California's Obamacare health exchange has reportedly hired 31 insurance counselors with criminal pasts to help sign individuals up for coverage — and officials will allow them to keep their jobs.
Data obtained by KMAX-TV shows that 31 of the nearly 4,000 counselors have convictions, including one for harm and injury to a child and others involving forgery and theft.
Nevertheless, a spokesman for Covered California is standing by the decision to hire the individuals, saying they went through scrutiny to make sure they had been rehabilitated before making the hire, KMAX-TV reported.
“We don’t believe there is any heightened reason for consumers to be alarmed,” spokesman Dana Howard reportedly said, adding the Civil Rights Act doesn't allow the exchange to turn away applicants because of their criminal past.
"We cannot just wantonly say that we’re not going to hire or certify an individual just because they have a criminal background," he reportedly said.
Nevertheless, KMAX-TV said that after they aired their report, hundreds of viewers reached out online and over the phone to share their concerns.
“I was just completely shocked that they would put somebody in charge that could steal, you know possibly steal your information,” Kimberly Mallory said, noting her daughter had recently enrolled in the program.
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