Kathleen Sebelius went to bat for Obamacare navigators in an op-ed prior to a hearing led by Darrell Issa investigating the people designated to promote the health-care law as “navigators.” She accused the House Oversight Committee chairman of holding a field hearing in Dallas “designed to stifle, intimidate and impugn the reputation of people who have been working hard to help their fellow Texans get covered.”
In the Dallas Morning News, Sebelius urged Republicans on the committee to stop “demonizing, demoralizing or deterring” navigators, praising the navigators for their efforts. She wrote navigators are “not paid to sell insurance,” but to assist people in learning more about the law and its benefits.
“Those I’ve met are dedicated, civic-minded Americans who have opened their hearts to their neighbors, because they want to help,” Sebelius said.
Issa offered his own op-ed, along with Representative Pete Sessions of Texas, in which he highlighted “numerous examples of fraudulent activity” associated with navigators in the state. He justified the investigation and hearings into navigators by pointing to instances of insufficient training, security risks, a lack of oversight, and organizations’ receiving taxpayer-funded grants.
“This hearing, one of a series of hearings investigating the flawed implementation of Obamacare, strives to get the answers that the American people deserve about Obamacare’s navigator program,” Issa and Sessions wrote.
The House Oversight Committee has held other field hearings looking into aspects of the health-care law’s implementation in recent weeks, including in Arizona, Georgia, and North Carolina.