ACORN Redux: The ObamaCare Navigators Nightmare

healthcare.gov_2-620x401The undercover videographer who helped to kill ACORN is now turning his powerful lens on Obamacare “navigators,” showing how left-wing groups break the law and defraud taxpayers by pushing Obamacare exchanges.

The undercover investigators of Project Veritas, the nonprofit created by ACORN slayer James O’Keefe III, are going after the almost 50,000 Obamacare “navigators,” whom the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services says are supposed to “serve as an in-person resource for Americans who want additional assistance in shopping for and enrolling in plans” on the Obamacare exchanges. Left-wing activists have scooped up more than $67 million in grants nationwide to hire the navigators, a payoff to ACORN and other radical outfits that helped win Barack Obama the presidency.

Undercover investigators from Project Veritas captured taxpayer-paid Obamacare promoters on video telling health care insurance applicants to lie about preexisting medical conditions.

A new video shows an Obamacare navigator employed by the National Urban League in Texas counseling an investigator to be untruthful when completing documentation needed to apply for health care insurance on the Obamacare exchanges. The league took in $376,000 from the federal government for its navigator work.

“You lie because your premiums will be higher,” one navigator tells the undercover journalist, who advised the person that he occasionally smokes. “Don’t tell them that. Don’t tell ’em.”

When the investigator pretends to be a low-income university employee with unreported cash income that, if declared, could endanger his eligibility for federal premium subsidies, the navigators advises, “Don’t get yourself in trouble by declaring it now.”

“Yeah, it didn’t happen,” says another navigator. Another adds, “Never report it.”

The video also shows Project Veritas visiting Enroll America, a nationwide nonprofit group that is encouraging millions of Americans to sign up for health insurance coverage on Obamacare exchanges.

As John Fund notes in a National Review Online article, Daniel Clayton of Enroll America says the group is “purely nonprofit. It’s not partisan, non-political.” But when Brian Pendleton, also of Enroll America, was introduced at a speaking engagement, Enroll America was called “the official group for the DNC [Democratic National Committee].”

O’Keefe, Fund reports, says Enroll America “appears to be sharing data and working directly with an explicitly political group called Battleground Texas, activities that [O'Keefe] notes ‘are prohibited unless certain conditions are met.’ Adrian Bell, the regional field director for Battleground Texas, proudly notes the group was ‘started by President Obama’s national field director’ and is ‘dedicated to turning Texas blue.’”

The release of the video has already produced promising results. The Urban League of Greater Dallas fired one person and suspended three others shown in the video exhorting health care applicants to lie. The group stated it “does not condone, nor would we ever sanction, misleading the public or any individual who seeks our assistance about any issue, and particularly in this case, an issue as critical as health care.”

Sen. John Cornyn (R-Texas) called for the navigators program to be halted after he watched the video. “This behavior is unacceptable, and is yet another broken piece of a deeply flawed system,” Cornyn said.

“We have so much footage, so many offices,” O’Keefe wrote of his new Obamacare navigator sting operation on his Twitter account. “So many employees. So much fraud caught on tape. We’re going to release them all one by one.”

O’Keefe is following the same highly successful rollout strategy the late Andrew Breitbart used in fall 2009 that disseminated O’Keefe’s videos showing ACORN wrongdoings and kept ACORN employees’ criminal behavior in the forefront of each new day’s news cycle. Breitbart would release a video showing misdeeds in an ACORN office in one city and then ACORN would lie, denying the behavior or claiming it was carried out by rogue employees. On another day Breitbart would release a video from an ACORN office in another city showing similar unethical or unlawful behavior and ACORN would again offer dishonest spin on the new video. Several more videos were released this way, and each time ACORN shot itself in the foot by trying to explain away what viewers’ lying eyes had observed.

This culminated in a farcical National Press Club media event in which ACORN’s then-chief organizer Bertha Lewis claimed that shadowy forces had somehow conspired to harm her poor little innocent group.

Even left-wing Washington Post columnist Dana Milbank openly mocked Lewis at the time, finding himself in the unaccustomed position of defending Republicans. “In creativity, the ACORN boss’s denials were matched only by her assignments of blame … [s]he blamed her predecessor …  [s]he blamed the powerful … [a]nd most of all, she blamed Republicans,” accusing them, ridiculously, of what she called “modern-day ACORN McCarthyism.”

The Breitbart approach paid off, devastating the organized crime syndicate that used to employ Barack Obama as a trainer and as its attorney.

The undercover videos shot by O’Keefe and his then-partner Hannah Giles in mid-2009 showed ACORN employees across the nation giving helpful advice on how to lie to the government, commit tax fraud, and trick banks into providing loans for brothels catering to pedophiles. The videos helped to kill off the group which had been hit the year before with the revelation of a million-dollar embezzlement scandal and cover-up involving its founder Wade Rathke.

Later that year Congress, which had given ACORN about $79 million in grants over the years, approved a law permanently pulling ACORN off the ever bounteous public teat. The 400,000-member organization filed for bankruptcy in November 2010. ACORN’s largest division, ACORN Housing, changed its name to Affordable Housing Centers of America to distance itself from the tarnished ACORN brand but still ended up collapsing in 2012 despite receiving sizable cash injections from the Obama administration.

Remnants of the ACORN network are involved in providing Obamacare navigators too.

United Labor Unions (ULU) Local 100 in New Orleans, is reportedly providing navigators in Arkansas, Louisiana, and Texas. In 1979, ACORN created the United Labor Unions, which it used to organize low-wage, fast-food, and home healthcare workers in Louisiana, Arkansas, and Texas.

ULU 100 is headed by ACORN founder Wade Rathke, a corrupt union ringleader who orchestrated massive campaigns involving identity fraud in furtherance of voter fraud and who covered up a million-dollar embezzlement involving pension funds. Now his navigators have unfettered access to confidential information on thousands of people seeking health insurance. ACORN, or the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now, is the nonprofit group that knowingly hired felons convicted of identity theft to work on voter registration drives, giving them custody of sensitive voter information.

As I showed in my ACORN/Obama expose, Subversion Inc., ACORN is also infamous for hiring felons without bothering to do background checks, storming hospital emergency rooms and city council chambers, using voter fraud to turn graveyards across the nation into Democratic electoral strongholds, using mob violence against bank executives and other shakedown targets, and for ruthlessly exploiting its own employees and going to court to seek an exemption from minimum wage laws.

Fund reports that ULU Local 100 is

a “sub-grantee” providing navigators for the Southern United Neighborhoods group, which received a $600,678 grant to promote Obamacare enrollment. It also received a $270,193 grant for similar work in Arkansas and a $486,123 grant for Louisiana. Marcel Reid, a former dissident board member of ACORN who broke with the group in 2008 over its questionable practices, told me earlier this year, “ACORN is forming new groups under new mismanagement, and if Wade Rathke is involved in any of them, it spells trouble.”

Enrollment isn’t going so well at HealthCare.gov.

In the month of October, signups on the Obamacare health insurance exchanges for Medicaid, the joint federal-state welfare program that provides health insurance for the poor, vastly outnumbered signups for private insurance.

“When we first saw the numbers, everyone’s eyes kind of bugged out,” said Matt Salo, executive director of the National Association of Medicaid Directors. “Of the people walking through the door, 90 percent are on Medicaid. We’re thinking, what planet is this happening on?”

To make matters worse, flaws in the HealthCare.gov website reportedly allow ineligible individuals anywhere in the world to sign up for Medicaid.

The exchanges themselves are artificial, bureaucrat-created cartels that merely mimic free, competitive markets, perhaps well enough to dupe some people into believing they’re engaging in actual eBay- or Amazon-style commerce. It’s not really shopping, of course, if you have a gun to your head.

Speaking of guns to the head, felons may tapping into confidential personal data stored at HealthCare.gov.

Responding to questions from Sen. Cornyn during a recent congressional hearing, HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius said it is “possible” that convicted criminals are among Obamacare navigators, who have access to Americans’ personal information.

“Isn’t it true that there is no federal requirement for navigators to undergo a criminal background check,” said Cornyn, “even though they will receive sensitive personal information from the individuals they help to sign-up up for the Affordable Care Act?”

Sebelius replied, “That is true. States could add an additional background checks and other features, but it is not part of the federal requirement.”

Cornyn asked, “So a convicted felon could be a navigator and could acquire sensitive personal information from an individual unbeknownst to them?”

Sebelius answered, “That is possible.”

As FrontPage previously predicted, enrollment has turned into a dangerous free-for-all because Obamacare “navigators” are barely regulated at all. By the way, the only reason there are any “navigators” is to help the Left, as HHS Secretary Sebelius has more or less admitted. Imposing rules would only interfere with community organizers’ ability to wreak havoc and spread the gospel of so-called social justice.

Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal previously warned that the Obamacare navigator program, like all of Obamacare, is deeply flawed.

“‘Navigator’ is a crafty name, but in reality, there are very few restrictions on who they are, and what exactly they are supposed to be doing,” Jindal says. “‘Navigators’ are supposed to be hired to help consumers understand the law and the insurance coverage provisions in the new health exchanges. Sounds like a job for a rocket scientist.” He continued:

The “navigators” are prohibited from having financial ties to an insurance company, but other than that there are few constraints. Union organizers and community activists are among the types that are allowed to be hired as “navigators,” and having prior experience working in the health care field doesn’t seem to necessarily be a pre-requisite for the job. I wonder what percentage of these “navigators” will be partisan Democrats?

Sebelius has been looking to radical left-wing community organizers to fill navigator ranks since at least early last year. In April 2012 she tried to recruit activists at the national convention of Al Sharpton’s National Action Network (NAN).

“In our country what we know is health care inequality [has been] one of the most persistent forms of injustice but over the past three years, as Rev. Sharpton reminded us, we have begun to turn the tide,” Sebelius said at the time. “Now is not the time to turn back.”

The Left has spent the last few weeks rushing to Obamacare’s defense as implementation of the law flames out spectacularly in real time.

Pseudojournalist Alex Seitz-Wald, whose calling is to lie about conservatives and devise new and inventive spin to defend professional leftists, previously lied again and again about ACORN and the O’Keefe sting, falsely accusing O’Keefe of performing misleading edits on the ACORN videos in 2009.

Now, according to Seitz-Wald, it’s Republicans’ fault that Obamacare navigators are corrupt and incompetent.

GOPers are throwing up unnecessary roadblocks meant to stop navigators from performing their noble, selfless tasks, the former Salon reporter writes.

But whether by fees, background checks, tests, extra training, certifications, threats of civil penalties, or delays, Republican legislatures and officials in at least 17 states across the country have thrown up all manner of bureaucratic roadblocks in front of the program. The officials say the regulations are necessary to protect consumers and their personal information, but health care reform advocates say the regulations, adopted only in states controlled by Republicans, are just part of a multipronged campaign to obstruct the implementation of the Affordable Care Act at every turn.

Nice try.

Thanks to the excellent, public-spirited work of James O’Keefe and Project Veritas, Seitz-Wald and the other paid professional liars of the left-wing legacy media are going to have to spin harder than that.

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  • Bob_Oscar

    Obama adm KNEW these people were toxic but “hired” them anyway?

    Is this not, as “they” say, the definition of insanity…Acorn leopards changing their spots??….not in our lifetime…

    Dear God: …blow up this nightmare of ObamaCare…bury it & salt the earth around its grave….

    • Headed4TheHills

      Hired them? What are you talking about? Given the contents of the article,each and every one of them has worked / is working for Obama / Progressive organizations. ACORN, Planned Parenthood, now Obamacare navigators. The name has changed but the players are the same.

      • Robert Lande

        Acorn is a chameleon.

    • Habbgun

      He didn’t just hire them. He prevented existing licensed life and health professionals from accessing the exchanges! It is a whole new certification unless you are an organization then there are absolutely no necessary qualifications. Do you think that this botched roll-out wasn’t a possibility in their minds? Using actual experienced insurance people would have meant that there would have been a substantial number of independent people who would have known the condition of the exchanges. It would also mean that Democratic insiders would have had competition. Underneath the layer of radicals are the actual insiders of the Democratic party getting a cut.

  • cecil91

    There seems to be something in the liberal psyche that demands them to tell a lie a minute.

  • physicsnut

    yup – the left is falling all over itself trying to justify this garbage.

    i was just listening to the jerks on Brian Lehrer – “you pay for school taxes even if you don’t have kids” – as a justification to pay for EVERYTHING in health insurance that might happen to anybody. That is just great – it is YOUR money, but you have NOTHING to say about how you spend it.
    This needs a refutation.
    They keep getting away with it.

    • P_Ang

      Yeah, but the “you pay for school even if you don’t have kids” was always backed up with “well, you went to school too” if you pushed too hard. People paying for lazy entitlement frauds after years of paying or working for their own insurance is a double-slap in the face.

  • Well Done

    All this creepy “president” is doing, is fleecing the American taxpayer to pay off his loyalists in the unions. He has no respect for Americans or America. Why else would his first act as “president” be to go around the world apologizing for America? Why else would so many moslems and lifelong America-haters from the far left be among his inner circle? Why else would he have free-attendance memorials and tourist attractions barricaded? What have you done to yourselves, America? Illegals and 0bamacare are the least of your worries now!

    • Mick60

      @well done: I concur.

      ~lock and load~

  • izzyabby

    Is there a prayer that even one of these “navigators” isn’t a Democrat, progressive, left wing activitist, political operative, Obama voter or full blown Socialist?

    Probably not.

    Sounds “fair” to me. :-)

  • Gee

    It seems that there is very little to no difference between Democrats and Muslims.

    They both lie and will kill you if you aren’t thrilled with what they are doing

    • Habbgun

      That is an unfair insult to Moslems. Many of them are small businessmen and they aren’t in the business of selling “free” birth control. Democrats though have become the purest of collectivists.

  • Steve Lock

    Obama-care IS a Insurance company not a care provider (Hospitals are “care providers”).
    They are (trying) to provide Insurance coverage just like Blue Shield, Cross and the rest. Navigators are working for Obamacare they are getting funding from the Government there fore making them a subsidiary. WHy is the fair trades people not complaining that this Gov company is forcing them. This is paramount to price fixing. And corporate blackmail.

  • http://www.MARVINFOX.com/ Marvin E. Fox

    Obama seems to have a very soft spot for hiring the left to do jobs they may not care to get done. The Obama hirelings remind me of the Woodrow wilson’s 75,000 4 minute men. The 4 minute men weren’t’ serving a public need. They were supposer to give 4 minute speeches on street corners, or to any small group that would listen. The support was for Woodrow Wilson and his policies. Obama seems to be paying his friends with jobs. One wonders about the primary duty of such people. The service to the American people, or our Republic, may be a farther down on the list. We need a change in government.
    Marvin Fox

  • Judahlevi

    I love the name of “Project Veritas.” As we all know, “veritas” is Latin for truth (Harvard’s motto).

    They use this name and then tell people to lie.

    The Obama administration really is 1984 incarnated. Peace is war, love is hate.

    • BodieF

      But O’keefe is a convicted liar so opps…………

      • Judahlevi

        And Obama never tells lies?

  • DaRueStir

    I will not buy into this ‘healthcare’ scam, I will not pay any fines, I will however continue to buy ammunition.

    • BodieF

      Very wise choice. Lots of loaded guns and no health insurance equals freedom to die like a clueless, liberty loser who has no grasp of reality. I think that should should start your own insurance plan for freedom loving people.

  • J5

    Didn’t O’Keefe misrepresent Project Veritas’ own tax deductible status to donors? Charles Seife said O’Keefe broke tax laws himself. And why doesn’t O’Keefe go after the bigger tax cheats? Tax evasion is incredibly common, especially in cash businesses. O’Keefe is only going after ACA navigators because his secret sugar daddies hate Obama, but for anyone truly concerned about tax evasion, there are plenty of bigger sting targets out there.

    • BodieF

      Yes, the scummy hobbit needs cash since he had to pay the acorn worker he illegally taped AND edited to promote untruth.

      • J5

        He had white shoe DC firms representing him for free, because he is a tool of the super rich. Lost anyway…

  • infrahuman

    The same criminals navigating Obamacare will be navigating the 2014 and 2016 elections! As Obama’s goal of total collapse of the economy is finally achieved before the 2016 vote is in and he declares martial law, the only memory we will have left is the indelible image of John Boehner, grinning from ear to ear and giving the non-citizen, Muslim terrorist in the White House a Thumbs UP!