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Kansas lawmaker calls for crackdown on Obamacare navigators

By   /   October 16, 2013  /   6 Comments

Part 33 of 96 in the series Obamacare

PILCHER-COOK: Recent development show the need for closer scrutiny of Obamacare navigators.

By Travis Perry │ Kansas Watchdog

OSAWATOMIE — A Kansas City area lawmaker is calling for action after an Obamacare navigator was discovered to have had a warrant out for her arrest.

Sen. Mary Pilcher-Cook, R-Shawnee, said she plans to introduce new legislation to restrict, regulate and license Obamacare navigators, assisters and anyone else that helps Kansans sign up through the federal insurance exchange at HealthCare.gov. Prospective navigators would also be required to go through an extensive background check.

“(U.S. Health and Human Services) has failed to protect the security and privacy of Kansas citizens in the consumer outreach programs that use navigators or assisters,” Pilcher-Cook said in a news release Wednesday. “This work involves access to sensitive financial and health information and it is critical Kansas citizens be protected from fraud and identity theft.”

Pilcher-Cook, chair of the Senate committee on Public Health and Welfare, pointed at Lawrence navigator Rosilyn Wells as an example of problems within the navigators system. Wells, who helps Douglas County residents enroll in the federal health care exchange, came under fire this week after Daily Caller reported she had a bench warrant out for her arrest in neighboring Shawnee County, among other issues.

“That person would have access to extremely sensitive information, so I think it is reasonable for members of the Kansas Legislature to take steps to protect the privacy of our citizens,” said Pilcher-Cook. “We need to give assurance to Kansans that as the reams of Obamacare regulations continue to roll down from Washington, D.C., we will be working with our colleagues to find solutions that will help shield the people of Kansas from the worst aspects of this broad government overreach.”

The senator also cited similar concerns voiced in an Aug. 14 letter to HHS secretary Kathleen Sebelius, signed by 13 state attorney generals, including Kansas’ Derek Schmidt.

“Unscrupulous counselors, who are not properly screened out or supervised, will have easy means to commit identify theft on consumers seeking enrollment assistance,” the letter stated of issues with the navigators program.

Related: Obamacare navigator under fire for arrest warrant

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.

  • steve from shawnee

    This should be statewide law that any public service working at any level, city/local, state, or federal handling personal/financial information of citizens or public funds should be barred from those positions.
    It’s bad enough that Obamacare uses the IRS as a collection agency against those Americans who refuse to pay into this healthcare debacle or be strip of all personal property and savings in the event that a major medical catastrophe maxes out the personal expense level.

  • adastraperapathy

    Why is it “bad enough” that Obamacare ensure that people who can afford health insurance, but choose not to buy health insurance pay a penalty?

    Is it more fair for everyone else to have to pay for their irresponsible choice not to have health insurance?

  • adastraperapathy

    Good ole right wing fear mongering.

    What is the bench warrant for? A parking ticket?

    All of this talk of securing people’s private records is a ruse.

    If it wasn’t, they’d make a law to require ALL people who have access to such records undergo the same background checks and licensing.

    It’s just like Cook’s crusade to make women go out of state to receive an abortion. If they cared so much about safety at out-patient medical service providers, they’d have made the regulations apply to all of them.

    Good work, Mary! Way to discourage people from obtaining health insurance through the new health insurance exchanges so that everyone else can pay for them when they have an emergency and can’t cough up five or six figures all at once.

  • http://TheNewsDoctors.com/ Eric Dubin

    It’s a documented fact that “Obamacare” had no formal vetting process for “navigators.” For those that want to know more, listen to my interview with Dr. Dave Janda: http://thenewsdoctors.com/liberty-rising-radio-dr-dave-janda-on-obamacare/

  • adastraperapathy

    It’s also common sense that a lot more people than just “Obamacare” navigators have access to private healthcare and insurance information.

    If we don’t need special new rules for everyone, then we don’t need special new rules for “Obamacare” navigators. Unless your state is trying to accomplish something else–such as discouraging people from signing up for insurance through “Obamacare,” regardless of how not having health insurance reduces healthcare quality and undermines financial security.

    http://www.forbes.com/sites/carolynmcclanahan/2013/08/26/who-are-obamacare-navigators-and-will-they-steal-your-identity/

    “So what keeps Navigators from stealing your private information and your identity? Thirteen Republican Attorney Generals wrote a letter to the Department of Health and Human Services about their concerns. These Attorney Generals must not know the content of the Affordable Care Act, as Section 4302 outlines how data is used and protected. The requirements are the same as HIPAA, and for those who have ever accessed the health care system and needed information, you will realize the rules are very stringent. Section 1411 sets the fine for improper use and disclosure of information at $25,000. And identity theft is a federal crime regardless of where the thief obtained the information.”

  • Ian Johnson

    The problem with this proposal is that it will never be enforceable. It is unconstitutional, under very old Supreme Court case law– McCulloch v. Maryland, 17 U.S. 316 (1819), in which a state attempted to tax a branch of the first Bank of the United States, and Gibbons v Ogden, 22 U.S. 1 (1824), in which a state attempted to enforce a monopoly it had given to another firm against a firm licensed under an Act of Congress to sail in the coasting trade. States can’t regulate, or tax, Federal government licensees.

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