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State Attorneys General Question Privacy In ACA Navigator Program

State of Texas

Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott is joining another group of attorneys general to take issue with the selection process in the Affordable Care Act’s navigator program.

Over the next few months the federal government is set to spend millions of dollars hiring people labeled "navigators," who are tasked with helping people get signed up and "navigate" Affordable Care Act.

In a letter, Attorney General Greg Abbott writes that the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ privacy rules governing the navigators are weak and lack clarity. According to Abbott, the screening process for navigators does not involve a background or fingerprint check, which he said will open the door to convicted criminals and identity thieves handling Social Security numbers and tax information.

Texas Medical Association President Dr. Stephen Brotherton said said he is pleased that a program like the Affordable Care Act is aimed at attempting to make  healthcare more accessible, but there should be better safeguards in place.

"You really don’t want people having access to your private healthcare information, if that can’t be done properly and it’s not properly secured it can be expense for the state general and it can be very problematic for the patients," Brotherton said.

The Affordable Care Act’s health insurance exchanges are scheduled to come online Oct. 1.