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Arizona bill adds regulations to health care navigators

PHOENIX -- The Arizona House of Representatives has approved a bill creating new licensing and background check requirements for so-called Affordable Care Act navigators who help uninsured people buy health care.

Lawmakers approved House Bill 2508 by Republican Rep. Phil Lovas of Peoria last week with a 35-23 vote.

The bill requires navigators to get a special license through the state Department of Insurance and to pass a criminal background check. It also bans people who have been convicted of fraud-related misdemeanors from being navigators.

Proponents said the bill protects consumers. Opponents said it's unnecessary and makes it more difficult for people to sign up for health care plans through the Affordable Care Act.

States such as Ohio, South Dakota and Missouri have introduced similar bills, one of which has become law but has been put on hold by federal judge.

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