DRAINING THE SWAMP: Top 40 Troubling Listings from the Obamacare Navigator/Assister Security Nightmare (UPDATED)
UPDATE: Rep. Louie Gohmert read this PJ Media report on the House floor today. Heard about those two or three bad apples? Here’s 40 more. Remember, Healthcare.gov admits using the honor system for certification.
October 29, 2013 - 9:05 am
Last week, we reported that the “honor system” is being used to confirm the identity and certification of Navigators/Assisters. The “Find Local Help” feature on Healthcare.gov refers consumers to potential predators.
We have since reviewed, state by state, every single Navigator/Assister that Healthcare.gov currently displays to the public via “Find Local Help”.
This search revealed two additional dangers of the Navigator/Assister system:
1. The consumer is vulnerable, but so is the taxpayer. The program is rife with organizations that have advocated for “open borders,” have helped illegal immigrants dodge apprehension, and have attempted to give illegal immigrants access to additional taxpayer-funded resources.
Such organizations are obvious risks to fraudulently register illegal immigrants for subsidized health insurance, and as such, have no business being included in the government-funded Navigator/Assister program.
2. Regulations require Navigators/Assisters to be “unbiased.” However, many organizations that were founded partly or entirely to advocate for politically left-leaning policies — including causes such as “universal health care,” “single-payer,” and Obamacare itself — are nonetheless part of the program.
Many of these groups already receive government funding, which further raises the obvious conflict-of-interest issues. As many will be paid according to the number of consumers successfully registered for an Obamacare plan, such groups have several incentives to steer consumers away from free-market plans that may be superior options.
Outside of the below list, only a handful of suspicious, “open borders,” or politically biased organizations have yet been exposed nationally. Below, a list of 40 to spur the much-needed discussion.
This list is divided into three categories. Some listings may fit more than one category, but all are listed only according to the primary concern regarding each:
1. Open Borders Groups: These groups exist in part or in whole to secure greater federal benefits for illegal immigrants. As such, all are obvious risks to fraudulently register illegals for subsidized insurance.
2. Politically Biased Organizations: Obamacare regulations require all registered help to be “unbiased.” Yet these groups include leftist political advocacy as a primary part of their mission, presenting conflict-of-interest problems. Additionally, they have financial incentives to steer consumers away from free-market plans.
3. Suspicion Regarding Legitimacy: Of great concern, considering Healthcare.gov does not guarantee the legitimacy of any listings. While some of these listings may be legitimate, Healthcare.gov saw fit to approve and expose these suspicious listings to consumers with no further information to assist with their choice.
A final note: These listings are certainly incomplete. Community health centers have generally been excluded from it, though the sector has generally been supportive of the push for Obamacare. If included, this list would be several times longer.
Also, a Part 2 of this article is forthcoming.
Open Borders Groups
1. Campesinos Sin Fronteras: “Farmworkers Without Borders.” This open-borders organization has participated in countless rallies and activities advocating for the decriminalization of illegal immigration. For just one example, read of Director Emma Torres organization of a march in 2006:
The five-mile walk was marked by chanting, the waving of American and Mexican flags, and showing placards of opposing Senator Sensenbrener’s proposal to criminalize undocumented immigrants, and those who help them.
Emma Torres, advisor at the Institute of Mexicans Living Abroad (IME) and director of Farm Workers Without Borders, stated that a committee had recently been formed to plan the May 1 event. Around 30 people formed the committee in order to convoke a boycott of commercial goods and services and a walkout of jobs and schools.
The purpose of the committee, said Torres, is for the Untied States to feel the weight of the contribution of immigrants because, “a lot of people deny the contribution that we make as legal or illegal immigrants, and they don’t want to see that we have so much power in the economy.”
2. Hispanic Women’s Organization of Arkansas: This group’s website boasts of its being an affiliate of leading radical open-borders organization La Raza:
The success of HWOA programs and events also lies in its affiliations with local, state, and national organizations. In 2001, HWOA was selected to participate in the Emerging Latino Communities Initiative (ELCI) of the National Council of La Raza (NCLR) Since October 1st, 2004, HWOA has been an affiliate of NCLR, whose mission is to reduce poverty and discrimination, and improve life opportunities for Hispanic Americans.
3. Center for Pan Asian Community Services: This organization has expressed its support of just about every attempt to legalize the U.S. illegal population, and additionally expressed displeasure with Voter ID law. They rallied against the Supreme Court’s decision in Shelby v. Holder, inviting members to participate in a “Voter Suppression Update teleconference”. They approved of the Associated Press’ decision to remove “illegal immigrant” from their style guide. They frequently and enthusiastically expressed their support for the passage of Obamacare.
In 2007, when the idea of a $10,000 fine instead of deportation for illegal immigrants was floated in Washington, D.C., CPACS Executive Director Chaiwon Kim gave the following statement:
People who are in the country illegally tend to be among the poorest clients at the Center for Pan Asian Community Services, said Chaiwon Kim, executive director of the Doraville nonprofit. So she doubts many could pay a fine beyond a couple thousand dollars.
“Most of the undocumented, they are really underpaid,” she said. “In a way, they’ve already paid society.”
4. Puerto Rican Cultural Center: The first thing that appears on the website (as of last week) is a statement from the organization Centro Sin Fronteras:
Centro Sin Fronteras is involved in the struggle to stop deportations and having a moratorium. We march and fight for the rights of immigrants. We march to stop the deportations and separations of our families. We are asking Obama to stop the deportations now but instead while the Senate is debating to pass an immigration reform they are deporting and separating even more families than before.
In 2010, PRCC’s Executive Director Jose E. Lopez “was awarded the prestigious 2010 Health Award from the Health and Medicine Policy Research Group. The Health and Medicine Research Policy Group is an independent policy center promoting social justice and health care equality for the past 29 years in Chicago.”
5. Hispanic Liaison of Chatham County: This group operates a Victim’s Assistance program, which helps crime victims concerned about pursuing justice due to their illegal status:
Our Bilingual Victim’s Assistance Program began in 1997 with funding from the North Carolina Governor’s Crime Commission. This program has been successful due to the trust we have developed with the Latino population and our collaborative relationship with community agencies. Several factors limit Latinos’ access to law enforcement and emergency services, including fear of the unknown, fear of documentation checks and lack of awareness that victims do not have to pay for an attorney.
6. World Relief Chicago: This organization’s position on illegal immigration appears clear: They are currently assisting children of illegal immigrants in delaying their deportation through the DACA program; their Twitter account links to an article titled: “Undocumented Migrants in US Gaining Improved Access to Higher Education.”
7. Alliance of Filipinos for Immigrant Rights and Empowerment: From their site’s “Civic Reflection” page:
A recently formed Chicago advocacy group for immigrant rights, the Alliance of Filipinos for Immigrant Rights and Empowerment (AFIRE), supports comprehensive immigration reform and more just treatment of undocumented immigrants. Since late last year, AFIRE has been using conversation about readings by Pablo Neruda, Franz Kafka, Toni Cade Bambara and others to develop its organizational structure and mission.
8. Asian Health Coalition: In 2007, Soo Na of the Asian Health Coalition gave a lecture titled “Cultural Competency: Working with Immigrants and Undocumented Populations” at a three-day CDC conference. Presumably, Soo Na gathered such expertise via AHC extensively assisting illegals. The organization was certainly willing to be associated with such a lecture.
9. Asian Human Services: In May of this year, this organization signed on to an open letter to President Obama demanding “a clear roadmap to citizenship for the 11 million aspiring citizens and dignifies the individual and our nation by ensuring access to affordable health care and needed nutrition assistance.”
In short: this organization advocates for taxpayer-funded medical benefits for illegals, the precise type of entity that has no business actually performing the registration for medical benefits.
10. Association House of Chicago: This non-profit has been in existence for 114 years, but recently has shown pride in the partnership with, and accolades it receives from, La Raza:
May 2013: Association House of Chicago’s AmeriCorps team was selected by the National Council of La Raza (NCLR) as the 2013 Best AmeriCorps Team of the Year. Individually, AmeriCorps member Sammie Santiago was named the recipient of the 2013 NCLR Excellence in Youth Literacy Award.
April 2012: The Out of School Time Program received special recognition by the National Council of La Raza for its assistance in developing the “Thinkfinity for NCLR After-School Curriculum Guide.”
July 2011: Out of School Time Program staff presented at the 2011 National Council of La Raza National Conference for the second year in a row, presenting on our effective Out of School Time partnerships and collaborations. The program is also a participating member of the NCLR Afterschool coalition, which is made up of a select number of agencies.
March 2011: Behavioral Health Division Director, Wanda Figueroa-Peralta, EdD, LCPC, was honored by LaRaza publications as a recipient of the 2011 Mujeres Destacadas Leadership Award.
11. Brighton Park Neighborhood Council: This organization’s site is filled with leftist phrases such as “education justice” and “immigrants’ rights”; the latter certainly refers to illegals as well, considering one of their primary advocacy causes is passage of the DREAM Act.
BPNC additionally is in the tasteless business of recruiting young students into the world of Marxist activism:
“BPNC youth leaders and organizers developed GRYTA (Grassroots Youth Training for Activism), to provide other youth with the language, framework and skills to critically think about issues affecting their schools and community and to take action. GRYTA workshop topics include the basics of community organizing, social justice, systems of oppression … “
Perhaps most tasteless? These “rules for radicals” workshops are only open to “youth of color.”
12. Casa Guanajuato: This group recently received a grant to help children of illegals defer deportation, and in April they participated in a rally to demand “a pathway to citizenship” for all illegals.
13. Casa Michoacan: The website is in Spanish, but this English-language link describes their mission:
Casa Michoacan is the umbrella organization for dozens of hometown associations under the Federacion de Clubes Michoacanos in Illinois (FEDECMI). These hometown associations work to improve the life conditions of people from the Mexican state of Michoacan who reside on both sides of the border.
“Undocumented Immigrant Organizers & Students Gather to Watch Obama Announcement Immigration Reform.”
14. Centro de Informacion: This organization recently hosted Senator Dick Durbin to discuss his thoughts on the Gang of Eight proposals. Durbin is the original author and sponsor of the DREAM Act.
15. Centro De Trabajadores Unidos: “The Immigrant Workers’ Project.” This is a classic community organizing group. Their primary advocacy involves organizing and unionizing immigrant labor; they additionally fight for “comprehensive immigration reform that keeps families together.”
I didn’t search further into this entity; “no more deportations” whatsoever is definitive.
17. Illinois Migrant Council: This organization has been involved with helping illegal immigrants get the Mexican ID card, or “matricula consular” card. This is an ID card issued by the government of Mexico stating the bearer is a Mexican citizen living abroad. The point was to provide some quasi-legal status to illegals for the purpose of applying to U.S. financial institutions and even applying for driver’s licenses — some states allow this. The problem is that the card is issued by the Mexican government, which offers virtually no semblance of an acceptable standard for the card’s applicant verification process, rendering it useless for U.S. security purposes.
This organization has contributed to this security nightmare, even opening a new office to help distribute the card. In 2004, Jaceson Scharnhorst of the Illinois Migrant Council was quoted as follows:
Although the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Service estimates that about 7 million undocumented residents reside in the United States, there’s really no way to know how many live in a given area, according to Jaceson Scharnhorst of the Illinois Migrant Council.
“There are no real good numbers,” he said. “The population is mobile and often seasonal, so there’s no way to track them. There are estimates from (Citizenship and Immigration Service), but they’re based on the census.”
But it’s clear to the government that a large demographic shift has taken place, with large populations of Hispanic immigrants arriving over several years.
That’s why the Illinois Migrant Council opened a new office in Collinsville. Funded by the U.S. Department of Labor, the council assists migrant workers with job placement, vocational training, even scholarships and English classes.
“There’s a crisis with immigrants without identification,” Scharnhorst said. “This card doesn’t let them pass the border. It just identifies them … Most of the people who criticize or suspect that someone can pass off these cards haven’t seen them. Let’s have identification and know where people are.”
Politically Biased Organizations
18. Planned Parenthood: Many Planned Parenthood locations nationally are listed as Navigators/Assisters. They have received significant federal funding.
19. Kachemak Bay Family Planning Clinic: In 2011, executive director Michelle Waneka published an op-ed railing against Congressional Republican attempts to eliminate Title X funding, which provided federal money to family planning clinics, including Planned Parenthood (despite Waneka’s false claim that no Title X-funded clinics provided abortions).
The clinic’s Facebook page also expressed displeasure with an Alaska state law that banned providing abortions to girls under the age of 16 without parental consent.
20. Urban League (several locations): For decades, the Urban League has been a consistent advocate of left-leaning political stances. Recently, the Urban League expressed great displeasure with Voter ID law by founding Occupy the Vote. They condemned the Supreme Court’s decision in Shelby County v. Eric Holder. They have expressed strong, continuing support for affirmative action in college admissions.
21. Asian Pacific Community in Action: APCA is a local partner of The Leadership Conference, which bills itself as “the nation’s premier civil and human rights coalition.” This collection of left-leaning and radical organizations includes the Urban League, the Southern Poverty Law Center, MALDEF, and the ACLU. Ms. Zeenat Hasan is listed as program director for Health Through Action, and her bio states:
Previously, Ms. Hasan worked in the border regions of Arizona trying to bring a human face to the contentious immigration debates and to raise consciousness about the humanitarian crises taking place in the borderlands.
22. International Rescue Committee in Tucson: An international organization originally founded to save European Jews from the Nazis, the group is now run by Former UK Foreign Secretary David Miliband. Miliband once stated the following regarding his political beliefs:
The role of social democrats is to take the values of ethical socialism and put them into practice in a gradual way.
Miliband precisely confirms the flip-side of the aphorism: “Communists are liberals in a hurry.”
23. Regional Center for Border Health: CEO/ President Amanda Aguirre is a former Democratic Arizona state senator — advocating for liberal positions while holding office sure sounds like evidence of bias. Note that Planned Parenthood endorsed her candidacy.
24. Arkansas Voices: Bias? Founder and Director Dee Ann Newell was named one of President Barack Obama’s Champions of Change. She is also “the recipient of a Soros Foundation Senior Justice Fellowship of the Open Society.”
25. Arab American Action Network: Bias is just the tip of the iceberg regarding this rabidly anti-Semitic organization.
They originally gained national attention in 2008, when founder and former Palestinian terror spokesman Rashid Khalidi was revealed to have a close relationship with Barack Obama.
26. Arab American Family Services: This organization has a history of thwarting U.S. attempts to weed out security threats in the Muslim community by claiming discrimination. They also express contempt for Israel.
This article describes a film event they organized: “Filmmaking couple touches on oppression in native Palestine.”
27. Campaign for Better Health Care: Bias? Ahem:
“Led the Illinois effort for universal health care during the early 1990′s health care reform struggle by passing a comprehensive single payer plan in both the health care Senate and House Health Care Committees. (1991-1994).”
“CBHC Executive Director was appointed by Governor Blagojevich to serve on the Adequate Health Care Task Force. (2005).”
28. CFL Workers Assistance Committee: If you’re livid that unions won deferral of the insurance mandate — despite having fought tooth-and-nail to get Obamacare passed, they then demanded an exemption from it — you should look further into this group. The CFL stands for Chicago Federation of Labor, the century-old, often-thuggish collection of unions that helped define the “Chicago Way.”
29. Southern United Neighborhoods: This organization funded screenings of the movie Unnatural Causes, which argues that racism can explain poor health. Their leader Marianna Butler is the former self-described “head organizer” for ACORN in Lousiana.
30. Western Maine Community Action: This group claimed a shockingly large 2012 budget of $9,435,583. Of that number, over $8,300,000 came from government contracts. Their existence depends almost entirely on continued public funding, an obvious incentive for bias.
Perhaps not coincidentally, the group’s leader Celeste Branham is a devotee of redistributive policies. She once wrote:
The budget deficit can be brought down with a broad vision and a sense of social justice, asking those who have benefited the most from current governmental policies to give back in full measure according to what they have received.
In other words — from each according to his abilities to each according to his needs. An advocate for Marxism cannot be considered an unbiased source for information regarding state-run health insurance.
Suspicion Regarding Legitimacy
31. In-Affordable Housing, Inc.: This Arkansas non-profit promoting home ownership has existed for almost 20 years, though never appears to have had any involvement whatsoever with health care. Its website makes no mention of its Obamacare Assister status.
32. Chatman, LLC: This mysterious website features nothing besides two generic pictures from iStockPhoto, a mention that Chatman, LLC will be an Obamacare Navigator in Delaware, and two links to announcements about the Navigator grant.
However, both links mention that Chatman, LLC received a grant to assist in Maryland, not Delaware. A bit too mysterious for an entity that received … a whopping $510,577 grant.
33. The Family Healthcare Foundation: No web presence whatsoever, except for an article mentioning its existence. No email address. Just a phone number.
34. Canaide Inc.: This company is either an independent insurance provider or a support brokerage. The web address from the search listing: www.yourwebsite.org.
Be sure to call during their office hours, which are “41522.”
35. 2Hurt2Cry: This bizarrely named entity boasts an equally mystifying web presence. Your guess is as good as mine as to what services it offers or what its mission is based on the statements it provides, which are objectively nonsense:
“WHY THE NAME? 2hurt2cry … We are “often” overlooked… We place family first… We continue to breathe pass the pain…. We figure things out and need no pity… We appreciate all helping hands….
HOW WE CAN HELP… Providing knowledge & “services” for business GROWTH… Providing information & “tools” for communities… Providing accessible “education” curriculum’s… Providing “advocates” for your health needs… We are also known as 2H2C, Inc”
The extraneous quotation marks above appear on the site.
36. Cutting Edge Health Options: The Office of the Georgia Secretary of State lists this entity’s status as “Administratively Dissolved,” and over a year late with filing its annual registration and paying its fee. The Primary Address in the record does not match the address that accompanies the Healthcare.gov search listing. The site address in the search listing is for the Fort MacPherson Action Community Coalition, and the email address is a free Gmail account.
37. Homebound Services, Inc.-Med Connection: This appears to be two active companies located at the same address. However, the search listing strangely lists the web address for Georgia Southern University (spelled incorrectly), which does not appear to have an office at this address nor have any connection to the company. Email address is simply email@example.com.
38. Nwe (sic) Beginnings Medical Services: The address for this listing is a tiny freestanding office building that is either empty (several realtors had it listed prior to removing it from the market) or houses a nephrology practice. But searching for the doctor associated with the address reveals that she practices elsewhere. The website from the listing does not exist. I tried with several different spellings to account for typos, considering the misspelling of “New.” The email address sounds like a spam address: firstname.lastname@example.org.
39. Village Communicator, Inc.: Oh boy. This is either a non-profit, or a for-profit “Miscellaneous Publisher.” Both listings are associated with a Dr. Carman S. Clark, a psychologist practicing at the address in the search listing, who maintains an avid interest in astral projection:
This meetup is for those whose have had experiences with the paranormal such as near-death experiences, hauntings, possessions, déjà-vue, ghost sightings, strange dreams, out-of-body experiences, astral travel or any other areas of a spiritual nature. I started this group because of my understanding of the paranormal and parapsychology. I want to explore the topic of what happens when we die and what is our purpose for living. As a Psychologist, my goal is to discuss and achieve spiritual enlightenment so as to remove the fear of dying and achieve a fuller appreciation for life.
The website Dr. Clark lists in her search listing – http://www.villagecommunityservices.com – does not exist on the internet, but may be viewable by believers.
40. Metro-east Area Communities For Empowerment: I have found two different addresses for this entity. One is a house and one is a P.O Box. Neither of the two matches the address from the search listing.
Which, according to Google Earth, is not a real place. There is no actual 12th Street here, but Google Earth estimates that if there was, it would be located on top of what appears to be an empty lot with several mounds of dirt. Each about the size of a coffin.
Speaking of … the listing’s web address takes you to The Historic Cemetery Preservation Association.