A Republican lawmaker who has called background checks on guns a "knee-jerk reaction" to mass shootings slammed President Barack Obama's health care reform law on Sunday for not providing background checks on the workers hired as "Navigators" to help Americans understand the law.
Rep. Diane Black (R-TN) told MSNBC's Alex Witt that she was not advising her constituents to sign up for the new health insurance exchanges.
"I will say that our [Tennessee] Department of Commerce was very concerned about Navigators not having background checks," Blacks said. "And they are requiring -- and the state does have the authorities to be able to do that -- but they are requiring that when people take your Social Security number, your bank information, your health information, that these have people that have been qualified, not only in their learning about the system but also that they have background checks so they don't have the most personal information that could be let out there and used in ways that we would like our identity to be used."
As Forbes' Carolyn McClanahan pointed out earlier this year, Navigators can provide assistance to people who don't have coverage by collecting three basic pieces of information: the number of people in the family, income information and sources of available coverage, such as employment.
"So what keeps Navigators from stealing your private information and your identity?" McClanahan wrote. "The requirements are the same as HIPAA, and for those who have ever accessed the health care system and needed information, you will realize the rules are very stringent. Section 1411 sets the fine for improper use and disclosure of information at $25,000. And identity theft is a federal crime regardless of where the thief obtained the information."
While Black has demanded background checks for the Navigators, she told MSNBC in January that closing background check loopholes for gun sales would be a "knee-jerk reaction" to last December's mass killing of 20 elementary school children in Connecticut.
"I think we need to talk about mental illness, about the breakdown of the family, about violence, about holding people who use guns in violent actions accountable," she insisted to MSNBC host Chris Jansing. "I will not erode our Second Amendment Rights."