Excerpted from HealthWatch – Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi argued late Friday that new hires under ObamaCare could threaten the private information of people trying to get health insurance.
Bondi said that the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) is making it easier for someone to be hired as a so-called navigator, cutting back on background checks and eliminating a fingerprinting requirement, which could make it easier for a person’s private information to fall into the wrong hands.
“Because of time constraints, HHS [is] cutting back on the requirement to become a navigator, meaning they’re not going to be doing background checks. They’re not going to be fingerprinting these people,” said Bondi in an interview with Fox.
“And it’s more than navigators. It’s people that assist the navigators. Now, these navigators will have our consumers throughout the country’s most personal and private information – tax return information, Social Security information. And our biggest fear, of course, is identity theft.”
A navigator is a federal employee who helps those wanting to get insured navigate the paperwork of the new healthcare system.
“What if they’ve been convicted of committing identity theft or grand theft before?” asked Bondi. “They could potentially still become a navigator.”
Earlier this week, Bondi and a dozen other Republican state attorneys general sent HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius a letter calling her attention to this privacy issue and asking her to implement more stringent privacy requirements and safeguards. They’ve given Sebelius until Aug. 28 to respond.
The letter was organized by West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrisey and signed by attorneys general from Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Kansas, Louisiana, Michigan, Montana, Nebraska, North Dakota, Oklahoma, South Carolina and Texas.
Bondi said she wants to know who will be in charge of monitoring the navigators, who is going to be liable if someone’s identify is stolen, and who is responsible for educating the American public and the navigators on fraud prevention.