Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell on Thursday attacked an admission by Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius that convicted felons might have been hired to help sign up Americans for Obamacare.
“Americans who’ve lost their insurance and find themselves forced onto the exchanges, the last thing they need is to worry about some felon stealing their identity," the Kentucky Republican said on the Senate floor.
“When asked if convicted felons could become Obamacare navigators and acquire Americans’ sensitive information, here’s what she said: It’s 'possible,'" he added. "These revelations are really concerning."
Sebelius told the Senate Finance Committee in testimony on Wednesday
that the federal government did not require background checks for the Obamacare navigators. The job would give such individuals access to the personal information of those signing up for healthcare coverage.
"States could add in additional background checks and other features, but it is not part of the federal requirement," Sebelius told the committee.
McConnell charged that the secretary's admission was indicative of a continuous "blame game" by the White House to keep from accepting responsibility for the Obamacare debacle.
The healthcare program's main website, HealthCare.gov, continues to be plagued with technology and accessibility problems
— and "more Americans have lost health coverage than have gained it," including 280,000 Kentucky residents, he said.
Americans also are experiencing higher premiums for the coverage they have been able to keep under Obamacare, he said.
“To many Americans, the administration still seems more interested in deflecting blame than taking responsibility for the real harm its law is causing," McConnell said. "Yesterday’s hearing did little to dispel that notion.
"It’s way past time for Democrats to end this blame game," he said. "Instead, they need to start acknowledging the consequences of their law, and actually do something about the mess they created.
“If they’re ready to do so, Republicans are willing to help," he added. "Let’s work together to undo the harm of Obamacare and start over with real, bipartisan, cost-saving reforms — reforms that will actually allow Americans to keep the health plans they like.
"That’s the kind of reform Americans really want," the minority leader said. "And, if Democrats are ready to work together with us, we can give them just that."
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