Sebelius: Obamacare Opponents Trying To ‘Stifle’ Navigators

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December 16, 2013 6:58 a.m.

Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius on Sunday said opponents of the new health care law will “seemingly stop at nothing” to keep Texans from signing up for health insurance.

“What opponents of the new law could not do legislatively, at the ballot box, or even by shutting down the federal government, they’re now trying to do through other means,” she wrote in an op-ed for the Dallas Morning News. “Case in point is Monday’s congressional hearing in Dallas, designed to stifle, intimidate and impugn the reputation of people who have been working hard to help their fellow Texans get covered.”

The House Oversight Committee on Monday is holding the fourth field hearing in its series on the impact of the new law, titled “Who Are the Navigators?” The hearing will take place in Texas and will look at reported abuse in the program for Texas navigators, people hired to help consumers sign up for health insurance under Obamacare.

House Oversight Committee Chairman Darrell Issa (R-CA) and committee member Rep. Pete Sessions (R-TX) wrote an opposing op-ed in the Dallas Morning News Sunday criticizing the administration for poorly regulating navigators.

“Despite concerns of inadequate training, navigators have been educating Americans about the health exchanges and facilitating enrollment since Oct. 1,” they wrote. “While President Barack Obama and other allies of Obamacare continue to publicly tout the law, they have done too little to address serious problems that come with it.”

The Texas Department of Insurance in December proposed new rules for navigators in the state that include additional hiring requirements and restrictions on how navigators go about their work.

[H/t Washington Post]

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