As October 1, the day when the uninsured will begin shopping for healthcare plans through Obamacare, looms ever nearer, conservatives at both the state and the national level are working hard to stop the law. While some Republicans in Congress threaten to shut down the government to defund Obamacare, Republican-led states are using the law to make implementing Obamacare as complicated as possible. The shutdown threat is probably an empty one — even Republican leaders openly say they don't want to do it. But the state-level maneuvers aren't. According to The Washington Post's Sandhya Somashekhar, a handful of Republican-led states are creating legislation to make Obamacare implementation next to impossible.
One strategy involves blocking or restricting the work of administration's "navigators," a group of tens of thousands trained to help people sign up for health insurance. At the national level, GOP senators have also attacked the "navigators" program, arguing that it provides strangers with confidential information. In a letter sent to Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius (pictured above) in June, nine GOP senators argued that felons could become navigators. States, however, have the power to reduce the navigator's access to the uninsured. Somashekhar writes:
In Ohio, for example, navigators won’t be allowed to compare and contrast plans for customers. And in Missouri, which has a Democratic governor but a Republican legislature, they are required to immediately cut off contact with any customers who at some point have talked to a professional broker or agent.
Certain states have also increased the requirements of the navigators. As reported by Bloomberg News, some states are "imposing licensing exams, fines that can run as high as $1,000 and training that almost doubles the hours required by the federal government," to protect individuals from misinformation.