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Republicans Smear Healthcare Navigators in Dallas Hearing; Show Fox News Instead of Allow Testimony

by: Katherine Haenschen

Tue Dec 17, 2013 at 10:15 AM CST

Yesterday in Dallas, U.S. Representative Darrell E. Issa, Republican of California, held a U.S. House Oversight Committee field hearing designed not to help Texans enroll in the Affordable Care Act, but instead present misleading information about the navigators who assist individuals in signing up for insurance.

It was a sad stunt: Republicans Darrell Issa and Pete Sessions refused to allow actual navigators to speak, showed Fox News clips, and allowed only invited testimony that all happened to conveniently support their political agenda.

Give it up, GOP: Obama's Affordable Care Act is the law of the land, it's not going to be repealed, and no matter how hard you clap you can't go back to the days of recission and denial of coverage for preexisting conditions.

Efforts such as yesterday's phony "field hearing" only hurt the 28.8% of uninsured Texans who need to enroll in health insurance. By misleading the public, Republican Issa further harms those who are already suffering from a lack of access to quality, affordable care.

More below the jump, including a statement from Texas Organizing Project and a photo of the Fox News clip shown during the hearing.  

The hearing was a joke. Rather than allow actual navigators to testify about their work or provide useful information about the services they offer, Issa showed a clip of Bill O'Reilly, noted health care expert:

HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius pushed back strongly against Issa and Sessions' efforts, which included an anti-ACA op-ed in the Dallas Morning News. She said Monday's hearing was "designed to stifle, intimidate and impugn the reputation of people who have been working hard to help their fellow Texans get covered."

6.4 million Texans are uninsured, including 1 million children and more than 100,000 veterans. It is unconscionable that Darrell Issa would use his office and position as committee chair to attempt to dissuade, confuse, or prevent these individuals from gaining access to insurance through navigators.

A wide range of Texas Democratic officials and non-profit organizations working with navigators to enroll Texas issued press statements in response to the hearing. Progress Texas has them rounded up here.

Texas Organizing Project, one of the organizations leading the charge in advocating for the expansion of health care and insurance access in Texas, slammed the hearing:

"This Congressional hearing is sham, a witch hunt and frankly, a waste of taxpayer money," said Allison Brim, TOP Field Director. "To allow only  certain testimony shows that the true motivation of this hearing is political gain rather than problem solving for Dallas county and Texas residents. Texas families need access to affordable healthcare.  We need assisters on the ground to help walk us through the enrollment process and we need to expand healthcare coverage.  None of those things are being accomplished through this hearing. It's shameful."

If you're not familiar with navigators, they are trained specialists who help individuals find the right insurance plans for themselves or their families. They do great work helping uninsured Texans, and it was wrong of these Congressmen to smear their effort.

Meanwhile, the December 23 deadline to sign up for coverage that begins January 1. If you or a friend or family member needs help, there are bilingual English-Spanish offices open in major cities across the state where you can get in-person help.

Here's the list, via Progress Texas:

Please share these locations with your friends and families!

San Antonio - 9023 Huebner Rd, Suite 102 San Antonio TX 78240 ** Phone: (210) 347-1274 ** Office Hours: Mon - Fri 8AM-8PM

Houston - 1112 Eldridge Parkway Houston TX 77077 ** Phone: 832-557-7680 (main) ** Office Hours: Mon - Fri 8AM-8PM

Austin - 6800 Westgate Blvd, Suite 110 Austin TX 78745 ** Phone: 512-534-0802 ** Office Hours: Mon - Fri 8AM-8PM, Sat 10AM - 6PM

McAllen - 220 W Expressway 83, McAllen TX 78201 ** Phone: 210-382-4888 ** Office Hours: Mon - Fri 8AM-4:30 PM, Sat-10AM - 6PM

Dallas - 9550 Forest Lane, Suite 502 Dallas TX 75243 ** Phone: (469) 435-9058 ** Office Hours: Mon - Fri 8AM-8PM, Sat 10AM - 6PM

Congress should be helping more Texans get covered, not trying to trick or mislead them into avoiding resources specifically designed to help.  

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so (0.00 / 0)
Since Obamacare is the law of the land, the president is required by this thing called a Constitution to enforce ALL of the law, including all the parts that are causing millions to lose their current coverage. Thank God Texas had enough sense to not even attempt to recognize those parts of the law.

Which noted health care expert individuals and committees did the codifiers of the ACA consult?

Let's ask Robert Creamer, noted health care expert, ( http://www.discoverthenetworks... , http://www.americanthinker.com... ) who he consulted with while he wrote the blueprints for Obamacare/Hilarycare/Romneycare from jail for tax evasion/bank fraud.

The GOP and Congressional democrats alike are doing the nation a big disservice by not making and issue of the intrinsic flaws of this healthcare mess, but instead putting on these sorry shows attacking bottom-level aspects of the program to have a distraction theater from all the other garbage and fraud (foreign affairs, domestic finances, domestic civil rights) they're both committing against us in unison.

and (0.00 / 0)
And the insurance lobbyists the codifiers  consulted with for the law and the thousands of pages of regulations submitted after the law was passed...they're health experts too huh?  Funny how they helped get this heap pushed through and even tthe insurance companies themselves are getting screwed!

You can't accidentally mess governance up this bad. It's asinine to think this is all by chance, and even more asinine to still be trying to convince people this law is any measure of good. Healthcare reform is great...when it brings the price down for the majority, isn't a product you're penalized for not having (since not having it doesn't directly put anyone besides yourself at risk), doesn't cause you to lose access to it, and can be easily and securely signed up for. We're 0'for here.

The issue is no longer one that should be seen with a line drawn along party lines. Sorry for being inarticulate but this law and it's implementation suck. How that can be argued at this point is really beyond me.

[ Parent ]
Now its fixed (0.00 / 0)
Kurt DelBene to run the site.  Cronie.

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