Texas and Feds Clash Over Health Care 'Navigators'

By: Associated Press
By: Associated Press

HOUSTON (AP) Federal health officials are accusing Texas of throwing up more obstacles to the roll out of health care reform in the state.

Gov. Rick Perry sent a letter this week to state Insurance Commissioner Julia Rathgeber saying the state must protect Texans by adopting stricter regulations than the federal government requires for so-called "navigators." Navigators will help people sign up for the upcoming health insurance marketplace.

The Houston Chronicle reports the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services responded Wednesday that it was a "blatant attempt to add cumbersome requirements." Texas has refused to set up a private insurance marketplace under the Affordable Care Act, forcing the federal government to do it for the state.

A quarter of Texans are uninsured, the highest rate in the country.

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