Kansas lawmaker pushes background checks for Obamacare navigators

Michael Volpe Contributor
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A Kansas lawmaker is introducing legislation into the state legislature to require background checks for Obamacare “navigators” in the state.

Navigators are hired to guide people into the recently launched Obamacare exchanges, which involves the handling of sensitive personal information.

Kansas State Senator Mary Pilcher-Cook — the Republican chairwoman of the Senate Public Health and Welfare Committee — has announced that she will introduce legislation to require background checks and licensing of all Affordable Care Act (ACA) navigators in Kansas.

Pilcher-Cook told the Shawnee Dispatch that the bill was being introduced because of “reports calling into question the background and integrity of an individual responsible for enrolling Kansans in Obamacare,” alluding to a Monday report by The Daily Caller which revealed that Rosilyn Wells — a Kansas woman responsible for guiding people into Obamacare — had an outstanding arrest warrant.

In another local report, Katrina McGivern, a spokesperson for the Kansas Association for the Medically Underserved — which oversees navigators in Kansas — said that although the ACA doesn’t require it, Kansas navigators are given a background check. McGivern said Wells wasn’t flagged because the background checks only look for felonies and so-called “person-to-person” crimes.

Pilcher-Cook told TheDC in an email that this wasn’t good enough and that background checks in Kansas should also include checks for past and present financial problems.

Wells’ arrest warrant stemmed from an unpaid civil judgment for $5236.59 at Topeka’s Stormont-Vail HealthCare and Wells told local reporters that she was unaware of the warrant until the TheDC contacted her about it. According to her employer, she has since contacted the court and the warrant is no longer active. The Shawnee County Sheriff’s Department no longer lists Wells in its warrant database.