By Jonathan Easley - 11/07/13 10:44 AM EST
Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.), a possible 2016 presidential candidate, introduced legislation on Thursday that would prevent felons from being hired as ObamaCare navigators.
It would also preclude the Department of Health and Human Services from hiring a navigator that has been convicted of a felony or a misdemeanor involving identity theft, fraud or perjury.
Republicans have pounced on what they say are security flaws in the HealthCare.Gov rollout; leaked internal documents show contractors and officials expressed concern before the rollout that there wasn’t enough time to thoroughly test the website before it went live on Oct. 1.
HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius told a congressional panel on Wednesday that it was “possible” for an ObamaCare navigator to have been convicted of a felony.
At a Senate Finance Committee hearing, Sen. John Cornyn (R-Texas) asked if federal background checks were a prerequisite for the hiring of potential navigators.
“States can add an additional background check and other features, but that is not part of the federal requirement,” Sebelius said.
“So a convicted felon could be a navigator and could acquire sensitive personal information?” Cornyn asked.
“That is possible,” Sebelius responded. “We have contracts with the organizations, and they have taken the responsibility to screen their navigators and make sure that they are sufficiently trained for the job, and there’s a self attestation, but it is possible.”