Judge Rules State With Federally Run Exchange Can't Regulate PPACA Navigators

A Missouri judge has ruled the state — which declined to run its own health insurance exchange — cannot impose restrictions on Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act navigators, according to a Bloomberg report.

In St. Louis Effort for AIDS v. Huff, U.S. District Judge Ortrie Smith in Jefferson City, Missouri, granted a preliminary injunction to keep the Missouri Department of Insurance, Financial Institutions and Professional Registration from enforcing the law. The judge wrote the state couldn't enact limitations on the health insurance exchange after deciding to let the federal government run the marketplace, according to the report.

Missouri is one of about a dozen Republican-led states that have placed restrictions, such as licensing tests and additional training, on the navigators. Under a program established by the PPACA, the navigators perform informational services for Americans who need assistance in shopping for and enrolling in plans through the exchanges. The ruling in Missouri is the first of its kind and calls laws in other states into question, according to the report.

For months, the navigator program has been a target of scrutiny and criticism from Republican lawmakers and state officials. In December, the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee released a report claiming the navigator and assister programs have "lax oversight" that fails to ensure organizations report navigator misconduct. White House Press Secretary Jay Carney dismissed the report as another example of Republicans obsessed with "sabotaging Obamacare."

More Articles on PPACA Navigators:
White House: Navigator Critique Another Republican Attempt to Sabotage PPACA  
House Oversight Report: PPACA Navigators Put Consumers at Risk  
House Republicans Ask More Questions About PPACA Navigators 

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