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Torrance Lawmaker Fears Poor English Speakers At Risk Of ‘ObamaCare’ Scams

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(Photo by David McNew/Getty Images)

(Photo by David McNew/Getty Images)

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LOS ANGELES (CBS) — A state lawmaker on Wednesday unveiled plans to help protect unwitting Californians with poor English skills from being taken advantage of when buying health insurance for the first time.

KNX 1070’s John Brooks reports 7 million Californians will soon have health insurance thanks to “ObamaCare” — unless the crooks get to them first.

The Affordable Care Act will make an estimated 32 percent of previously-ineligible Californians now eligible for insurance subsidies, many of whom speak English poorly or not at all.

State Senator Ted Lieu (D-Torrance) has proposed legislation to regulate marketing practices that may target unsuspecting patients who may get confused as they wade through what can be an overwhelming process for even fluent English speakers.

“Under the Affordable Care Act, you have to buy insurance, but you can’t just buy, for instance, cancer insurance, that doesn’t fulfill the federal health care mandate,” said Lieu. “We don’t want people saying, ‘Hey, buy this very cheap insurance policy and it covers that mandate’, when in fact it does not.”

Senate Bill 1313 would apply specifically to PPO plans to ensure that materials sent out to prospective buyers in languages other than English are accurate.

Lieu said he fears the threat of scam artists grows exponentially for minorities, who make up 65 percent of Californians eligible for subsidies.

“We know throughout our history that when you expand a government program, there will be deception,” he said.

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