Originally published November 13 2013
Obamacare navigators instruct applicants to lie about income, smoking status
by Ethan A. Huff, staff writer
(NaturalNews) You may have already seen them standing on street corners or roaming in parking lots hounding people to sign up for government healthcare. But all those Obamacare "navigators" who have been hired to persuade folks into compliance with the Affordable Care Act may actually be telling people to break the law, as a recent undercover investigation exposes some of them for encouraging people to lie about their income, smoking status and other personal information in order to get better rates and plans on the exchange.
Videographer James O'Keefe, who made a name for himself by bringing down the corrupt, Obama-backed ACORN organization and getting the former president of NPR fired, recently went undercover to see how the Obamacare navigator program really works. What he found is that many navigators are all too willing to tell help people skirt the law in order to get the plans they want at the prices they want -- and there are no federal checks in place to help guard against this type of fraud.
One Obamacare navigator known as "Mrs. Dorothy," for instance, who was soliciting Obamacare registration assistance in a Dallas, Texas, neighborhood, actually told O'Keefe to lie about his income in order to attain a lower premium. Another navigator told him to lie about his smoking status after he told her that he uses tobacco. And when discussing other information that might affect costs and coverage, yet another navigator told O'Keefe that she "always lies" on her form.
Almost everywhere he went, O'Keefe encountered Obamacare navigators who encouraged him to break the law to get better coverage at a lower price. And while the legitimacy of Obamacare itself is still debatable, the fact that tens of millions of taxpayer dollars are right now being doled out to fund this type of widespread fraud is cause for major concern.
"The total value of grants doled out for nonprofits and community organizations to hire navigators has topped $67 million nationwide, and some of the money is going to a group run by ACORN's highly controversial founder," writes John Fund for the National Review. "Government-paid workers supposedly trained to uphold the law advise clients on how to lie on government forms, evade legal requirements, and ignore proper procedures."
Wave of identify theft to emerge from Obamacare 'navigators' program To say that many of the folks being hired on as Obamacare navigators are of questionable integrity would be an understatement. But perhaps more disturbing is the fact that virtually none of them are being required to undergo criminal background checks before going out and collecting people's personal information, including sensitive information like social security numbers.
While select areas of the country have passed their own laws requiring that navigators be pre-screened for security purposes, there is no federal law requiring this. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Kathleen Sebelius, in fact, admitted recently that it is entirely possible for convicted felons to be given positions as Obamacare navigators due to the complete absence of required federal background checks.
"As a practical matter, these navigators are unaccountable, and yet they will be asking people for Social Security numbers and other sensitive information," adds Fund. "It will not take long for navigators to become predators, and HHS has no plan to deal with the new breed of predators it is creating. The somnolent HHS inspector general has been silent about this scheme that will inflict widespread fraud and identity theft on vulnerable Americans."
Be sure to check out O'Keefe's undercover video of Obamacare navigators telling people to commit fraud here:
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