HHS Resurrects 'ACORN' Through ObamaCare
ObamaCare provides millions of dollars in grants to hire community activists and others as "navigators" to assist individuals enroll in health insurance provided by state or federal exchanges and, according to recent reports, register people to vote. In a new rule proposed Wednesday, HHS lays out numerous guidelines for these "navigators", including paying them up to $48/hour for their work. The rule, guidelines and voter registration effort are a potential vehicle to resurrect ACORN or an ACORN-like entity.
One organization expected to take a lead role in distributing the funds and overseeing hiring is Enroll America, a new non-profit headed by Anne Filipic, a former Obama White House official under Valerie Jarrett. Filipic was also a senior staff member at OFA director and a former Obama campaign director. The organization was founded, in part, by Families USA, a far-left advocacy organization that lobbied aggressively for ObamaCare, a source at HHS told Breitbart News. Filipic has said she expects Enroll America to spend $100 million on the enrollment effort. A large percentage of this is likely to come from federal funds.
Ron Pollack, head of Families USA, has said their effort will be run like a "political campaign." Which has made many observers uneasy about the inclusion of voter registrations in the health care applications. LA Rep. Charles Boustany recently sent a letter to HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius, asking why voter registration information was included. Boustany worried:
The position of the question could lead some to think voter registration is somehow tied to subsidy eligibility.
Requirements for "navigators" is that they have no existing insurance licenses or certifications, conflicting with several recently enacted state laws. They also must be attuned to racial, ethnic and cultural sensitivities, understand "underserved communities" and provide translation services for virtually every language. AARP, NAACP and SEIU are prominent members of Enroll America's advisory board.
One health expert with close ties to HHS told Breitbart News, "The navigator program, as evidenced by the leadership of Enroll America and yesterday's rule from CMS, will be a jobs program for unemployable Obama For America campaign volunteers and ACORN remnants."
If a state has its own exchange, the feds will give them grants to hire "navigators," if a state doesn't, the feds will provide direct employment. The effort is expected to hire 10s of thousands of activists in the coming months.
October 1st is the first day individuals can enroll for a program through the exchanges. The government, as a result, will have to hire and train tens of thousands of workers on the complex subject of health insurance over the next few months. Think of it as an enormous census program with less training for a more complex subject.
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