PHOENIX, Ariz., Feb. 3, 2014—Arizona small-business owners overwhelming support state legislation protecting individuals’ personal financial and health information from identity thieves and other criminals by blocking them from becoming Obamacare navigators in this state, according to a poll released today by the National Federation of Independent Business.
“Arizona’s legislators can and must ensure crooks, creeps and miscreants never have access to the social security numbers or private financial and health records of Arizonans looking for coverage through the Obamacare health exchange,” said Farrell Quinlan, state director for NFIB in Arizona.
The NFIB poll found 81 percent in favor of state regulation of navigators, with 7 percent opposed and 12 percent unsure. The survey
of 413 Arizona small-business owners was conducted November 5, 2013 through January 6, 2014. NFIB frequently polls its members on state and national issues vital to their ability to own, operate and grow their enterprises.
“Criminal lowlifes like identity thieves must be barred from becoming navigators in Arizona. This survey of Arizona small-business owners gives clear direction to NFIB to fight for passage of legislation empowering the state to screen and oversee these navigators,” Quinlan said.
State lawmakers have an immediate opportunity to take action on navigators through House Bill 2508, new legislation introduced by Rep. Phil Lovas and Rep. Paul Boyer, scheduled to be considered by the House Insurance and Retirement Committee tomorrow, February 4, at 2 p.m. in House Hearing Room 3 in the Arizona Capitol.
HB 2508 would require the Arizona Department of Insurance to license, conduct criminal history records’ checks and collect of a full set of fingerprints for Obamacare navigators and certified application counselors. The state already requires insurance agents to meet these standards. Sen. Nancy Barto, chairwoman of the Senate Health and Human Services Committee, has introduced similar legislation in the form of Senate Bill 1308.
“Over the next year, small-business owners and their employees must take steps to comply with the Obamacare individual and employer mandates. Legislation like HB 2508 will give Arizonans greater peace of mind that using a navigator to assist them in complying with the health-care law won’t result in an invasion of their privacy, ruin of their credit worthiness or theft of their identity,” Quinlan said.
# # #
For more than 70 years, the National Federation of Independent Business has been the Voice of Small Business, taking the message from Main Street to the halls of Congress and all 50 state legislatures. NFIB annually surveys its members on state and federal issues vital to their survival as America’s economic engine and biggest creator of jobs. NFIB’s educational mission is to remind policymakers that small businesses are not smaller versions of bigger businesses; they have very different challenges and priorities.
National Federation of Independent Business/Arizona
3550 North Central Ave, Suite 1806
Phoenix, AZ 85012