In an online article in the blog Politico, writer Jennifer Haberkorn notes that many lawmakers who voted against the Democrats’ health care reform overhaul are now pushing the government to help insurance agents stay employed after the deal comes into effect.
Agents are hoping to be included on the government’s Web portal of insurance options in time for scheduled updates this fall and want to have some kind of contact information listed on the health insurance exchanges when they open in 2014.
A bipartisan group of House members say Congress’s intent is to include agents and brokers in the reformed health care system. The members see a role for them “both inside and outside health insurance exchanges,” they wrote in a letter to Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius last week.
“It is important that the consumer’s option to contact independent and state-licensed health insurance agents and brokers be included no later than Oct. 1, when the portal is scheduled to be finalized,” the 25 lawmakers wrote.
But the group includes only a few health reform supporters: Democratic Reps. Leonard Boswell of Iowa, Baron Hill of Indiana and Adam Smith of Washington. Twenty-two additional lawmakers who voted against the legislation signed the letter, including 17 Republicans and five Democrats. Rep. Charlie Melancon (D-La.) originated the letter.