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Brady and Boustany Request Information on the Navigators Program

May 15, 2013

Washington, DC – Today, Ways and Means Health Subcommittee Chairman Kevin Brady (R-TX) and Subcommittee on Oversight Chairman Charles Boustany Jr., MD (R-LA) sent a letter to Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Kathleen Sebelius seeking answers to several questions surrounding the ObamaCare “navigators” program.  HHS recently started the application process to distribute grants to “navigators” who will help the public enroll in the ObamaCare Exchanges.  Due to bipartisan concerns related to the ability of the Exchanges to facilitate the enrollment process and the public’s heightened sensitivity to the federal government’s handling of private taxpayer and health information, the members requested immediate and comprehensive answers to several important questions to clarify the ambiguity surrounding the “navigators” program.  The Subcommittee Chairmen requested HHS provide responses by May 21 to a number of questions including:

  • What steps will HHS take to ensure that the enrollment form is handled in a manner compliant with the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act?
  • How will the Department ensure there are privacy safeguards in place in the federal Exchanges, and how does the Department plan to ensure similar safeguards in state-based Exchanges?

Rep. Brady said, “The White House itself has identified the ‘navigator’ program as critical to the success of the enrollment in ObamaCare, and yet the White House still has not provided basic information about who these ‘navigators’ will be, how they will be trained and what privacy safeguards will be put in place.  It is well past time to provide this critical information.”

Rep. Boustany said, “‘Navigators’ are going to have access to sensitive taxpayer information, increasing the risks of identity theft for millions of Americans. With senior Democrats already predicting ObamaCare will be a ‘train wreck,’ this is yet another area requiring vigorous oversight to protect Americans from the endless costs of this law.”