Since the implementation of Obamacare and the new development of healthcare "navigators," both Democrats and Republicans have been sounding the alarm about potential fraud and identity theft that could come as a result. Obamacare "navigators" have been hired throughout the country to help people get enrolled in exchanges and landing a job as a navigator is easy considering passing a background check isn't necessary or required (as a reminder, navigators have access to detailed personal information and health information).
The exchange, known as Covered California, recently adopted rules for a network of more than 21,000 enrollment counselors who will provide consumers with in-person assistance as part of the federal Affordable Care Act. In some cases, they will have access to personal and financial information, from ID cards to medical histories.
But the state insurance commissioner and anti-fraud groups say the exchange is falling short in ensuring that the people hired as counselors are adequately screened and monitored.
Insurance Commissioner Dave Jones also said the exchange does not have a plan for investigating any complaints that might arise once the counselors start work. That means consumers who might fall prey to bogus health care products, identity theft and other abuses will have a hard time seeking justice if unscrupulous counselors get ahold of their Social Security number, bank accounts, health records or other private information, he said.
"We can have a real disaster on our hands," Jones, a Democrat, said in an interview.
Growing concerns about identity theft and fraud have led the Illinois Department of Insurance to issue a public warning, just as the new health insurance exchanges enter their implementation phase.
Concern focuses on those charged with assisting Illinoisans with enrollment to the new health insurance exchanges, the so-called “navigators.”
So who exactly are these people? Some are former ACORN workers.
A group formed from the ruins of ACORN is hard at work signing people up for ObamaCare, and may be collecting taxpayer cash for their work despite Congress' efforts to cut the organization and its affiliates off from government funding, a watchdog group charged.
The United Labor Unions Council Local 100, a New Orleans-based nonprofit, announced last month it would take part in a multi-state "navigator" drive to help people enroll in President Obama's health care plan. The labor council was established by ACORN founder Wade Rathke after his larger group was broken up amid scandal in 2009 and banned from receiving taxpayer funds.
The government has given out $67 million in Navigator grants to help with the controversial rollout of ObamaCare. It was not clear if Local 100 got a grant of its own, but it has set up a help center with Southern United Neighborhoods, a charity founded in March 2010 with many former ACORN members, to enroll people in ObamaCare. Southern United Neighborhoods received a Navigator grant of $486,123.
Let me remind you of exactly why the criminal enterprise known as ACORN was stripped of federal funding in 2009: the organization was promoting tax evasion, underage human trafficking, underage prostitution, voter fraud and more. ACORN's criminal activity was exposed by the late Andrew Breitbart, Hannah Giles and James O'Keefe through a series of undercover videos. To put things into perspective, think about the last time Congress defunded anything.....they hardly ever do, but ACORN was so bad and full of corruption that defunding was pushed through in bipartisan fashion.
Republicans succeeded in drawing overwhelming support from Democrats Thursday to eliminate federal funding to a now-scandalized ACORN, the community organizing group that has come under heavy fire in the wake of damaging undercover videos that purport to show counselors giving advice on tax fraud to a "pimp" and "prostitute."
The House voted 345-75 to strike ACORN funding from a student aid bill with two voting present.
Later, the Senate voted 85-11 to eliminate ACORN funding from an Interior Department spending bill.
Surprised former ACORN workers are helping with Obamacare? You shouldn't be. President Barack Obama has a long history with the "community organizing" fraudster group and was heavily tied to them during his time in Chicago.
|Katie Pavlich is the News Editor at Townhall.com. Follow her on Twitter @katiepavlich. She is also the author of Fast and Furious: Barack Obama's Bloodiest Scandal and the Shameless Cover-Up.
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