Obamacare has not made the health insurance market more transparent, despite its attempt to create “exchanges” in every state. The Affordable Care Act foresaw challenges in registration for millions of uninsured Americans; that’s why it required each state to enlist nonprofits, professional associations, and unions to educate new enrollees as so-called “navigators.”
The states were supposed to pay for these services, of course! Where else would the federal government extract the funds necessary for this behemoth of a law? Alas, 34 states are now relying on federal exchanges.
Which means that the federal government has to hire the “navigators” with money it never allocated. The Departments of Health and Homeland Security scrounged up $54 million for 34 states with 28 million to insure.
Easy, right? Actually, it turns out that insurance companies already employ a large number of people for this very job: brokers! You know, the people educated to inform consumers on separate plans, the ones who handle your confidential medical and legal information.
The Wall Street Journal reported several issues with the administration’s approach. First, there’s the fact that these navigators will be handling Social Security numbers and important tax data. Rep. Darrell Issa (R-Calif.) wants HHS to require the same tests for these bureaucratic brokers as those passed by IRS agents (as if we could trust those employees with our secrets).
Not only that, those same states that refused to develop their own exchanges want to mandate “navigators” to obtain separate state licenses to practice.
The House Oversight Committee was supposed to question the Department of Health and Human Services today, but I cannot find it online.
The states have $54 million to acquire these employees and pay for “extensive” training on privacy. That definitely won’t be enough money to compensate these navigators as they undergo state licensing; I suspect some of this money will go to insurance companies in a desperate attempt to sell Obamacare.
Again, we’re witnessing the huge flaws of a bill that relies upon the states’ willingness to dance to the blaring, noxious brass band of the Fed.