State officials raise Obamacare privacy concerns
MIAMI (WSVN) -- Florida Gov. Rick Scott and members of his Cabinet raised concerns that state residents' access to health insurance, after President Barack Obama's Affordable Care Act goes into effect in October, might compromise citizens' private information.
At a Cabinet meeting held in Miami on Tuesday, Attorney General Pam Bondi argued that the cost of health care reform to its users will be loss of privacy. "They're going to have access to your tax information, your personal information, your social security information," she said.
Signing up for Obamacare, officials contend, would entail exposing sensitive data to counselors known as navigators, who only receive 20 hours of training. "We don't know how this information is going to be used," said Gov. Scott. "I think we probably will be a little surprised at how much data is going to be tracked by the federal government."
State officials said patients' data can be shared with the Internal Revenue Service, the Department of Homeland Security and Social Security Administration, but Obamacare supporters said the alleged privacy issue is a political power play from the Scott administration. "This is a governor who is determined to make sure that Obamacare is unsuccessful," said Congresswoman Debbie Wasserman-Schultz (Dem.-FL). "Well, that's not going to work."
Beginning Oct. 1, millions of Americans will be able to select from different insurance plans and provider options. Obamacare supporters insist the navigators are instrumental to assist users through what could be a complicated process. "As we implement an entirely new health care system to give everyone an opportunity to have coverage, it's going to be important to have people available to answer questions," said Wasserman-Schultz. "That's what those navigators are about."
Navigators in Florida must be registered, finger-printed, and checked by the Florida Department of Law Enforcement, but it's unknown if the federal government will allow this requirement to apply to assistants and other staffers handling the sensitive information.
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