The Darrell Issa Traveling Witch Hunt Road Show and Smear Brigade is on the move, this time to Dallas, Texas, where Issa will take testimony from pre-screened acceptable witnesses on ACA Navigators. Navigators act as in-person helpers for people seeking to enroll in health insurance provided by the ACA who need assistance understanding health insurance and what it means for them and their families.
Texas is particularly complicated, since Governor Perry refuses to expand Medicaid in that state, leaving over a million insureds with no options to get coverage. Too poor for subsidies, they're shut out of Medicaid because they don't qualify under the draconian Texas eligibility requirements.
HHS Secretary Kathleen Sibelius sent out a pre-emptive strike this morning in an op-ed published by Dallas News, informing Texans that navigators are not paid to sell insurance, but are there to help people in a state that desperately needs to insure more of its populace.
Just who are these people working to assist their fellow Texans? Those I’ve met are dedicated, civic-minded Americans who have opened their hearts to their neighbors, because they want to help.
Navigators and other assisters work to educate people about their new options. They’re not paid to sell insurance. Rather, they work to help people understand what financial help is available, and to learn about their choices, so they can make good decisions for themselves and their families.
Issa and his pal Pete Sessions are using these hearings as a way to stoke the fires for electoral gains. In their minds, navigators are the new ACORN voter registration volunteers, giving the poor and the working poor a measure of security. To them, that's the very same thing as committing fraud.
I have explored the possibility of becoming a navigator myself. It requires 20 hours of training, a test at the end, signatures on a 49-page contract, and continuing education requirements. People who choose to be navigators are doing it because they want to help, not defraud the government.
The real frauds here are Issa and his fellow witch-hunters, who stop at no opportunity to use their taxpayer-paid elected positions to undermine established law.