AUSTIN, Texas (AP) - Critics are blasting the Texas Department of Insurance for proposing new rules for counselors who help people buy health insurance under the Affordable Care Act.
Insurance Commissioner Julia Rathgeber held a public hearing Monday on the rules, which would require 40 additional hours of training for so-called health care navigators and cost more than $800 a year.
Gov. Rick Perry, who adamantly opposes the health care law, called for the additional training and other requirements to protect consumers. Department of insurance staff proposed the rules last month. But Democratic state Sen. Kirk Watson says the rules go beyond consumer protection and are intended to hamstring President Barack Obama's signature health program.
Officials from non-profit agencies that train and supply navigators told Rathgeber the federally required 20-30 hours of training are enough.