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PHOENIX -- Gov. Jan Brewer has signed a bill requiring licensing and background checks for navigators who help people buy health insurance on the federal marketplace.

The bill signed Tuesday by the Republican governor requires the state Insurance Department to license navigators.

Republican proponents say the requirements protect consumers from identity theft. More than a dozen GOP-controlled states have passed similar legislation. Democrats call them an attempt to slow down enrollment in President Barack Obama's health care overhaul and unnecessary because navigators have contracts with the federal government.

Navigators help people pick insurance plans through the Affordable Care Act insurance exchange.

The Legislature passed the bill last week mainly along party lines, with majority Republicans in support. Democratic Sens. David Bradley and Katie Hobbs also voted for the bill.

Associated Press,

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