Ellmers accused of trying to sabotage Obamacare
RALEIGH, N.C. (WTVD) -- Accusations have surfaced that a North Carolina lawmaker is among those trying to hinder the efforts of nonprofits helping people understand new healthcare options.
October marks enrollment in Obamacare and there are still no clear answers about how it will directly affect families.
There are several organizations ramping up their efforts to help people navigate the new law and sign up for coverage. A letter issued last week by a house congressional committee could slow their efforts.
Fifteen Republican lawmakers are requesting thousands of pages of documents detailing their work. They want detailed responses on everything from how grant money will be spent to training methods and supervising policies.
Rep. Renee Ellmers R-N.C. is a part of that group and defends the request. She denies accusations of harassment and intimidation.
Candice Davies with Protect Your Care N.C. interprets the letter as a threat.
"Their demands are unrealistic and designed to shutdown and intimidate people," Davies said.
Federally-funded navigator groups were awarded $67 million in grants to fund their efforts. Several charities took on the role in North Carolina after state lawmakers rejected the funds to help enroll residents.
"They're not dealing with legislators and attorneys, they're dealing with people who work at food banks, people who work in universities," Davies said.
Ellmers cites due-diligence and responded to the allegations saying, "This investigation is consistent with our thoughtful oversight of this law. It is our job to protect taxpayer dollars and Americans' sensitive personal medical information, particularly as this massive law is implemented."
Davie's isn't buying it.
"I believe in fiscal responsibility. We want to make sure these dollars are being spent on the things they are being spent on, but we don't want these dollars being spent on people locked up in paperwork and this sort of morass of legalese when they should be out helping you and me and all of them find out how to get healthcare for their children and their parents and themselves," Davies said.
Navigators have until Sept. 13 to provide the documents. Meanwhile, Davies is holding an education event at her home in Cary Saturday afternoon. Volunteers with Get Covered America will explain the new health care options available and what it means for North Carolinians.
local/state, heather waliga
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