-Ed: America must fight epidemic of human trafficking here at home

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Congressman Diane Black represents Tennessee’s 6th Congressional District. She has been a registered nurse for more than 40 years and serves on the House Ways and Means and Budget Committees.

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Black: Obama Administration’s About-Face on Healthcare.gov Raises More Questions than Answers

2015/01/23

Washington, D.C. – Today Congressman Diane Black (R-TN-06) released the below statement on the news that the Obama Administration reversed its policy of sharing consumer data on Healthcare.gov. The Associated Press previously reported that “certain personal details — including age, income, and smoking habits — were being passed along, likely without consumers' knowledge” to third-party sites. In a previous statement, Rep. Black said the revelations point to “inherent security flaws” in the Healthcare.gov website.

“While the Obama Administration’s decision to limit its data sharing practices on Healthcare.gov is certainly welcome news, it begs the question – why was this information shared in the first place? To what extent will the policy actually be ‘scaled back’ and what becomes of the information that was previously collected? Americans are already doubting the Obama Administration’s competence to handle their most personal information, particularly given the successful hacking of Healthcare.gov just last year. This data sharing policy, and the Administration’s sudden about-face in a classic Friday news dump only adds to the laundry list of questions my constituents have regarding the handling of the Obamacare exchanges,” said Congressman Diane Black.

Rep. Black added, “To add to the Obama Administration’s Healthcare.gov woes, this news coincides with the release of a government report finding that the Obama Administration did not bother to properly vet the contractors responsible for developing this website in the first place. With or without the Administration’s risky information-sharing practices in place, Healthcare.gov continues to be a stunning display of the Obama Administration’s haphazard approach to the rollout of this law.”

Rep. Black: Healthcare.gov Continues to Put Americans’ Personal Information at RiskRep. Black’s WSJ Op-Ed: Obamacare Security – Still on Life Support

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Congressman Diane Black represents Tennessee’s 6th Congressional District. She has been a registered nurse for more than 40 years and serves on the House Ways and Means and Budget Committees.

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Op-Ed: "42 Years After Roe v. Wade, We Still March On"

2015/01/22


Rep. Black Speaks on the House Floor in Support of the No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion Act

2015/01/22

Click image above for video of Rep. Black's remarks

Washington, D.C. – Today Congressman Diane Black (R-TN-06) spoke on the House floor to urge support for H.R. 7, the No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion Act. The legislation, which Congressman Black also cosponsored, would codify the Hyde amendment requiring that “No funds authorized or appropriated by Federal law . . . shall be expended for any abortion.” The bill additionally prohibits premium tax credits and cost-sharing subsidies under the Affordable Care Act from being used to purchase health plans that cover abortion.

Today’s vote follows a September 2014 Government Accountability Office (GAO) report which found that, under the President’s health care law, abortions are paid for with taxpayer funds on more than 1,000 exchange plans across the country. This is despite a 2009 pledge from President Obama that, “Under our plan, no federal dollars will be used to fund abortions, and federal conscience laws will remain in place.”

The No Taxpayer Funding Abortion for Abortion Act passed the House by a vote of 242 to 179. A transcript of Rep. Black’s remarks on the House floor are below, or click here for a video.

Madam Speaker, today is a somber occasion. On this 42nd anniversary of the Supreme Court’s tragic decision in Roe v. Wade, our hearts ache for the 56 million unborn lives lost to the shameful practice of abortion. But today, there is also hope because we have an opportunity to make a difference by passing the No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion Act.

This commonsense, compassionate legislation will protect Americans’ conscience rights by ensuring their hard-earned tax dollars are not used to fund the destruction of innocent life.

As a mother, a grandmother, and a nurse for more than 40 years, this measure is especially meaningful to me. During my years in the health care industry, I saw the joy in young parents’ eyes when they met their newborn child for the first time. I held the hands of grieving spouses and children as they said their final goodbyes to a loved one. And, sadly, I witnessed a young woman lose her life due to the effects of a botched abortion. 

These experiences informed my view that all life is a precious gift from God and I pray that, in time, this truth will be reflected in our nation’s laws. But until then, can’t we at least do this much?

I urge a yes vote on the No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion Act and I thank the sponsor for his work on this deeply important legislation. I yield back my time.

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Congressman Diane Black represents Tennessee’s 6th Congressional District. She has been a registered nurse for more than 40 years and serves on the House Ways and Means and Budget Committees.

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Rep. Black: Healthcare.gov Continues to Put Americans’ Personal Information at Risk

2015/01/21

Washington, D.C. – Congressman Diane Black (R-TN-06), a member of the House Ways and Means Committee, released the below statement on reports that Healthcare.gov is quietly sharing customers’ personal data with outside websites. As one cyber security consultant explained, this “could be another potential point of failure” when it comes to protecting consumers’ sensitive information. The Associated Press reported that, when asked about its policy of sharing information with outside vendors, “The [Obama] administration did not explain how it ensures that its privacy and security policies are being followed.”

“It is a sad irony that, in the same week President Obama called for Congress to address ‘cyber-attacks, combat identity theft, and protect our children's information,’ we learned that his prized healthcare law is sharing Americans’ personal information with outside vendors – likely without users’ knowledge or consent. Americans should be able to expect the highest standards of privacy and confidentiality when accessing health care, and this latest report is further proof that Healthcare.gov fails to meet that benchmark,” said Congressman Diane Black.

Congressman Black added, “To make matters worse, if this information sharing was to result in a data breach – the federal government would be under no obligation to notify affected users. Last year, a bipartisan, veto-proof majority in the House of Representatives acted to address this with the passage of the Health Exchange Security and Transparency Act but, in typical fashion, Senate Democrats failed to take up the bill and President Obama threatened a veto if the measure arrived at his desk. My colleagues and I on the House Ways and Means Committee will continue working to shed light on the inherent security flaws in this website and to ensure stronger protections for Americans’ most personal information.”

Background: A January 20th Associated Press report found that, “When you apply for coverage on Healthcare.gov, dozens of data companies may be able to tell that you are on the site.” The same report indicated that “certain personal details – including age, income, and whether you smoke – were being passed along likely without your knowledge to advertising and web analytics sites” which one security consultant claimed “could erode . . . confidentiality when dealing with medical data and medical information.”

Under current law, the federal government is under no obligation to inform Americans if their personal information is compromised on the healthcare law exchanges. On January 10, 2014 the House passed the Health Exchange Security and Transparency Act by a vote of 291 – 122. The legislation, which encompassed key provisions of a separate bill that Rep. Black authored, would have required the Obama Administration to notify affected users within two business days if their personal information was compromised on the Healthcare.gov exchanges.

 

Black Calls for House Passage of the Health Exchange Security and Transparency ActRep. Black’s WSJ Op-Ed: “Obamacare Security: Still on Life Support”

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Congressman Diane Black represents Tennessee’s 6th Congressional District. She has been a registered nurse for more than 40 years and serves on the House Ways and Means and Budget Committees.

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Rep. Black Responds to President Obama’s State of the Union Address: “We Can Do Better”

2015/01/21

Click image above for video

Washington D.C. – Tonight, Congressman Diane Black (R-TN-06) issued a video response to President Obama’s State of the Union address. In her response, Black denounced the President’s immigration overreach and proposed tax hikes, and highlighted Republican-led legislative initiatives in the new Congress. A transcript of her remarks is below, or click here to watch the video.

 Good evening.

Tonight, President Obama gave his State of the Union address outlining an agenda for what he has often called “the fourth quarter” of his Presidency. That’s an analogy that we in the Volunteer State understand well. We know that sometimes, the fourth quarter of the game can deliver a winning play, and sometimes you fumble the ball.

Of course the fourth quarter is also a time that, when all else fails, you try for the Hail Mary – and that appears to be this Administration’s tactic.

Whether it is the President’s unconstitutional executive action on immigration, his “free” community college proposal that simply shifts the cost to hardworking taxpayers, or his $320 billion proposed tax hike on families and businesses, the Obama White House is taking an everything-but-the-kitchen-sink approach while they try to run out the clock on the last years of a disastrous Presidency.

And while Washington’s bottom line gets bigger, Tennessee families have been left to pay the price for this Administration’s failures.

The President tried to put a positive spin on our economic situation in tonight’s address, but if he parked Air Force One long enough to talk to families in my district he would see what we already know: Our labor force participation rate is at the lowest levels since the Jimmy Carter Presidency while the latest jobs report shows that hourly wages have actually declined.

We can do better. That is why, in this fourth quarter, our new American Congress is going on offense with solutions to empower you, not Washington.

Today, we have new leadership in the U.S. Senate and the largest House Republican majority since 1928. Now, we’re going to use it by sending meaningful legislation to the President’s desk and finally forcing him to accept or reject our common sense ideas.

We’ll keep working to retool our rulemaking process with legislation like the REINS Act – ensuring that major government regulations receive a vote in Congress before they are passed along to you.

My colleagues and I on the House Budget Committee will once again offer a responsible, timely budget that brings our books to balance. And our Ways and Means Committee will continue working to reform our broken tax code.

We’ll go after the worst parts of Obamacare, like the arbitrary tax on medical devices – our top foreign export in Tennessee. And, if I have anything to say about it, we’ll keep fighting to repeal this law in its entirety too.

In the fourth quarter, our Republican majority in Washington will work its will. We will look for opportunities to find common ground, but we also won’t let veto threats and political posturing from a lame-duck White House stop us from pursuing a bold, conservative agenda.

And we will listen to the people who sent us here, because, at the end of the day, the best ideas to solve our nation’s problems won’t come from Washington bureaucrats and special interest groups – they will come from people like you.

Thank you for listening and for allowing me the great honor of serving you. Good night, and God Bless.

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Congressman Diane Black represents Tennessee’s 6th Congressional District. She has been a registered nurse for more than 40 years and serves on the House Ways and Means and Budget Committees.

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GOP Lawmaker: Tax Code Needs Comprehensive Reform

2015/01/19


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Contact Information

1531 Longworth HOB
Washington, DC 20515
Phone 202-225-4231
Fax 202-225-6887
black.house.gov

Committee Assignments

Budget

Ways and Means

As a nurse, small businesswoman and former educator, Congressman Diane Black brings a unique and dynamic perspective to her work in Congress. Diane’s faith in America’s promise was shaped from an early age. The middle daughter of working-class, Great Depression era parents, Diane saw firsthand their efforts to create a better life for their children through their pursuit of the American Dream.

First elected to Congress in 2010, Black represents Tennessee’s 6th Congressional District, which includes 19 counties in middle Tennessee. Black is driven by her Christian faith and an unwavering commitment to restore fiscal sanity in Washington, enact market-based health care reform, and return America to its founding principles of limited government and a strong free enterprise system.

Black serves on the House Ways and Means Committee and has quickly established herself as a leader in the efforts to fundamentally reform the U.S. tax code for the first time in over 25 years. Black is fighting for a flatter, fairer and simpler tax code to help create the conditions for economic growth, job creation, and higher wages for American workers. In the 113th Congress, Black was selected to chair the Ways and Means Education and Family Benefits Tax Reform Working Group.

Through her over 40 years of experience working in the health care field, Black learned first-hand about the importance of high-quality care and the obstacles faced by patients, health care providers and employers. Black’s real world experiences as a nurse have uniquely positioned her as a credible and effective leader on health care policy in Congress. She is focused on dismantling the president’s health care law and advancing true market-based, patient-centered reforms that will bring down the rising cost of care by increasing private sector competition and consumer choice. In the 112th Congress, Black was the first member of Congress to have legislation signed into law that repeals a health care provision in Obamacare, which saved taxpayers $13 billion dollars.

Black is also a member of the House Budget Committee, and a co-author of the 2014 Path to Prosperity budget, which balances the federal budget within ten years, reduces federal spending by $4.6 trillion, saves Medicare for future generations and promotes private sector economic growth. Black is a firm believer that getting America’s fiscal house in order also requires serious reforms of the broken Congressional Budget process. That is why she introduced the Legally Binding Budget Act, H.R. 1868, and has been a leading advocate for initiatives such as the Balanced Budget Amendment to the Constitution and the No Budget, No Pay Act, H.R. 325, which withholds pay from Congress if an annual budget is not passed by the legal deadline.

Building off her work in the Tennessee legislature as a pro-life leader, Black has continued to fight for the rights of the unborn. Her first piece of legislation in the 113th Congress, H.R. 217, would block any Title X federal funding from going to organizations that perform abortions, such as Planned Parenthood. Black is also the sponsor of the Health Care Conscience Rights Act, H.R. 940, legislation that would protect the religious freedom of health care providers who refuse to perform abortions and offers full exemption from the Health and Human Services (HHS) employee healthcare mandate that requires coverage for abortion inducing drugs.

Black and her husband of over 30 years, Dr. David Black have three grown children and six grandchildren.  They live in Gallatin and attend Community Church in Hendersonville.


Serving With

Phil Roe

TENNESSEE's 1st DISTRICT

John Duncan

TENNESSEE's 2nd DISTRICT

Chuck Fleischmann

TENNESSEE's 3rd DISTRICT

Scott DesJarlais

TENNESSEE's 4th DISTRICT

Marsha Blackburn

TENNESSEE's 7th DISTRICT

Stephen Fincher

TENNESSEE's 8th DISTRICT

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