On Thursday, the Obama Administration unexpectedly handed out $13 million more than the $54 million in grants it originally budgeted for Obamacare “navigators,” including $655,000 to abortion provider Planned Parenthood.
“Navigators” is the term the Obama Administration has given to individuals or groups who will help herd uninsured Americans into the government’s healthcare exchanges.
Obamacare opponents view the $67 million in Obamacare enrollment funds as little more than a taxpayer-funded crony kickback to groups who have supported President Barack Obama. In total, the Administration handed out grants to over 100 groups in 34 states.
CNBC reports that the Obama Administration’s decision to enlist thousands of navigators to sign people up for Obamacare represents a major opportunity for con artists and identity thieves looking to exploit the Obamacare enrollment period.
“A con artist can claim to be anyone, for instance a ‘navigator’ who can help you apply for coverage through an exchange. They gain your trust and then ask for personal information to buy nonexistent policies,” writes CNBC’s Herb Weisbaum. “Fraud.org reports that some victims have been persuaded to wire money or send funds via prepaid debit card to get their full benefits.”
The Obama Administration, however, assures Americans that navigators will be trained and certified by the government and will face punishment if they run afoul of privacy laws.
Still, states are concerned, so much so that 19 of them have passed additional training requirements to prevent massive identity theft by con artists eager to prey on the chaos and confusion millions of uninsured citizens will experience as they try to make sense of Obamacare.