Debate Looms Over Affordable Care Act 'Navigators'

In this Sept. 5, 2013, Jacqueline Saulsberry, a service coordinator at the Illinois Eye Institute, gathers information from patient Shameka Lewis-Coolidge during an appointment in Chicago. With the program known as "Obamacare" only weeks away from its key launch date, hectic preparations are now in motion in communities across the country to deal with one of its major practical challenges: hiring and training a small army of instant experts who can explain the intricacies of health insurance to people who've never had it. More than 100 nonprofits and related organizations have been recruited by the federal government to sign up 'navigators' who can help the 30 million uninsured people who can now gain coverage. (AP Photo/M. Spencer Green)
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Associated Press Release

BOYNTON BEACH, Fla. (AP) -- South Florida Democrats are planning to meet with organizations who received federal grant money to hire counselors trained to help people sign up for insurance under the new health care laws.

Reps. Ted Deutch and Lois Frankel's Monday round-table comes as state officials are pushing back against implementing the Affordable Care Act.

Last week, state health officials ordered county health departments to ban the counselors, also known as navigators, from conducting outreach on their property.

The move has brought harsh criticism from Democrats who have accused Gov. Rick Scott and his cabinet of putting politics ahead of people.

One company recently announced it was returning the grant amid increasing state and federal regulatory scrutiny. Cardon Outreach said it couldn't spare the extra resources needed to comply.

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