Florida Bans Workers From Signing Up People for Obamacare

The Florida Department of Health is banning outreach workers from signing up uninsured people for Obamacare at county health facilities.

The outreach workers, also called "Navigators," are only allowed to distribute materials related to Obamacare by request.

"This program has raised privacy concerns due to the consumer information that will be gathered for use in a federal database. In light of this uncertainty and as an integrated Department of Health we sought to provide a consistent message across each county in Florida," said the department in a statement, noted the Associated Press.

However, U.S. Health and Human Services spokeswoman Joanne Peters said this so-called "concern" by Republicans was false in back in August.

"Contrary to Gov. Scott's statements, consumers will never be asked to provide their personal health information to the Marketplace, whether through a Navigator or not," Peters told Reuters. "There is no such database of American's health information, and multiple independent fact checkers have debunked this claim."

HHS spokesman Fabien Levy added, "This is another blatant and shameful attempt to intimidate groups who will be working to inform Americans about their new health insurance options and help them enroll in coverage, just like Medicare counselors have been doing for years."

According to Health News Florida, the ban on the outreach workers' free speech will not apply to 41 federally-qualified clinics that operate in local departments.

Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-Fla.) slammed Fla. Gov. Rick Scott (R) on Twitter: “Time to end the political theatrics and work on implementation, not more obstruction.”

Sources: Associated Press, Reuters, Health News Florida, Twitter


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