More than 100 groups will split $67 million in grant money to hire “navigators” to help people sign up for the new Obamacare health insurance exchanges. Florida’s share is $7.8 million, but Gov. Rick Scott and Attorney General Pam Bondi have expressed serious privacy concerns about the program.
During an appearance at the University of South Florida on Thursday, U.S. Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius announced that the grants will go to help people “navigate” their health insurance options through established community groups, according to the Tampa Bay Times.
Bondi spoke out in an appearance on Fox News’ “On the Record” to voice her concerns about the Obama administration’s use of taxpayer-funded organizers collecting large amounts of consumer information for use in a federal database. Because of time constraints, Bondi said the navigators will not receive background checks, fingerprinting or even proper training before they are deployed.
Thirteen attorneys general have issued a letter to Sebelius asking for answers to numerous questions about the program. The governor also released a statement outlining his concerns.
“We know that the ‘navigators’ will be taxpayer-funded employees hired to collect personal and financial information from Floridians,” Scott said in a statement released by his office. “What we do not know is how this information will be shared among federal agencies or if the federal government will also distribute it to outside groups. We know that navigators are not hired to determine eligibility for insurance but they will have Floridians’ personal data that will then be run through federal databases, including the IRS and agencies that track immigration status.”
Watch Bondi’s interview with Dana Perino here.