Missouri governor vetoes limits on health navigators
Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon, a Democrat, vetoed legislation that would have limited who could work in the state as a health insurance guide and blamed a national conservative group for injecting an error into the model legislation.
The vetoed bill would have required criminal background checks for people applying for state licenses as enrollment aides for the federally run health insurance website.
Missouri is one of more than a dozen Republican-controlled legislatures that have passed measures tightening requirements for the workers known as navigators or counselors under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. While the federal government does not require criminal background checks for navigators, states can set their own rules.
The vetoed Missouri measure mirrored model legislation produced by the American Legislative Exchange Council, an organization of conservative lawmakers and businesses that has opposed the Affordable Care Act. The organization’s website includes a draft bill requiring applicants to submit fingerprints for background checks in compliance with state laws and federal “Public Law 92-554.” The Missouri bill used that reference to federal law.
But the federal law cited deals with alcohol abuse and prevention, Nixon said. The governor said the appropriate reference would have been to Public Law 92-544, which deals with federal criminal records. Nixon called that a “glaring defect” and “a significant drafting error” deserving of a veto.
Nixon cited a “glaring defect” in the vetoed bill.