State Rep. Lon Burnam Wishes Someone Would Subpoena His Evidence of GOP Obamacare Sabotage

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State Rep. Lon Burnam
State Representative Lon Burnam has a simple request of anyone interested in learning just how far the state Republican leadership will go to throw a wrench into efforts to provide affordable health insurance to millions of uninsured Texans. Subpoena him. Do it. Please.

The Fort Worth legislator is among a cadre of vocal Democrats who accuse Governor Rick Perry and the Texas Department of Insurance of trying to obstruct enrollment under the Affordable Care Act by drafting a set of onerous training requirements for "navigators," the people employed under ACA to help the uninsured get coverage. The feds have awarded Texas $11 million to train and hire navigators, but the TDI says the feds' training requirements aren't tough enough. The agency has proposed rules that could more than double the amount of training time and raise the cost of that training by up to $800 per navigator.

The TDI says its rules are necessary to protect Texans' privacy, aren't politically motivated and have absolutely nothing to do with the fact that Perry and pals are being dragged by their heels, fingers clawing the dirt, into the age of Obamacare.

If you believe that, Burnam has some records he wants to show you. In December, he sent a letter to the TDI seeking documents concerning how it came up with the proposed rules. Since he's a legislator, TDI had to give him the goods, but because the agency claims the documents are not subject to open-records laws -- wouldn't want the pesky people to know what the state is up to -- he can't legally share them without a subpoena.

"I wish somebody would subpoena me," Burnam says. "If ever there was a smoking gun, this is one."

The documents make it clear that "Governor Perry is committed to making sure Obamacare doesn't work in the state of Texas," he says.

But isn't that kind of obvious already?

Maybe to people who closely follow the news, Burnam says, but he's not sure everyone is aware of just how hard Perry is working to sabotage ACA. "I was on the insurance committee for three terms and I never experienced this kind of diligence on 'consumer protection,'" he says, emphasizing that he is being ironic. "This is consumer obstruction."

The TDI's rules are scheduled to go into effect by March 1, meaning they would lay extra training requirements on navigators one month before the March 31 deadline for consumers to apply for insurance that's eligible for federal tax credits.



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22 comments
JackJett
JackJett

I simply have to hand it to any person like Burnam to take on the right wing bullshit that runs so deep in his district.   And when it is so clear that the bottom line to what he is attempting to accomplish is for the betterment of ALL Texans.   To have that sort of patience to face adversity from many of the very people the ACA will help. 

The Navigator issue is a win/win.   It will create jobs plus further of better understanding the NEW insurance laws that we all need to become familiar so there is less confusion and the incorrect reporting of stories and rumors of "death panels" by self proclaimed Navigators's like Sarah Palin and Ted Cruz. 

1jkinney
1jkinney

Thank god you are so smart and it isn't rocket science for you. According to you we don't even need navigators in this state because it is so easy for people to choose one of many plans offered under the ACA. I'll vote for that idea and it would save the tax payers eleven million dollars here in Texas.

I have no idea where you work but I can assure you that you are NOT forced to buy a plan offered by your employer. In fact there is something called the ACA you are welcome to enroll in, please don't use a navigator since it would be a waste of your time.

I have been invited by companies and muncipal groups to come in and explain insurance coverages to employees many times as an insurance agent and still provide that service on invitation. Sorry about your company. HR people may or may not hold a insurance license but no differ as its a group insurance contract between your company and the insurance company and no agent is required.


What else?

ruddski
ruddski

So basically, by finding ways to undercut a government policy that was sold with lies, that the great majority of their constituency rejects, the GOP is doing wrong?

Bring on the subpoena, let the former supporters now angry with Obama see just how far the GOP has gone to save them from the policy they don't like. It'll be a great GOTV 2014 effort, but not for Democrats.

ruddski
ruddski

Perry once shot a coyote as it ran off a cliff.

1jkinney
1jkinney

I thought the requirements to be a navigator laughable, as an independent insurance agent who markets medicare products. I think the navigators should be held to the same standards and requirements that an insurance agent is held to on an annual basis. After all both the navigator and the insurance agent are providing the same service to the public, regarding insurance, and both are paid to provide it. I personally see the TDI as upholding protections that should be afforded to all citizens in our state. We have already seen some navigators encourging people to lie on applications.

Are there polictics envolved regarding the ACA? Ya think! Are they involved in Medicare itself? Ya think! 

 I have heard Mr Burnam address a group of seniors and warn them that insurance agents in the medicare business were liers, self servers and not to be trusted. Sort of sounds more likely to be a polictican if you ask me. 

 If I had my way all policticans would be tested ,as medicare insurance agents are annually, on waste fraud and abuse and pass the test on ethics.  


We have an election coming!

krismate
krismate

Why is any state or federal agency not subject to open record laws? Why do American citizens need to have their information leaked to them?

everlastingphelps
everlastingphelps topcommenter

If they were really incriminating, he would have just leaked them.  That's what Dems do and the compliant Establishment Media goes along with them.  Since they aren't actually incriminating and don't say much of anything other than what we already know, the compliant Establishment Media (like here) will just parrot his whispering campaign instead.

Left wing letdown in 3.. 2...

nananancs
nananancs

what the heck is going on ?? 

DavyCrockett
DavyCrockett

Pfft, yeah right. Republicans obstructing something? Whatever, weirdo.

salgilmore
salgilmore

LON BURNAM IS ONE THE MOST ASS KICKIN STATE REPS OUT THERE. HE GIVES ZERO SHITS AND IT IS FUCKING AWESOME. 


But really, this man is just trying to do right by his district and the state of Texas, god love him. 

fracquestions
fracquestions

@bvckvsActually, the amount of training time is being reduced for non-racists, as well. But, you already knew that, didn't you?

manpanties
manpanties

@bvckvs I look forward to a day when all gun shot victims have insurance.

fracquestions
fracquestions

@ruddski 

ruddski, you need to either lay off the drugs, or else get back on them, because whatever you are doing now is definitely NOT working!

Guesty
Guesty

@1jkinney As an "independent insurance agent" you get a commission on selling particular plans, which gives you great incentives to lie to seal the deal.  The history of insurance agents committing fraud is long and well documented.


If we had more standardization of insurance products, we wouldn't need tight regulation of insurance agents because people could know what they were buying.  And it would have the added benefit of eliminating the wasteful cost of middlemen like you.  

ruddski
ruddski

I can't believe anyone would be uncomfortable handing sensitive personal and financial information to a gaggle of ACORN and OFA activists that are favored for these jobs.

P1Gunter
P1Gunter

@everlastingphelps You're more than welcome to hate on Democrats and liberals all you want, but do you seriously have any doubt that Prick Perry has been trying to sabotage and sink the ACA ever since it passed?

ruddski
ruddski

Great points all, now go sign up.

1jkinney
1jkinney

@Guesty @1jkinney I don't know what valuable postion or job you have but I certain you must be a great asset to something or someone for, hopefully a salary.

As far as sealing the deal for a commission-folks don't have to use an agent to enroll in any insurance products I offer as they can buy product on-line or by phone just as they can for the ACA. However some people find value in obtaining advice and counsel in selecting an insurance for themselves. The government controls the amount of commission I can make and I am limited in work to 8 weeks a year for the most part.

 All plans are standardized under medicare and the TDI can tell you about any documented fraud that has been committed by agents which is very rare. You check it out.

 Thanks for punking me out personally but it certainly doesn't change my mind about a bunch of folks with no insurance expierence advising the general public on what insurance plans they need. They need a lot of training and I thank Rick Perry for asking TDI to provide such training. 

Guesty
Guesty

@ruddski What personal information do you think gets handed over to a navigator?   

everlastingphelps
everlastingphelps topcommenter

I seriously doubt that any sabotage perry attempted would REDUCE the number of navigators -- those fraudsters and identity thieves do more to discredit and debase the law than anything perry can do.

Guesty
Guesty

@1jkinney @Guesty What advice do they need?  There are essentially three health insurance plans under ObamaCare being offered by a dozen insurers.  Almost everything is standardized, and what isn't standardized, insurance agents or consumers don't care much about (particularly without preexisting healthcare exclusions and lifetime caps).  


Selecting a plan isn't rocket science.  I've never had an employer bring in a registered insurance agent to explain the options available at my place of work.  They just list the three plans they offer each year (last year a health spending account with catastrophic coverage, an HMO plan that is very similar to the ObamaCare Bronze, and a PPO plan that is equivalent to ObamaCare Gold). Every year I am forced to choose and the person available to explain the plans is not licensed to sell insurance (generally our HR manager).


But the people opposing ObamaCare would blow a gasket if the TDI implemented similar requirements for the HR departments that answer questions about the insurance offered by their companies.         

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