At The Wonk Blog, Sarah Kliff reports House Republicans want detailed information from Obamacare’s navigators, and certain states are putting up their own restrictions.
In Ohio, for example, navigators won’t be allowed to compare and contrast plans for customers,” she write. “And in Missouri, which has a Democratic governor but a Republican legislature, they are required to immediately cut off contact with any customers who at some point have talked to a professional broker or agent.”
Florida Gov. Rick Scott has been an especially vocal critic of the navigator program, arguing recently that “Navigators may increase the likelihood of privacy violations and identity theft”
A four-page questionnaire from the House Energy and Commerce committee went out Thursday, asking these groups, largely nonprofits, to provide detailed information about the work they plan to conduct. Answers should be returned, the letter instructs, by Sept. 13.
“Provide a written description of the work that will be performed with the funds obtained via your Navigator grant,” the letter instructs. “This would include a description of the number of employees, volunteers or representatives that will be utilized and pay and duties for each, as well as a written description of how any portion of the grant may be spent.”
The Department of Health & Human Services is pushing back:
Health and Human Services described the letter as a “shameful attempt” to intimidate groups doing Obamacare enrollment.
“This is a blatant and shameful attempt to intimidate groups who will be working to inform Americans about their new health insurance options and help them enroll in coverage, just like Medicare counselors have been doing for years,” HHS spokesperson Erin Shields Britt said.
The Administration is spending $67 million for private groups to “help” the American people understand Obamacare better. Since this is coming out of the pockets of taxpaying Americans, we here at Tea Party Patriots thought we’d offer navigators our own questions:
1) Will you tell Americans how National Journal projected Obamacare will raise premiums for most non-poor Americans?
2) How much information will you provide about the Medicare cuts in Obamacare, and the law’s related rationing?
3) Will the contraception/abortifacient/sterilization mandate that violates the First Amendment be discussed honestly and forthrightly?
4) Unions, big businesses, and Congress’ staffers are finding the law burdensome. Will you inform Americans as to why the law is burdensome to these connected, often wealthy interests?
5) Obamacare is harming workers, shifting them from employer-based health insurance coverage to government-sponsored insurance. Will the navigators explain to the American people how their options are likely to change as the law is further implemented?
6) If a person wishes to be uninsured, will you as government-paid navigators act as informants to the federal government?
What other questions should the navigators answer? Let us know in the comments.