Health & Human Services

Judge Blocks Part of Tennessee's Law on Obamacare Navigators

Churches, unions and social service organizations now can set up computer stations to help the uninsured sign up for coverage under the Affordable Care Act without fear of being fined by the state of Tennessee.
October 8, 2013
 

Churches, unions and social service organizations now can set up computer stations to help the uninsured sign up for coverage under the Affordable Care Act without fear of being fined by the state of Tennessee.

U.S. District Judge Todd Campbell issued a temporary restraining order Monday blocking Tennessee from enforcing a portion of the state’s controversial emergency rules for health law navigators. Campbell said the state rules defining a navigator contain language that is too broad.

While the hearing in federal court was underway, the Tennessee Justice Center and the state reached an agreement on a similar lawsuit that the center had filed in Davidson County Chancery Court. Bill Young, Tennessee’s solicitor general, who also represented the state in federal court, signed an agreed final order that narrowed the entire scope of the emergency rules.

The state agreed that the rules would apply only to people and entities required by federal law to be registered as navigators or certified application counselors.

The federal ruling was a first victory for Service Employees International Union Local 205 and two of its members. Jerry Martin of Barrett Johnston LLC argued on behalf of the union that the rules would prevent his clients from helping people sign up for coverage on the Internet.

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