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Obamacare navigator under fire for arrest warrant

By   /   October 16, 2013  /   4 Comments

Part 29 of 96 in the series Obamacare

NAVIGATOR: Kansas health care adviser Rosilyn Wells has come under fire after word escaped of her arrest warrant and checkered financial history.

By Travis Perry │ Kansas Watchdog

OSAWATOMIE — Does a bankruptcy, a bad check and an arrest warrant make someone cut out to advise citizens on the financial implications of health insurance?

Only in Lawrence, where one Obamacare navigator didn’t just come under fire for the revelations; she was praised by supervisors.

Rosilyn Wells, outreach and enrollment director for Heartland Community Health Center, landed in the hot seat Monday. Daily Caller reported the Sunflower State health care adviser not only had a bench warrant out for her arrest in Shawnee County, but also a troubled financial history including bankruptcy in 2003 and a 2007 civil charge from Midwest Checkrite. Wells was not aware of the bench warrant until she was contacted by Daily Caller.

Navigators are tasked with helping the uninsured sign up for health insurance through the online federal insurance exchange.

Jon Stewart, chief executive officer for HCHC, said Wells was up front about her debt problems early on in the hiring process. As far as he’s concerned, it’s a good thing.

“This actually puts her in a position to be really sensitive to the needs of these folks,” Stewart said.

The warrant for Wells’ arrest didn’t show up in a background check conducted for the Kansas Association for the Medically Underserved, which helps run the navigator program in Kansas alongside HCHC. Stewart said the background check was intended to reveal felony convictions and “person-to-person” crimes, not Wells’ unpaid civil debt.

The Lawrence Journal-World reports:

The warrant stemmed from $5,236.59 in unpaid debt Wells had accumulated at Stormont Vail HealthCare in Topeka, she said. Wells said the debt was the result of a hospital stay from when she was uninsured. She added that she wasn’t aware of the warrant until the Daily Caller reporter contacted her, and she has since rectified the issue with the courts and the warrant is no longer active.

Sen. Robert Olson, R-Olathe, said Kansas should have followed states like Missouri, Florida, Tennessee and Ohio in instituting greater control and regulation of Obamacare navigators. Olson is chair of the Senate Financial Institutions and Insurance committee.

“I definitely think we should have, and that’s something we need to think about doing, because someone that can’t pay their own bills and has the problems this lady has … sounds to me like she can’t even handle her own business, let alone the people of the state of Kansas,” Olson said.

He floated the idea of implementing greater oversight from the Senate to ensure quality candidates fill such positions in the future.

Linda Sheppard, director of health care policy and analysis for the Kansas Insurance Department, said her agency doesn’t have the authority to exert greater control over navigators, but “certainly the Legislature could take a look at this issue if the interest is there.”

Contact Travis Perry at travis@kansaswatchdog.org, or follow him on Twitter at @muckraker62. Like Watchdog.org? Click HERE to get breaking news alerts in YOUR state!

Part of 96 in the series Obamacare
  1. Obamacare compliance means less money for TN service agencies
  2. The mystery of Obamacare spending in Arkansas
  3. Obamacare raises questions for MD small business owners
  4. Kansas official on Obamacare: ‘Let someone else be the guinea pig’
  5. Obamacare insurance marketplace has plenty of kinks on first day
  6. OR’s Obamacare insurance marketplace hits technological snag
  7. Fail: Day 1 of the New Mexico Obamacare rollout
  8. Senator asks: Do you want this dysfunctional government taking over health care?
  9. Jobs, coverage at risk with Obamacare, MN union health official says
  10. Oregon’s Obamacare ads resemble middle school art
  11. VIDEO: Obamacare vs Affordable Care Act: Comedy triumphs in court of confusion
  12. Patience is key to navigating Illinois’ Obamacare marketplace
  13. Hawaii residents, lawmakers frustrated with health connector glitches
  14. Healthy young, key to Obamacare, aren’t buying it
  15. NM’s health exchange tries to lure ‘young invincibles’
  16. Obama drama: Senator blames governor for big rate hikes
  17. Progressive group navigates Oregon students through Obamacare
  18. Maddening: Trying to log onto federal health care site
  19. You know that one guy who successfully signed up for Obamacare? He didn’t
  20. What’s wrong? It’s been a week, and Obamacare website still not working
  21. HHS Secretary Sebelius back in FL after embarrassing Obamacare rollout
  22. Health centers enroll Floridians in Obamacare as application problems persist
  23. VIDEO: Stewart skewers Sebelius on Obamacare
  24. Obamacare effect? 9 companies exit Nebraska’s health insurance market
  25. Obamacare: Children of undocumented parents face an uncertain future
  26. Which way do we go? Obamacare navigator registration in TN in question
  27. NM health exchange tries to ease problems with Obamacare website
  28. CPA says hype over Obamacare small business tax credit is misleading
  29. Obamacare navigator under fire for arrest warrant
  30. Reports of Obamacare fraud emerge in Tennessee
  31. After two weeks, FL online Obamacare enrollees are hard to find
  32. Illinois state governor touts 100K Obamacare enrollees, all in Medicaid
  33. Kansas lawmaker calls for crackdown on Obamacare navigators
  34. WI health care exchange seeing few getting through
  35. Hawaii’s Obamacare exchange relaunches with more glitches
  36. We’ll know next month how many people in NM signed up for Obamacare — maybe
  37. Zero: Number of Nebraskans Obamacare navigators have signed up
  38. It took this Delaware woman 11 days to sign up for Obamacare – and she was the first
  39. How many people have signed up for health insurance in VA? Who knows?
  40. What else? NM federal health exchange ads stalled due to website problems
  41. Blue Cross hires temp workers to deal with Obamacare glitches
  42. If Obamacare is the next Medicare, will physicians leave en masse?
  43. Three problems that won’t be solved by fixing the Obamacare exchange glitches
  44. Plenty of Oregonians interested in Obamacare, but none can enroll online
  45. Criticize this: Obamacare premiums a near match to WI disclosures
  46. Report: Missourians will see sharp rise in premiums under Obamacare
  47. Kansas navigators say they’ve enrolled no one in Obamacare
  48. Obamacare too costly for rich Coloradans, Democrat congressman says
  49. Study: Kansas premiums to spike following Obamacare rollout
  50. Hang on to your candy: Creepy Uncle Sam is back
  51. Obamacare or bust: NM Watchdog turned back again
  52. Medical journals, experts refute claim that Medicaid cuts ER use
  53. Arkansas spends $4M on Obamacare ads, wants more
  54. LOL: In July video, HHS bragged about being ‘on schedule’ with Obamacare
  55. Illinois uses Day of the Dead to market Obamacare
  56. Sebelius denies GOP’s Terry ‘unreliable’ Obamacare info
  57. About 290,000 Washington residents lose health insurance plans
  58. Broken promise: Obamacare cancels almost 20,000 Kansas health care plans
  59. Top hospitals opt out of Obamacare
  60. Obamacare moves to intensive care
  61. Obamacare provision could lead to more Medicaid fraud
  62. Obamacare: Religious groups want to ‘move mountains’
  63. Obamacare hitting Wisconsin residents with double whammy
  64. Kansas AG: Obamacare threatens consumer privacy
  65. 1,500 in New Mexico have to move out of the high-risk insurance pool
  66. Cover Oregon website fiasco creates jobs, but costs millions
  67. For Florida’s Obamacare small business exchange, it’s crunch time
  68. Only 877 Wisconsinites have signed up for Obamacare, federal report says
  69. Just 172 in NM have completed Obamacare applications: ‘Woefully inadequate,’ says NMIX board member
  70. With only 346 Oklahomans signed up, leaders decry ‘Obamacare debacle’
  71. Defying Obamacare: ‘Send them the bill,’ NM insurance official says
  72. Kansas Obamacare enrollment dwarfed by nearly 20,000 cancellations
  73. Numbers don’t lie: In Illinois, Obamacare means Medicaid
  74. Wisconsin governor proposes insurance plan to address Obamacare rollout failure
  75. Tennesseans might know Tuesday if they can keep canceled health insurance
  76. People demand answers over Oregon’s Obamacare fail
  77. Calif. says ‘no’ to Obamacare freebies, makes own law
  78. HI health exchange violates federal law, League of Women Voters say
  79. Obamacare video winner: ‘Forget about the price tag’
  80. Harvard study finds ‘striking’ rejection of Obamacare by young Americans
  81. HI health exchange has signed up 574 people, for about $348,000 apiece
  82. Are the uninsured getting Obamacare coverage in Illinois?
  83. Secret Obamacare handbook the feds don’t want you to see is online
  84. Lost in translation: Once-supportive Hispanics turning backs on Obama, ACA
  85. HI Obamacare exchange not fiscally sustainable, lawmakers told
  86. Illinois’ latest Obamacare targets: gold diggers and momma’s boys
  87. Now Democrats are bashing California’s Obamacare exchange, too
  88. Obamacare: For $1.37M we get Richard Simmons in lurid web stream
  89. Obamacare: A welcome mat for IRS horrors
  90. California senator seeks audit of state Obamacare exchange
  91. Report: Hawaii ranks worst for Obamacare signups
  92. CA senator sues Obamacare exchange for causing policy cancellations of 1M
  93. Failure of Maryland Obamacare exchange could mean higher premiums in North Dakota
  94. Video: Watch Creepy Uncle Sam make it rain
  95. Five bright spots surrounding the Obamacare exchange failures
  96. Obamacare architect admitted in 2012 states without exchanges lose subsidies

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Travis Perry is an investigative reporter covering news and politics for Watchdog.org's Kansas bureau. Before joining the organization, Travis graduated cum laude from Washburn University and cut his teeth as news editor for the Osawatomie Graphic, where he received numerous awards from the Kansas Press Association.

  • Kent Holmes

    Bull shit!! That legislature can’t police their own

  • SS

    Seriously? You consider THIS newsworthy? Get a life…..please.

  • Dave

    This is a non-issue. The article is poorly written and biased. Being truthful about the past qualifies people for their employment, and it is quite possible to have a bench warrant out without it being known about. I agree, this makes her more qualified to do the job.

  • HowInsane

    This is a frivolous issue…Why is she being condemned when we have attorneys like this one…. Janell Jenkins-Foster, 57, pleaded guilty to two counts of embezzlement
    and agreed to pay back the more than $330,600 she had stolen from
    veterans and their estates.

    Jenkins-Foster now lives in an apartment and has no money left.

    As
    part of her plea deal, prosecutors agreed to drop the remaining three
    counts against her, although she will still be liable to pay restitution
    for all the money she embezzled. Prosecutors also agreed to recommend
    the low-end of sentencing guidelines, with credit for acceptance of
    responsibility.

    Sen. Robert Olson..“I definitely think we should have, and that’s something we need to think about doing, because someone that can’t pay their own bills and
    has the problems this lady has … sounds to me like she can’t even handle
    her own business, let alone the people of the state of Kansas,” Olson
    said.
    Sen Robert Olson why are you attacking this lady, I can definitely think of alot of other issues in Ks.