House Lawmakers Grill CMS Over Health Exchange Navigators
"I'm a dentist and I don't see how 20 hours of training will get this done. That's inadequate. What are the checks and balances on the education component?" asked Rep. Paul Gosar (R-AZ). "Is someone visiting with that navigator or is [the training] all online? What stops a convicted felon from becoming a navigator?"
"It's online just as it is in many states for insurance agents and brokers," responded Cohen. "If you look at the type of organizations that will apply for these grants I don't think felons will be a problem."
In his final comment Rep. Jim Jordan again turned his attention to the IRS. "The American people want to know what role the IRS will play in their healthcare and the implementation of the Affordable Care Act. As an American, does the IRS role in this scandal trouble you?
"The IRS has a significant role in enforcing tax provisions of the Affordable Care Act, but there's more to the ACA than just tax questions" noted Cohen. He added that he didn't see a connection between the navigator programs and the IRS monitoring conservative groups.
Concerns about Sebelius's fundraising
Rep. Lankford (R-OK) then turned to media reports that Secretary Sebelius is soliciting funding for the assistor program from health plans, hospitals and pharmaceutical companies to donate to nonprofits responsible for outreach efforts. "These actions unduly pressure private companies to financially support implementation and promotion efforts. Fearing HHS retribution if they don't contribute. The secretary must stop using unethical methods to fund the law's implementation."
"I have no knowledge of her calls," responded Cohen. He added that public-private partnerships are often used to help fund projects.
Margaret Dick Tocknell is a reporter/editor with HealthLeaders Media.
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