Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL) today is introducing legislation to combat fraud and protect consumers as ObamaCare’s website failures and the federal government are increasingly steering people toward non-web enrollment options that could lead to fraud and identify theft. Rubio’s legislation comes on the heels of yesterday’s Senate Finance Committee hearing, where Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius admitted that, among other flaws, ObamaCare has no uniform standard of background checks to prevent convicted felons from becoming ObamaCare navigators.
Among other measures, The Healthcare Privacy and Anti-Fraud Act would do the following:
- Impose minimum training and background check standards for employment as ObamaCare navigators
- Impose criminal penalties for legitimate navigators who disclose confidential information, and also criminal penalties on those who falsely purport to be navigators
- Establish a list of authorized navigators and another of those deemed ineligible to serve as navigators or convicted of crimes under the statute
- Provide a safe harbor from the individual mandate tax for those who relied on the advice of navigators or those purporting to be navigators
The bill’s original co-sponsors include Senators John Boozman (R-AR), Thad Cochran (R-MS), James Inhofe (R-OK), Mitch McConnell (R-KY) and Pat Roberts (R-KS).
In introducing this legislation, Rubio issued the following statement:
“The ObamaCare exchange websites were supposed to be the primary means for people to buy health insurance, but due to their failures so far, the federal government is forcing people to pursue other enrollment options that could make them even more susceptible to identity theft, particularly through the navigator system. Just yesterday, Secretary Sebelius made a startling admission that convicted felons could become navigators.
“It is unacceptable that President Obama suggest that the American people simply trust the federal government and its network of ObamaCare navigators. As consumers are being pushed to shop for insurance through ObamaCare navigators and other non-online options, they must also proceed with great care and caution against fraudsters intending to do them harm.
“This is a common sense effort to ensure that the federal government is not needlessly endangering the private information of millions of Americans, or exposing them to additional risk of fraud.”