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Critics Blast Gov. Perry’s Call For Additional Obamacare Navigator Training

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Texas Gov. Rick Perry has spent a record 14 years in office vanquishing nearly all who dared confront him: political rivals, moms against mandatory vaccines for sixth graders, a coyote in the wrong place at the wrong time. (Photo by Stewart F. House/Getty Images)

Texas Gov. Rick Perry has spent a record 14 years in office vanquishing nearly all who dared confront him: political rivals, moms against mandatory vaccines for sixth graders, a coyote in the wrong place at the wrong time. (Photo by Stewart F. House/Getty Images)

AUSTIN, Texas (AP) — Critics are blasting the Texas Department of Insurance for proposing new rules for counselors who help people buy health insurance under the Affordable Care Act.

Insurance Commissioner Julia Rathgeber held a public hearing Monday on the rules, which would require 40 additional hours of training for so-called health care navigators and cost more than $800 a year.

Gov. Rick Perry, who adamantly opposes the health care law, called for the additional training and other requirements to protect consumers. Department of insurance staff proposed the rules last month. But Democratic state Sen. Kirk Watson says the rules go beyond consumer protection and are intended to hamstring President Barack Obama’s signature health program.

Officials from non-profit agencies that train and supply navigators told Rathgeber the federally required 20-30 hours of training is enough.

(© Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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