Archive for Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Legislator to file bill requiring ACA navigators to be checked and licensed

October 16, 2013


— The chairwoman of the Senate Public Health and Welfare Committee today said she will introduce legislation to require background checks and licensing of Affordable Care Act navigators in Kansas.

State Sen. Mary Pilcher-Cook, R-Shawnee, said she is filing the legislation because of reports "calling into question the background and integrity of an individual responsible for enrolling Kansans in Obamacare."

Pilcher-Cook did not return a telephone call seeking comment.

In recent days, conservative websites have been critical of Rosilyn Wells, of Lawrence, who helps consumers enroll in the health insurance marketplace under the ACA, often called Obamacare.

Wells has had a bench warrant out of Shawnee County for an unpaid civil court judgment. She also filed for bankruptcy in 2003 and had another small claims judgment against her in 2007.

Jon Stewart, chief executive officer of Heartland Community Health Center, said Wells' legal problems were largely the result of medical debt. Now, he noted, she is trying to help others avoid medical debt by assisting them in signing up for health insurance.


Marley Schnauzer 4 years, 7 months ago

Just goes to show the total ignorance of average GOP legislator. And also the total ignorance of the anti ACA fanatics. ACA is now law, work to make it better, destroying it is not realistic. Elect enough legislators to change or repeal it, if you can. Just hating it because it's not Tea Party approved is ridiculous.

Mike Riner 4 years, 7 months ago

Why not try to post a constructive comment

Seth Peterson 4 years, 7 months ago

I wouldn't mention irony to him, he has a hard time grasping such a difficult concept though his life is full of it.

John Graham 4 years, 7 months ago

How is having actual background checks on navigators a bad thing? Whether suggested by a republican or democrat, vetting the navigators prior to allowing them access to the public's private information is a good thing. I would want to know if my accountant had current arrest warrants for any reason prior to me giving my private info over. The thought that someone who has repeatedly failed to follow a court's orders is now working for the government bothers me. I would expect it to bother anyone republican or democrat.

John Graham 4 years, 7 months ago

She has arrest warrants out for more than a year. She only cleared the issue in the last few days after her history came to light. She chose to repeatedly ignore court orders. There is no 'poor woman'.She is not a victim. If you want someone with such a history helping you sign up for health insurance that is your business. Doctors, lawyers, accountants and insurance agents that have access to personal information all have a license to practice that would be hard if not impossible to get or keep with an arrest warrant pending. Those businesses as well as banks are highly unlikely to hire someone with a pending arrest warrant. So I doubt my dentist's receptionist has an arrest warrant pending. The 'glitch' you speak of is her failure to comply with a court's orders on more than one occasion. That is no one's fault but hers. These are not distant past issues of 20 years ago but issues she only resolved after the article came out. If the government was aware of her issues and still hired her to a position where she access to personal information then shame on them.

John Graham 4 years, 7 months ago

She was not following the courts orders. That is why they issued multiple bench warrants for her. If you read the court records you also see that bail money was forfeited. That doesn't happen when someone follows court orders, that happens when they don't. There was no paperwork glitch. She was not following the courts orders as simple as that.

John Graham 4 years, 7 months ago

Not yet she hasn't. She has a court date on 10/29 according to the court document.

John Graham 4 years, 7 months ago

Mountain out of molehill? How many people do you associate with that have had multiple bench warrants ordered against them? Look at the court records. She twice paid bail, in 7/12 and 8/12 which clearly indicates she was aware of her issue. She was found guilty so there is no innocent until proven guilty here. She was found guilty by the court then she failed to pay her bill as ordered. If you bother to read the article the head of Heartland stated that navigators have access to personal information but are trusted not to right it down or use It. I can assure you that having a bench warrant of any kind would be a significant issue in obtaining a professional license in Kansas. She is representing the government and being paid by government grants.

John Graham 4 years, 7 months ago

You just don't see the issue is navigators have access to personal information. The same information that we are repeatedly told to guard carefully. Doctors, lawyers, accountants, banks, etc that have access to same info are all vetted to be sure who has access to personal info. Why not a navigator? If you want to trust your info with someone you know nothing about and no one has checked out that is your issue but if the government is mandating insurance then they have a duty to mandate the people working as navigators on their behalf are vetted. Try to get medical or law license while having an open bench warrant for any reason. At the least you will have a lot of explaining to do. Try to get a job at a bank with an open bench warrant. The info these navigators have access to is just as important as what these professionals have. Since you don't care about your personal info why don't you hand out fliers with your name, maiden name, address, phone #, social security number, date of birth etc to anyone on the street and see what happens. You would say that is stupid to do yet you want to hand over info to a navigator you know nothing about.

Mike Silverman 4 years, 7 months ago

This legislation seems like a solution in search of a problem.

A person shouldn't need a license and background check to basically help people navigate a web site.

I would think conservatives, regardless of their opinions of Obamacare as a whole would be opposed to adding more government restriction and regulation. There's already too much licensing requirements for many small businesses and individuals trying to pursue trades.

John Graham 4 years, 7 months ago

So you would be fine with anybody being a navigator regardless of their personal history? Maybe you would like someone who is a multiple time felon sign you up for insurance and have access to your personal information. Remember you don't think these people need background checks.

Seth Peterson 4 years, 7 months ago

Remember, they also don't get your personal information. They help you navigate the system.

John Graham 4 years, 7 months ago

You can't navigate the system without personal info. Oh why worry any way, the site doesn't work and most likely won't anytime soon.

John Graham 4 years, 7 months ago

You have to be kidding. You get "glimpses" of the personal information. That is like saying a little bit pregnant.

John Graham 4 years, 7 months ago

Navigators will have much more personal info than a waiter. What does it hurt to have a computerized check.? I have stated why they should be checked. You disagree yet you haven't given a single reason why they shouldn't be checked.

John Graham 4 years, 7 months ago

Smearing is making false statements. Her issues are well documented in public records.

Mike Silverman 4 years, 7 months ago

They are helping me navigate a web site. They don't have access to my personal info, so yeah, assuming they know what they are doing, I don't care if they have a record. Do you care if the guy you call when you need help walking through Microsoft Office has a record?

John Graham 4 years, 7 months ago

I don't use Microsoft but I doubt they hire people with pending arrest warrants if they know about it.

John Graham 4 years, 7 months ago

We had a market based healthcare until Obama took it away. You want socialized medicine? I will take you to a VA hospital, you will run from it screaming.

John Graham 4 years, 7 months ago

I worked for years with Tricare, not one would have used it if they could have afforded something else. The average VA hospital is a pit.

John Graham 4 years, 7 months ago

Keep telling yourself that. It won't make it so.

Seth Peterson 4 years, 7 months ago

I'm sorry, aren't these the same people who oppose background checks for the purchase of guns?

Seth Peterson 4 years, 7 months ago

You want to have the opportunity to murder someone? SURE!

You want to help someone survive? Better check you out, you might have outstanding medical debt!

Paul R Getto 4 years, 7 months ago

More smaller government and less regulation.

Richard Heckler 4 years, 7 months ago

This is more Brownback Big Government nonsense which is a waste of taxpayers time. More red tape. More wasted tax dollars.

We the need the current administration to get out of the way and stop setting up road blocks that keep MY federal tax dollars from coming into Kansas and doing some good.

Wasn't Sen Sam Brownback in Washington D.C. at the time his party leaders were in the White House ignoring the financial industry and their selling techniques? Which ultimately took down the world economy by way of worthless bundles of home loans?

Yes he was there and he did not demand a special prosecutor be hired to investigate this mammoth rip off scheme that cost this country trillions upon trillions of dollars and cost 8 million Americans their jobs.

Why didn't Sam Brownback warn Kansan's that this fraudulent home loan activity was underway? How many people in Kansas now owe more than their homes were ever worth?

Richard Heckler 4 years, 7 months ago

"We had a market based healthcare until Obama took it away. You want socialized medicine? I will take you to a VA hospital, you will run from it screaming." How do you know?


Americans may well underestimate the degree to which they subsidize the current U.S. health care system out of their own pockets. And almost no one recognizes that even people without health insurance pay substantial sums into the system today. If more people understood the full size of the health care bill that they as individuals are already paying—and for a system that provides seriously inadequate care to millions of Americans—then the corporate opponents of a universal single-payer system might find it far more difficult to frighten the public about the costs of that system. Hmmmmmmmmmm

How much is the sick U.S. health care system costing you?

By Joel A. Harrison

Paying through the Taxman

The U.S. health insurance system is typically characterized as a largely private-sector system, so it may come as a surprise that more than 60% of the $2 trillion annual U.S. health care bill is paid through taxes, according to a 2002 analysis published in Health Affairs by Harvard Medical School associate professors Steffie Woolhandler and David Himmelstein.

Tax dollars pay for Medicare and Medicaid, for the Veterans Administration and the Indian Health Service. Tax dollars pay for health coverage for federal, state, and municipal government employees and their families, as well as for many employees of private companies working on government contracts.

Moreover, tax dollars also pay for critical elements of the health care system apart from direct care—Medicare funds much of the expensive equipment hospitals use, for instance, along with all medical residencies.

All told, then, tax dollars already pay for at least $1.2 trillion in annual U.S. health care expenses. More as of 2013. Hmmmmmmmmmmmmm

Richard Heckler 4 years, 7 months ago

What is Socialized medicine? A military hospital is socialized medicine. Because the staff is on the tax dollar payroll most of which are military personnel. Hmmmmmm.

Obamacare is hardly Socialized medicine. If it were then the USA has had socialized medicine for about as long as long as the medical insurance industry has been on the planet.

Since when has the medical insurance industry provided health care? Never. You may now wonder why in the world are we paying this industry so much money. A fair question absolutely. Why does the nation's health care system need a high dollar middle man?

Would Medicare Single Payer Insurance be socialized medicine? No way jose". Because it is a worthwhile and fiscally responsible insurance program concept not a health care program.

Is the private healthcare industry on the tax dollar payroll? No wayyyyy. Will it ever be? Not that I know of. Anyone who says different is probably lying.

Seth Peterson 4 years, 7 months ago

Personally I'm waiting for the day when he references himself as a source.

Julius Nolan 4 years, 7 months ago

Kevin, are you saying that all your sources are totally unbiased?

Richard Heckler 4 years, 7 months ago

After taking another look around what we find is the following which basically supports the same notion that Salon discovered.

"According to the NBC/Wall Street Journal poll out this week, the GOP-Tea Party efforts to defund or delay Obamacare—the demand which directly led to the government shutdown—has brought about a seven point increase in popularity of the law.

Immediately prior to the shutdown, only 31 percent of Americans believed Obamacare was a good idea. Today, that number is 38 percent, just one percentage point lower than the peak approval number of forty percent that was achieved in July 2012.

The poll could explain why Senator Mike Lee (R-UT)—one of the two leaders of the movement to use the defunding of Obamacare as the mechanism to hold the government hostage—has, according to uber-conservative columnist Charles Krauthammer, declared that his party is now “past” Obamacare and has “moved on” to different issues to argue over in the battle to re-open our government.

Who can blame the Senator for wanting to “move on”? When you’ve got a sure-fire loser—and the Cruz/Lee strategy (if there ever was one) is now provably a sure-fire loser—why not attempt to move the goalposts and see if you can get a few people back on your side?"

Kevin Elliott 4 years, 7 months ago

I.would much rather have mental health and ethics certifications for our elected leaders and their apointees, especially on the kansas state level. I suspect most tea partiers could not pass.

Cait McKnelly 4 years, 7 months ago

Ummm, given that Brownback refused to set up a state exchange and left it to HHS to set it up for the state, the state has zero say in how it's set up. Now go thank your governor.

Greg Cooper 4 years, 6 months ago

Would someone care to list any legislation introduced or passed by the current legislature that is not gut-check, retaliation against something, rather than for something, lilke the good of the entire state rather than a small, monied clique or reactionary "cause"? I'd be quite interested.

Commenting has been disabled for this item.