Affordable Care Act
3:13 pm
Fri September 20, 2013

Democratic Lawmaker Clarifies Intention Of ACA Navigator Rules

The lawmaker who authored the bill to allow the Texas Department of Insurance to impose rules on the navigators tied to the Affordable Care Act is clarifying the role of the bill, and saying that the governor took it out of context.

State Sen. Kirk Watson, D-Austin, authored SB 1795, which is now law, and said Gov. Rick Perry’s letter to the insurance commissioner, which has caused a stir among Democratic lawmakers, goes beyond the intent of the bill.

"We wanted to make sure we were in a position to protect navigators in what is already developing as a hostile anti-affordable care act environment," Watson said.

On Tuesday Perry sent the insurance commissioner a list of additional requirements for the navigators for what Josh Havens from the governor’s press office called a common sense approach to protect personal information.

"This is not an effort to deal with common sense, it’s an effort to try to thwart people’s ability to get the information they need," Watson said. "And frankly, and I think it probably and we will see, but there is reason to say that it violates federal law."

Some of Perry’s additional requirements allow Texas to charge a fee for these navigator services and limit the hours of navigators operations from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Watson said his legislation does not authorize the TDI to impose most of the rules outlined by the governor.