KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations.

Texas Navigators In The Hot Seat During Congressional ‘Field Hearing’

After allegations of wrongdoing, a congressional hearing held Monday in Richardson, Texas, focused on the required training, and the lack of background checks and fingerprinting, for those who were on the job.

CBS News: Sebelius: Issa, GOP Impugning Obamacare 'Navigators'
Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius and two Republican lawmakers exchanged a war of words ahead of a congressional hearing in Dallas Monday that will examine the Obamacare “navigators,” employees who are trained to help Americans understand and select their new insurance options under the law. After reports of foul play by navigators in the area – one trainee at the Urban League of Greater Dallas allegedly encouraged an applicant to lie about his income on the application – the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee scheduled a hearing in Richardson, Texas to investigate the program (Kaplan, 12/16).

The Dallas Morning News: Texas Congressmen Take Aim At Affordable Care Act’s Navigators
Four Texas congressmen took aim Monday at the federally paid navigators who are helping Texans access insurance coverage through the Affordable Care Act. Their criticism came during an unusual “field hearing” by the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform. The hearing focused on required navigator training and the lack of background checks and fingerprinting for those on the job. “There are many problems with the Affordable Care Act, but I don’t think we ever expected it would be this bad,” said committee chairman Darrell Issa, R-Calif (Jacobson, 12/16).

Meanwhile, Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., has enrolled in an Obamacare health plan and accepted the federal employer contribution -  

Miami Herald: Marco Rubio Defends $10K Subsidy After Obamacare Signup
Though a staunch Obamacare critic, U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio has enrolled his family in one of its health plans and will accept a $10,000 federal subsidy that some fellow Republicans rejected as a “special deal” (Caputo, 12/16).

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