Yes, the lobster makes sense, I’ll explain in a minute…
We now have seen a list of 465 Obamacare navigators. What can this list tell us about the program?
1. Millions and millions of dollars
It is important to understand that all the navigators listed are not just helping steer people through the Obamacare maze out of the goodness of their hearts. Each group/person listed has been awarded a grant (translate: tax payer dollars) to “navigate” people through the process.
For example, the Community Action Network of Nebraska (CAN) which has a few chapters amongst the listings, was awarded a grant for $562, 457.
There are 454 listings other than CAN.
While the grants are variable in amount, imagine the math on this, and how much has been spent-millions upon millions.
2. Where are the young people?
If you scan the navigators, one thing becomes clear. It is geared toward minority and low income populations, the people who often do not have insurance. From that perspective, it makes a certain amount of sense. But low income is going to get subsidies or Medicaid. In order to sustain the system, you need the young healthy folks who don’t already have insurance to sign up to be able to pay into the system so it doesn’t collapse on itself.
Apart from a few college-oriented listings, the search for those people seems to be lacking in the make-up of the navigators.
3. Why these guys?
Who made the selection of these people and how were they vetted? We already have been told they received no background checks, which in and of itself, is a bit frightening, considering the sensitive nature of the information with which they will be dealing. What accounting do they have to make, if they received a grant? Generally, a grant would require a full accounting of the expenditures. Who will be looking to make sure the money is spent correctly?
While there are healthcare providers amongst the navigators, there are others who have no relation to healthcare at all, and others whose selection is perhaps in accord with this administration’s political inclinations.
We reported last night the controversial choice of 14 Planned Parenthood chapters. There is also the Arab Community Center for Economic and Social Services in Dearborn, as well as multiple agencies directed at immigrant workers and Native Americans.
There’s even the “National Tongan America Society”. I don’t mean to be insulting in saying that I don’t think Tongans are a huge drain on our economy.
My personal favorite is the Maine Lobsterman’s Association. That seems a bit strange, but actually I can see where it might make sense-fishermen, who do not have employer insurance, who might actually make some money, and who often haven’t secured insurance. Any navigator reaching out to those who could actually pay into the system would be more likely to sustain the system.
There are also multiple “community action” groups, many of which sound like ACORN reborn. Amongst those, there is Seedco. Seedco has a “seedy” past. Seedco was under investigation by both NY State and the Federal government for fraud for falsely reporting jobs they supposedly had obtained for workers pursuant to a grant. The U.S. Attorney brought a civil fraud charge against them and they paid $1.725 million in a settlement in December 2012. Despite this, President Obama gave them a multi-million dollar contract for Obamacare. Or should I say, we paid the settlement at least in some measure, since they received more tax dollars for training for Obamacare. “As a result of these and other operational changes, we strongly believe that Seedco has the experience, integrity and commitment to carry out this work,” a Seedco statement said when queried about their involvement in Obamacare.
Perhaps the most clearly political choice is South Carolina Progressive Network. Really? Here’s a picture from their network:
The referenced navigator list doesn’t seem to be the complete list as there are other individuals and organizations I have heard of that don’t seem to be listed.
Questions need to be asked and need to continue to come to make sure that this doesn’t become even more of a money pit than it already is.
HT: Dapandico for SC Progressive pic