Florida received $7.8 million, but most Republicans in Florida didn't applaud the news, as they have been steadfast in their opposition to the Affordable Care Act (ACA). In fact, GOP lawmakers suspended their authority to take a lead role in setting insurance rates, saying the feds could do it because they were already planning the online insurance exchange.
But as the Tampa Bay Times reported last week, Sebelius said she knows of no other state in the country who did such a thing.
Now Rick Scott said he is concerned about the privacy implications of the navigators, and has asked the Office of Insurance Regulation to brief the Florida cabinet at Tuesday's meeting in Miami.
"We know that the ‘navigators’ will be taxpayer-funded employees hired to collect personal and financial information from Floridians," Scott said in a statement posted on the state's website. "What we do not know is how this information will be shared among federal agencies or if the federal government will also distribute it to outside groups. We know that navigators are not hired to determine eligibility for insurance but they will have Floridians’ personal data that will then be run through federal databases, including the IRS and agencies that track immigration status."
Scott went on to say that many questions remain unanswered, "including: who will get the completed applications? Will Floridians know of every entity that receives their information? If the federal exchange is delayed, where will the applications go until it is operable?"
Scott was a virulent critic of Obamacare well before he got into the race to become Florida governor. In 2009 he created Conservatives for Patients' Rights, an organization designed to take down the Obama health care plan.
That's why so many Floridians were shocked earlier this year when the governor advocated that the Legislature agree to approve expanding Medicaid in Florida. The expansion would have been part of the ACA, with the feds funding 100 percent of costs for the first three years, and 90 percent after that. The GOP-led Legislature rejected that overture.
Conservatives have been complaining about the navigators for months. In May, columnist Michelle Malkin wrote, "This nanny-state navigator corps is the Mother of all Community Organizing Boondoggles."
Last week attorneys general from 13 states wrote a letter to Sebelius regarding privacy risks associated with the navigators.
Florida's own Pam Bondi went on Fox News last week to weigh in as well, expressing "grave concerns," mainly because she said that navigators will not receive background checks, fingerprinting or even proper training before they are deployed.