O’Keefe Is Back With OCare Bomb

James O’Keefe, whose Project Veritas clips exposing ACORN and NPR were bombshells, is back with another stunner. He shows how Obamacare navigators encourage enrollees to lie.

John Fund writes at National Review:

“You lie because your premiums will be higher,” one navigator advises an investigator for O’Keefe’s Project Veritas, who tells the worker he sometimes smokes. “Don’t tell them that. Don’t tell ’em.”

The investigator then poses as a low-income worker at a university who has unreported cash income on the side, worrying about how that might affect his premium subsidies. That’s no problem for a navigator, who says, “Don’t get yourself in trouble by declaring it now.”

“Yeah, it didn’t happen,” another navigator says. One more chimes in: “Never report it.”

Records show that the National Urban League was paid $376,000 by the federal government for its Obamacare outreach in Texas.

O’Keefe’s cameras then visit Enroll America, a nationwide nonprofit group that has launched a multi-state grassroots campaign to help millions of Americans sign up for health coverage. Daniel Clayton of Enroll America says the group is “purely nonprofit. It’s not partisan, non-political.” But when Brian Pendleton of Enroll America is introduced at a speaking engagement, Enroll America is described as “the official group for the DNC [Democratic National Committee].”

Enroll America, O’Keefe reports, appears to be sharing data and working directly with an explicitly political group called Battleground Texas, activities that he notes “are prohibited unless certain conditions are met.” Adrian Bell, the regional field director for Battleground Texas, proudly notes the group was “started by President Obama’s national field director” and is “dedicated to turning Texas blue.”

There’s much more in the video, which O’Keefe hints will not be his last. Left unexplored is how so many navigators nationwide were hired without any background checks required. While Texas and some other states have passed requirements of their own, the absence of such checks at the federal level was acknowledged by HHS secretary Kathleen Sebelius last week. She was asked by Texas senator John Cornyn if “a convicted felon could be a navigator and could acquire sensitive personal information from an individual unbeknownst to them.”

“It’s possible,” was Secretary Sebelius’s less-than-comforting reply.

I haven’t seen a lot of publicity on this video. It needs to go viral.

TN GOP Looks to Shelby

Brent Leatherwood
Brent Leatherwood

“Our top goal at the Tennessee Republican Party is to reelect Mayor Luttrell and the full slate of 2010 elected officials in next year’s election,” said Brent Leatherwood. “It is critical to us,” said the executive director of the state GOP party. “The Tennessee Republican party is stronger when there’s a strong Shelby party.”

Leatherwood made those statements at the monthly Steering Committee meeting of the Shelby GOP. He had come from Nashville, along with Walker Ferrell, to lay out the chairman’s vision for us. The theme is “Red to the Roots. More details about it follow this story. “It’s an ambitious goal and one all of us welcomed.

“We’ve had success in Tennessee and now we want to press our advantage down ballot,” Leatherwood said, “by building a bench at the local level.” Beginning January 1st, he explained, the state will be divided. Shelby County will get its own regional director. Then, according to Leatherwood, they will start building infrastructure and identifying candidates and giving them money for their campaigns. An important target for them is the judiciary. Leatherwood noted that the “vast majority of judges are Democrats and we need to address this.” After the August elections, attention will be switched to legislative battles around the state.

Victor Evans and Walker Ferrell
Victor Evans and Walker Ferrell

“We have a 100% strategy,” he continued. By way of example he introduced Victor Evans. Evans, a black Memphian who graduated from Rhodes then got his Master’s at CBU, was picked by TN GOP Chairman Chris Devaney and named Engagement Director. Evans also worked at a charter school here and has a background in education reform. “We want to build bridges to non traditional constituents,” said Leatherwood. “Evans will connect with communities of interest by talking with community leaders to get to constituents. He’s a wonderful ambassador,” Leatherwood concluded.

Similarly, Sharon Ohsfeldt has conducted a Hispanic outreach. She has contacted businessmen in the community. “They listen to their leaders,” she said. “We want to build a base of Latino leadership and make a network.”

With 2014 just around the corner, it’s good to hear movement towards winning elections is underway.

HHS Secretary at Library

HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius
HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius hold the “Web Sites for Dummies” book handed her by State Senator Brian Kelsey. (Photo by Brian Kelsey)

When I arrived at the Benjamin Hooks Central library the lot was so full you’d think they were giving something away! To see HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius I had to park in the next door lot in front of Pier 1 because no spots were left at the library.

Lots of people had turned out to hear what she had to say on the Affordable Care Act, aka Obamacare. Some were not the people she’d like; there were protestors out front against smart meters, pro life supporters and a woman waving a “Don’t Tread on Me” flag.

Inside the library, tables with pamphlets lined the hall on the way to the meeting room along with signs that read “Get TN Covered.” The meeting room was SRO. A raised platform held the podium behind which “navigators” for the ACA stood. Sebelius came in the room flanked by Steve Cohen and Mayor AC Wharton. A woman named Lisa, associated with Seedco (more on this later) spoke first and commented that “if you’re healthy you work” and how that meant that everyone benefits from your work (like a commune) so everyone should get health care. Suddenly, I felt like I was standing in 1933 Moscow. “People are embracing the ACA and have waited a long time,” she said, and then introduced Wharton.

Wharton thanked Cohen and Sebelius for “the valiant fight.” He asked people to stand up in approval. They did. Wharton launched into a flattering speech, beginning by dismissing the importance of numbers. Yes, numbers. “I always tell people that the first four letters of that word spell numb,” he said. Although that seems a perplexing comment – is he not interested in facts and data? – he went on to say that now 88,000 people in this city need the ACA. Now they’ll get it. He likes those numbers.

(What about the hundreds of thousands of Memphians who will lose their current good insurance?) I guess they don’t count in Wharton’s numerology.

Wharton continued. “It’s been just one month in a six month process,” he said about the disastrous rollout of Obamacare. “This is not a doomsday scenario.” He then asked the audience in a sing song manner if they want to be “on the wrong side of history. The people who said the earth was flat were …” “Wrong” the audience chanted. The Republicans who were against Social Security were… wrong,” he continued. Wharton said Social Security is the model for the ACA because it is so great and anyone who wants to change Social Security is…”wrong.”

“Our course is right and we have the right soldier lead it,” Wharton commented. He called Sebelius our general in the battle.

Sebelius then took the podium. She referenced “transformation of the country” echoing Obama’s 2008 statement that he wanted to fundamentally transform the United States of America. She harped on the talking point that the ACA was passed by both houses, legitimized by the Supreme Court and validated by Obama’s 2012 election win.

In Tennessee, she said that 60,000 young adults now are insured thanks to the clause of including offspring up to age 26 on their parents’ insurance; that 1.5 million now get free health screenings; 353,000 kids with preexisting conditions now get insurance; and that 16% are still uninsured of under insured in our state.

As for problems the website has had, Sebelius said “the website is getting better every week.” There are four ways to enroll she said, listing the website, phone calls, paper applications and community groups. In Memphis she referenced Seedco, an umbrella group that apparently takes tax money and spends it however they want to.

When she yielded to Cohen, I was suprised at the faint applause for him. He was undeterred, however, launching into his own work on health issues, touting his work in building the Med.

“In the fall of 1954 a five year old boy had polio,” he said in a kind of verbal selfie. He spent time in the hospital and he knew “since he was 5 years old that insurance companies were wrong.” Cohen acknowledged that the ACA was not the perfect bill for him. “If it had been up to me, we’d have a single payer plan,” he said. Cohen lauded Sebelius’ appearance before Congress. “With what the Secretary had to endure in front of Congress, well, she stood tall.”

Cohen also mentioned that the ACA gave $5 million to the Christ Community Health Services and $5 million to the Church Health Center. No wonder they have fallen in step so thoroughly.

After these speeches, which lasted less than half an hour, there was tepid applause and the crowd dispersed. Most were confused that there wasn’t help right there. “I thought we’d get some information,” said one attendee. “There was nothing to learn,” said another. “It was just cheerleading,” commented a third.

Some Republicans did show up, among them Dr. George Flinn and State Senator Brian Kelsey. Kelsey told me he had managed to give Sebelius a copy of the book “Websites for Dummies.” A great idea! Others were shaking their heads at the proliferation of untruths, shall we say, promoted in the half hour.

Interestingly, the event mirrored the emptiness of the whole act. No one seems to understand it, give specifics about it or engage in it. There is more passion on our side. We’ll check back with these folks in a few years, eh?

Was It a Scripted Moment?

At yesterday’s Rose Garden press conference with Obamacare supporters, a woman fainted while the president was talking. Seemed a bit odd. A closer look has some speculating that it was staged.

DW Ulsterman says

While I would like to think this was a legitimate instance of a woman who might be suffering from low blood sugar, or something related, there is the oddly timed reaction by President Barack Obama who, while reading from his teleprompter, is somehow able to know something amiss is going on behind him – even though the young woman has hardly moved or said anything to indicate she is in danger of fainting. Barack Obama has utilized the “woman fainting” ploy often when campaigning for himself, or an issue. In this case, (rather ironically) it is Obamacare. Would this administration be so desperate and callous as to stage this near-fainting spell as well? I’ll leave that to you to decide…

Here’s the video:

Obama was certainly ready with a quip, wasn’t he?