Mis­souri gover­nor ve­toes lim­its on health nav­i­ga­tors

Modern Healthcare - - REGIONAL NEWS -

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.

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