Critics Continue Efforts To Limit Health Law Navigators

In Georgia, some navigator events were canceled after health law opponents held a protest at one and posted other events on its website, urging more protests. In South Dakota, meanwhile, a lawmaker introduced a bill to require state registration and background checks of the insurance guides. And a New Hampshire hospital that was excluded from Anthem's network is in the news because it is challenging that decision.

Georgia Health News: Navigator Program Tries To Avoid Controversy
The University of Georgia health navigator program has been keeping a low public profile since opponents of the Affordable Care Act held a protest at a navigator event in Coweta County in November. Sheri Worthy, a UGA official, said the Coweta meeting and those scheduled after that were canceled because Americans for Prosperity, a conservative group that opposes the ACA, posted the navigators’ events on its website and encouraged protests at them. The protesters who showed up in Coweta rallied peacefully outside the county Extension Service office, calling on UGA to stop supplying navigators to help people sign up for insurance coverage under the ACA, according to the Newnan Times-Herald (Empinado, 2/9).

The Associated Press: South Dakota Bill Would Regulate Health Insurance Helpers
The so-called navigators who help uninsured people sign up for insurance under President Barack Obama's health care overhaul would be regulated under a bill in the South Dakota Legislature. The sponsor, Sen. Al Novstrup, acknowledges that he opposes the Affordable Care Act, often called Obamacare. But the Aberdeen Republican said supporters of the health care law might also support his proposal because it provides additional protection for people seeking insurance (2/9).

The Associated Press: NH Hospital Argues Against Network Exclusion
A New Hampshire hospital fighting to get into Anthem's new narrow network says the insurance company submitted an incomplete application to state regulators, who then approved it without the necessary scrutiny. Frisbie Memorial Hospital in Rochester is one of 10 hospitals excluded from Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield's provider network for individual plans being sold under the federal health care overhaul law (Ramer, 2/9).

This is part of Kaiser Health News' Daily Report - a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. The full summary of the day's news can be found here and you can sign up for e-mail subscriptions to the Daily Report here. In addition, our staff of reporters and correspondents file original stories each day, which you can find on our home page.