Everything about Obamacare is controversial. 1200 WOAI news reports Democrats and Republicans are now squabbling over the so called 'navigators,' federal employees who will be hired to help people sign up for insurance through the new 'exchanges' which will start operating October first.
Perry sent a letter to State Insurance Commissioner Julia Rathgerber saying the state must protect Texans by adopting stricter regulations than the federal government specifies for the 'navigators.'
"We to make sure rules are in place to make sure navigators have a level of ability and accountability," said Josh Havens, Perry's spokesman.
One of the rules allows the state to charge the navigators a licensing fee. Another would limit the amount of time that people could act as navigators.
"These are competence rules to make sure that these navigators are properly trained to collect and protect the private information of Texans," Havens said.
Republicans have long been concerns about the role of the navigators in the Affordable Care Act. In many states, 'navigators' are made up of former members of President Obama's 'Organizing for America' grass roots organization, and in some cases labor union employees are being trained as navigators. Some states even allow navigators to register people to vote, and Republicans say the navigators are actually Democratic Party campaign operatives.
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services responded that Perry's move is a 'blatant attempt to add cumbersome requirements' to Obamacare.
"It is a hostile environmental right now, by those who are not spending much time even attempting to lead in a responsible way," said State Sen. Kirk Watson (D-Austin) who wrote the law allowing the navigators to practice in Texas.
Texas has the highest rate of uninsured in the country, fully one in four Texans is without health insurance. Texas is refusing to set up its own insurance exchange, which will require Texans to seek out insurance on the federal exchanges.