Morning Action: Obamacare Navigators to Receive $67 Million in Taxpayer Grants to Promote Obamacare
OBAMACARE. The Obama Administration will grant $67 million to various organizations called “navigators” that will “help people understand Obamacare”:
With the new health law’s enrollment period set to open in just a little more than six weeks, President Barack Obama’s administration announced $67 million in awards Thursday to organizations that will help people understand their new insurance opportunities and get signed up.
Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius announced the Navigator grant awards to 105 groups in states where the federal government will run online insurance marketplaces. Sebelius said consumers are “hungry for information.”
Ideally, navigators will use a variety of math and logic skills to walk people through the somewhat confusing process of buying insurance. For example, navigators will help people estimate their family income for 2014, important in determining eligibility for federal tax credits to help pay the cost of coverage.
PLANNED PARENTHOOD. Planned Parenthood, which was very instrumental in helping pass Obamacare, will receive $655,000 in taxpayer grants to act as “navigators” for the law:
This morning, the Obama Administration announced the award of over $655,000 in taxpayer grants to three Planned Parenthood affiliates to act as “navigators,” helping enroll Americans in federally facilitated insurance exchanges under Obamacare. Those grants are part of $67 million in federal funds that will go to over 100 organizations to help promote the health care law.
Planned Parenthood clinics across the country could stand to receive even larger influxes of taxpayer dollars from state and federal coffers as more of Obamacare is implemented. As Heritage’s Alyene Senger points out, fears of low enrollment in Obamacare exchanges have prompted both federal and state governments to begin funding an army of taxpayer-compensated community groups that will facilitate entrance into the health care marketplaces.
While federal navigators will help aid enrollment in the federally facilitated exchanges across 34 states, more than a dozen states setting up their own state-based exchanges before October plan to spend tens of millions in taxpayer dollars funding community group “assisters” to promote their marketplaces. Many of those “assisters” could also include local Planned Parenthood affiliates, providing additional streams of Obamacare funding to the largest abortion provider in the U.S.
SPECIAL TREATMENT. As the debate over Obamacare continues, let’s not forget how Congress is exempting its members and their staffs from the oppressive law:
“Heavens, I have staff who don’t make much money. This would be a really big bite for them.”
That could be any employer talking about the costs of Obamacare. But it’s a Member of Congress—who’s happy the President will soften the blow for him and his employees.
Ironically, when Members of Congress passed Obamacare, they kicked themselves and their staffs out of their current subsidized employer (federal government) coverage.
As Robert Pear, veteran health reporter for The New York Times, noted back in 2010, “If they did not know exactly what they were doing to themselves, did lawmakers who wrote and passed the bill fully grasp the details of how it would influence the lives of other Americans?”
Now, the Obama Administration says, “No problem.” Congress can keep their health care subsidies ($5,000 for individual coverage or $11,000 for family coverage) and use them in the new Obamacare exchanges.
OFA. The Washington Examiner reports that “President Obama’s former campaign operation turned tax-exempt social welfare organization” has been avoiding talk of so-called global warming in states with outspoken pro-coal Democrats:
Organizing for America, President Obama’s former campaign operation turned tax-exempt social welfare organization, is holding a series of global warming events across the country during its “Action August” campaign. Noticeably missing from the list of states holding such events are West Virginia and North Dakota.
West Virginia and North Dakota are home to some of the coal industry’s most supportive Democrats. Sens. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., and Heidi Heitkamp, D-N.D., are both outspoken critics of Obama’s “war on coal” and believe the president’s global warming plan will do more harm than good.
FOOD STAMPS. The Heritage Foundation highlights the story of a California beach bum living off of food stamps. Though he’s able bodied, he just doesn’t feel like working. The Obama administration’s decision to issue waivers for the federal work requirement for food stamp recipients certainly won’t help the situation: