Obamacare “Navigators” Outraged at Inquisition


September 11, 2013


It would be funny if it weren’t so serious. The groups that have received Obamacare “navigator” grants are outraged because Congress has asked them to detail the planned use of these taxpayer funds, which total $67 million.

A “navigator” is a new federally-funded government worker created by Obamacare. Their job is to implement Obamacare enrollment by gathering the necessary personal data from individuals and submitting a federal application on behalf of individuals for Obamacare exchange coverage. There will be thousands of navigators across the country, an army of taxpayer-funded Obamacare troops.

This is why we need you to contribute today to our “Refuse to Enroll” counter-campaign. Navigators are not the end of the federal ACA marketing machine. HHS has initiated a $12 million campaign to drive people into the government Exchanges. Help us give citizens a chance to see the dark side of Obamacare before they unwittingly enroll.

Of the 104 groups that received navigator grants, the U.S. House Energy and Commerce Committee sent letters to 51 of them asking for detailed information on:

  • The work that will be performed with the funds.
  • Detailed descriptions of how the funding will be utilized.
  • The training and education the navigators must receive and complete.
  • How the organization hiring navigators will use the private information gathered from enrolling individuals.
  • The processes the grantees will use to supervise navigators and other employees.

Pretty simple stuff, and quite common reporting requirements for organizations receiving grant dollars, but the groups are protesting vehemently. Rep. Frank Pallone (D-NJ) even called the request for data “harassment and intimidation tactics….with no justification for their actions.”

Oh, the irony of this outrage. Reach back to the moment on May 10 when Lois Lerner, head of the IRS Exempt Organizations division, tried unsuccessfully to “apologize” for three years of targeting conservative groups with lengthy and intrusive questionnaires. Lerner tried to sweep the IRS scandel under the rug, but it didn’t work. The IRS actions were unjust, illegal, and politically-biased government harrassment at the highest level. But now, with $67 million in taxpayer dollars and the privacy of millions of Americans at stake, Congress has every right and reason to ask for accountability.

First to express concern were 13 state attorneys general. In an August 14 letter to HHS Secretary Sebelius, they expressed concerns about privacy, identity theft and fraud as citizens hand over a wealth of private income, employment, family, and health data to these “navigators” during the Obamacare exchange application. As the AGs write, neither the law nor its regulations require background or fingerprint checks. There are, they say, no prohibitions against hiring someone who has committed a criminal act.

And where is all that money going? The Washington Post reports eight Texas groups received “a total of $10.8 million and plan to train more than 150 paid workers and volunteers.” That means less than 150 paid workers. So do the math as if there were 150 paid workers and no high-priced administrators. They would each be paid $72,000, or $34.61 per hour. Yet the article also notes that an Arizona group is only paying their workers $15 per hour, or a $31,200 annual income for a full-time worker. Here’s the question. What is Texas paying and if it’s anywhere near the Arizona rate, where is all the rest of the money going? How many high-priced bureaucrat executives, fancy offices and expensive travel expenses will there be? Remember how the IRS used $4.1 million taxpayer dollars for one fancy conference.

Congress is right to request detailed information. The total spending started at $54 million, but increased to $67 million after the Obama administration siphoned money from the ACA prevention and public health fund. They appears to be using every dollar they can get their hands on to drive the public into the ACA’s government exchanges, or as I call them, Obamacare implementation centers.

Just like the law was slapped together in a hurry, the enrollment process is being slapped together with only three weeks until Obamacare enrollment begins and little thought given to the privacy, fraud and budget ramifications of its slipshod processes on the American public. Today’s hearing on the intrusive Federal Data Hub (and the navigators who will access the data) showed just how slipshod it is.

To thwart Obama’s enrollment goal of 7 million people the first year, please contribute to our “Refuse to Enroll” campaign. Help us put up more billboards and bus shelter posters -- in your state!

If the people refuse to enroll in Obamacare coverage, the law can be stalled until it’s repealed. Insufficient enrollment = insufficient funding = Obamacare failure.

Please contribute generously today!

Thank you in advance for your support!

Working together with you for health freedom,

Twila Brase, RN, PHN
President and Co-founder