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Request for Navigator Info an Impediment

Margaret Dick Tocknell, for HealthLeaders Media, September 4, 2013

The navigator responses are due to the committee by Sept. 13.

Rep. Harry Waxman (D-CA), the ranking minority member of the E&C could barely contain his frustration. In a letter to Rep. Fred Upton (R-MI), the E&C chair, Waxman labeled the navigator letter as "an abuse of your oversight authority" and "groundless investigations into civic organizations that are trying to make health reform a success."

He noted that the timing of the letters and the Sept. 13 deadline was "particularly suspect. You are insisting on voluminous document productions... just when these groups need to be focused on their mission of helping uninsured Americans enroll for coverage."

He added that the information requests appear to have been sent "solely to divert the resources of small, local community groups just as they are needed to help with the new healthcare law."

It is hard to say what the E&C Committee expects to accomplish in this move. Whether you support PPACA or not, you must be as tired of this political posturing as I am. The House has had ample opportunity through its hearing process to question leaders at the Department of Health and Human Services about the navigator process. But so many of these hearings are bogged down in partisan politics that they are more political theater than fact-finding efforts.

PPACA is the law of the land. Isn't it time for the House GOP to move on to more pressing issues?


Margaret Dick Tocknell is a reporter/editor with HealthLeaders Media.
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2 comments on "Request for Navigator Info an Impediment"


Steve Sisko (9/5/2013 at 2:45 PM)
I'm not supportive of GOP efforts to repeal the ACA. I think the law's fate will evolve accordingly based on its true value and "popular opinion" over the next couple years. Based on polls, all the delays, changes and waivers already made and current, real world experience getting these exchanges off the ground, I don't think the GOP needs to get involved with trying to alter anything; change is apparently happening without any help needed from the GOP. But I'm totally supportive of the GOP effort to understand the role and boundaries of Navigators. I think most people believe that fFundraising, voter registration efforts, and or campaign activities should NOT be part of the ACA. If this need for clarity is 'political posturing," then the author is wrong that those on both sides of the PPACA are "tired of this political posturing." I'm not.

Mickey Duke (9/4/2013 at 2:00 PM)
Don't be so politically naive as to think that the role of navigators is to simplistically 'help' would-be insureds, and that there will not be any 'problems ' arising from inexperienced and (likely woefully) under-trainer so-called navigators. I'm sorry, but this aspect of the in-Affordable Care Act is quite problematic.