Challenge to Georgia Media or enterprising aspiring journos: Find out if Georgia’s ACA Navigators Behave This Badly

Monday guerrilla videographer James O’Keefe released a video showing Affordable Care Act Navigators in Texas telling someone to lie on his health insurance application, not to disclose his actual income, and not admit he is a smoker in order to save money on his premium. The video also shows that the Navigators share information with left-wing political group Battleground Texas. The purpose of the information sharing was to “turn Texas blue.”

Three of the people shown in the video were suspended and one was fired yesterday, and I’m sure they are hoping the story goes away now. However, O’Keefe has said he has more and will be sharing it soon.

Here in Georgia, two groups were given federal grants to train and hire Navigators:

SEEDCO (Structured Employment Economic Development Corporation) will receive nearly $2.2 million, and the UGA College of Family and Consumer Sciences and Cooperative Extension Service will get nearly $1.7 million.

SEEDCO in turn partnered with 14(!) other organizations to hire and train Navigators here in Georgia:

The organization — which also will operate navigator programs in Tennessee, Maryland and New York — will work with 14 community partner organizations in Georgia, including Georgians for a Healthy Future, Healthy Mothers Healthy Babies Coalition, Georgia Watch, and Mental Health America of Georgia.

We don’t know with whom the UGA College of Family and Consumer Sciences and Cooperative Extension Service is partnering with, if anyone.

Here’s my challenge to anyone in the media or some aspiring journalist or filmmaker out there: Investigate Georgia’s Navigators and the myriad of organizations involved in the Navigator program. Let us know if the outrageous behavior seen in Texas is happening here in Georgia. Peach Pundit will be more than happy to provide an outlet for the results of your investigation – good, bad, or ugly. When you have something, send it to the Tip Line, or email me directly at buzzbrockway-at-gmail.com.

Whether you support the ACA or not, the stated goal of the program is to help people without health care to get it and to help everyone else get better insurance. It is not supposed to be a venue for fraud, nor is it supposed to be a gigantic tax-payer funded vote getting operation for Democrats. The public deserves better than that, and they need to know public money is being spent legally.

44 comments

    • Tina Trent says:

      SEEDCO is one of those massive “nonprofit” (except for the salaries — Barbara Dwyer Gunn scores an annual cool 400K plus) “workplace readiness” boondoggles that receives taxpayer money AND grants from banks and healthcare agencies to do the sort of useless (and curiously malleable, leaping from job readiness to insurance to “green” anything to “food deserts” to home rehab) “community outreach” provision that increasingly gets written into legislation like the Recovery Act, Obamacare, and anything HUD or Freddie Mac dreams up overnight to spend our cash. We pay for this stuff while leftists use it to build the infrastructure of their activism on our dime. Then we pay for it again as markets crash and healthcare skyrockets because of the very laws and bureaucratic initiatives that are paying SEEDCO et. al. to do “outreach” in the first place.

      Then we pay for this activism a third time as poverty rates rise as a consequence of such policies and SEEDCO hoovers even more HUD/DHHS etc. contracts to address the economic crises they helped goose up with their activism.

      Nice work if you can get it.

      Fresh out of college and cringingly naive, I worked for similar rackets in Atlanta and got a real education in the multiplicity of ways taxpayer money gets stolen in the name of “helping the poor” — with no consequences. I came to the conclusion that any nonprofit that promises “workplace readiness” to “underserved populations” is already telling two lies while picking your pocket. That goes double in Atlanta, where tidal waves of federal taxpayer money were handed to Bill Campbell — then Shirley, and now Kasem.

      That’s what I learned in VISTA, in Atlanta, in 1991. I’m going to do a little research into the GA navigator grant recipients — plenty of familiar faces there — and I’ll post the info on my blog, tinatrent.com. Meanwhile, here is a report detailing this sort of “faux-lanthropy” as it operated through the Recovery Act (the activists now posing as healthcare navigators hoovered up Recovery Act money too) http://sorosfiles.com/soros/2012/04/obama-stimulus-dollars-funded-soros-empire.html

      By the way, the recovery.gov website, which contains a wealth of information about who got what from the taxpayers, doesn’t seem to be working. It’s a crucial resource for researching the healthcare boondoggle, since the usual suspects get these federal grants over and over again.

  1. Hardly says:

    Here’s my challenge: Find somebody who had been denied coverage because of a pre-existing condition, will get coverage under Obamacare, and is pissed off about it.

        • mpierce says:

          I didn’t ask to claim a prize.

          They may have previously been denied coverage as I assume to went into a high risk pool for a reason. How do you know they have never been denied coverage?

          The point was coverage for those with pre-existing conditions was being cancelled and their new premiums are going up.

          • John Konop says:

            In all fairness, the monthly premium is not what you pay on the macro. You have to look at limits, co-pays, coverage……..As I am sure you know it would be rather silly not to look at the full deal.

            • mpierce says:

              On a macro, they wanted to stay with the plan they had instead of being forced off to pay higher premiums with a higher deducible. I am sure they know what plan suits their needs better than you, me or Washington.

            • bgsmallz says:

              “The point was coverage for those with pre-existing conditions was being cancelled and their new premiums are going up.”

              Uhhh….False.

              Read the article again…actually, you can just read the headline…. High Risk Pools canceled. Premiums for SOME going up.

              So if premiums for some are going up…that means that premiums for some are going down, too, right? Why weren’t those folks interviewed on Fox News? Fair and Balanced, right?

              There are a lot of things not to like about Obamacare. We would all be best served starting with the truth.

              • John Konop says:

                Guys,

                I hope you guys use better judgement than that buying a healthcare policy, loans……if you do not understand all the factors that it is a fools purchase. For a fee I will consult with you…….or let me keep 50 percent of the savings if you really shop that way……

    • Dave Bearse says:

      Or course it will. The GOP continues to fail at the national level because its Tea Party base demands outrage. The base is easily kept energized in outrage when inconvenient facts emerge about one scandal by simply flashy a shiny new object to draw attention to another.

      Birtherism had a long run as the go-to scandal, and it’s still has mileage left for some elements. Benghazi? There was the trail of Benghazi e-mails that implied the White House directed misinformation and cover up. Oops, e-mails were taken out of context by omitting e-mail from the e-mail trail.

      How about the White House directing the IRS to scrutinize conservatives groups to take its place? Sorry, it wasn’t at White House direction, nor were only conservative groups being scrutinized.

      Now there’s the novelty of the GOP outrage at a troubled Obamacare rollout that they wanted to fail anyway. The roll out is supposed to be fixed, but there’s the bauble of CBS’ 60 Minutes report that the Benghazi coverup was real! Too bad CBS’ evidence was as real as that of the moon walk taking place in a studio.

      • Tina Trent says:

        You’re not telling the truth here, Dave. I worked with dozens of nonprofits in Atlanta on the left side and NEVER had any problems with the IRS. Once I started consulting with conservative groups, the applications were frozen and outrageous demands were placed on those grassroots activists. I’ve never seen anything like it. I personally work with two organizations with pristine records that have been blocked. This is a severe scandal.

        What’s your expertise? Comment thread snark doesn’t count.

        • seenbetrdayz says:

          Oh don’t mind Dave. It’s a typical liberal trait that he doesn’t care how corrupt the government is as long as it gives out goodies from time to time.

          • Dave Bearse says:

            No doubt it was a scandal that affected conservative groups more than liberal ones.

            It may’ve got a lot more traction had Issa not been silent that his initial investigation concerned only conservative groups, then the scandal becoming a means to gin up outrage that it occurred at WH direction without any supporting evidence.

        • Dave Bearse says:

          The two point was that conservative groups were targeted at WH direction.

          Your anecdotal experience is ironclad proof that only conservative groups were targeted, and the IRS being an executive agency, ipso facto, it was at Obama’s direction.

          • Tina Trent says:

            So you deny that top IRS officials paid scores of visits to the White House, an unprecedented activity?

            And you deny that the memo chain among to IRS officials discussing targeting the Tea Party exists?

            My evidence is not anecdotal. I don’t choose to name the groups here, but if you’d care to contact me off thread I’ll give you their names. You clearly have a lot to learn about evidence.

            • Dave Bearse says:

              I didn’t know the facts one way or the other about the IRS Commissioner or senior staff visiting the WH. Grift’s Forbes link fits the bill for reputable and factual.

              I didn’t deny the e-mail chain. Indeed I cited it, and also the fact it was edited to engender outrage, not understanding.

              an·ec·dote: somebody’s account of something: a short personal account of an incident or event. I didn’t cast aspersions on the truthfulness of your account of your own experience. I was being snarky about the fact that one person’s limited experience may not be reflective of the circumstances in their entirety. (I appreciate that you would share the names of the organizations, but I don’t doubt your experience and don’t need the names.)

              PS – A compliment to you for commenting using your actual name, if that’s the case.

  2. CJBear71 says:

    Well if it is James O’Keefe, I’m sure in about 48 hours it will be shown to be fruadulent, that he was doctoring videos (as he has been caught in the past), and he’ll pay another 6-figure settlement. It’s sad that anyone gives him airtime without verifying his claims in depth.

  3. John Konop says:

    The real issue about this topic what controls are in place for people who lie about income or smoking. You will always have people trying to break rules……that is why you need controls ie issues with Medicare fraud….

    • Tina Trent says:

      The real issue is that we are once again paying leftist activists enormous amounts of tax money to do … advocacy. Only this time they will have access to our personal medical and financial records, which is terrifying.

      The issue is that federal government agencies like HUD and DHHS fund veritable stables of unaccountable activists using our money, and their track records in terms of fraud stink.

      Look at the hilarious federal ruling regarding the last time SEEDCO got caught breaking the law and stealing our money while pretending to provide services we should not be paying for in the first place because it’s really partisan activism — the feds settled that SEEDCO would have to not break the law from this point going forward — that was their settlement: they have to not get caught again. And, laws apply to them, too — that was the amazing settlement.

      The fact that this stuff is a cesspool is a feature, not a bug.

    • seenbetrdayz says:

      Well, they say what’s good for the goose is good for the gander. Amidst all the lies about the ACA from government, is it really so surprising that people would lie on their applications? Sure, it isn’t excusable, but it’s not like this administration has set the best example, either.

  4. benevolus says:

    Do we actually have any Navigators in Georgia? I thought Commissioner Hudgens was doing everything he possibly could to discourage them.

  5. greencracker says:

    Challenge to any media readers/watchers: be sure to pay for all news you consume so that journalists will have a reason to do the work.

    The alternative is, of course, to get news from PRs and provocateurs.

    • Tina Trent says:

      I’d prefer to reply only to people who have the integrity to use their real names, but I’ll bite, Cracker.

      Feel free to read my research on these nonprofit faux-lanthropists and challenge it in any way you wish, with one caveat: substance and facts only, not emotion.

            • Tina Trent says:

              And I am feeling sufficiently scoldy — ’nuff said.

              I admit I maintain an odd standard — if someone agrees with me, I don’t expect him to identify himself, but if someone attacks, I expect disclosure of whom I’m boxing.

              I realize there are problems with engaging this way, but I don’t think it’s completely invalid. If someone says ‘hello, good morning,’ there’s no need to know who they are. But if your facts and integrity are being challenged by someone hiding behind a fake name, why give them to time of day?

              I watched the Southern Poverty Law Center, HRC, CDR and other “oppo research” groups do nasty things to people in Atlanta for years, using a range of dirty tricks, particularly trying to tar people with false “racism” labels.

              And that was when I was a Democrat. So I am hyper-suspicious of anonymity on comment threads. I want to know who I’m dealing with.

          • benevolus says:

            So why do you care who you are engaging with? Isn’t a valid argument the essential criteria?
            And why is it a matter of integrity to you? What are you assuming about anonymous commenters that makes them lack integrity?

            • Harry says:

              But you’re not really anonymous to the nomenklatura overlords. Just to us. I’m not saying you lack integrity, but why not make yourself open? What are you hiding that causes you to operate that way? Even if I don’t use my full name, people know who I am and I’ll tell you too if you ask. Transparency is good for individuals, businesses, and governments.

              • benevolus says:

                As I’ve said before, I’m not trying to keep my identity a secret, I just prefer not to have my political comments here mixed in with my other life. And I want my comments to speak for themselves. I mean, I could tell you who I am but you still won’t know me. Does it make a difference?

                Benjamin Franklin used the pseudonym Benevolus (among others) because he wanted his comments to be taken at face value. He was already famous and didn’t want people to judge his comments based on their opinion of HIM, but on the ideas he was expressing. I am not famous, but I feel the same way.

                And I don’t begrudge a person not wanting to respond to anonymous commenters, so be it. No problem. But to extend that to a lack of integrity… pretty insulting.

  6. saltycracker says:

    Apparently the employer discovered something of substance, but don’t look to the Feds to have the willingness to ferret out fraud:

    “The Urban League of Greater Dallas fired one person and suspended three others after a video from a conservative activist reportedly showed the workers encouraging health care applicants to lie.”

    Read more: http://www.myfoxdfw.com/story/23950361/one-fired-three-suspended-after-undercover-health-care-video#ixzz2kZtBDCn5

    Acorn ? Seedco ? 🙂

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