Under GOP pressure, Florida firm returns health-care grant

Last month, I noted that there was a letter from 13 state attorneys general expressing concerns about navigator programs that are part of Obamacare. The letter raised data privacy and security concerns, which I usually would be glad to see. But the fact that only Republican attorneys general had signed it made some (including myself) suspicious that this was just politics as usual.

Now Kelli Kennedy of AP reports:

A company that has for decades helped people enroll in Medicaid says it won’t be able to sign up people for insurance under the new Affordable Care Act because there is too much scrutiny over a so-called navigator program.

According to an email obtained by The Associated Press, Cardon Outreach’s chief legal officer Charles Kable told the federal government it was returning more than $800,000 in federal grant money. The funds were supposed to be used to hire people in four states help explain the intricacies of health insurance to millions of people who aren’t covered.

While the email didn’t go into specifics, some have said those opposed to the health care law, mostly Republicans, are making it difficult for some of the navigator programs to get off the ground.


Cardon’s decision comes days after Florida health officials, which fall under Republican Gov. Rick Scott’s administration, ordered county health departments across the state to ban navigators from their property. Democrats lambasted the move, saying it put politics ahead of people.


Federal health officials have repeatedly said applicant information is not stored in a database, but is instead transferred instantaneously through a secure hub.

Read more on Buffalo News.

There are millions of uninsured in our country and many need will need help obtaining insurance. Cutting off assistance will leave people with serious medical problems without coverage and that is not good for them or this country. It’s time for the political game-playing to end. And yes, I’m pointing at YOU, GOP.  If there are legitimate data privacy or security concerns, let’s address them. Otherwise, just stop this.  JUST STOP.

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