Betsy McCaughey – Author of Beating Obamacare: Your Handbook for the New Healthcare Law
Investors.com Secretary of Health and Human Services Kathleen Sebelius was criticized last week for soliciting private contributions to Enroll America, a non-governmental organization run by former Obama campaign operatives.
The real monkey business is what the secretary is doing with taxpayers' money — pouring it into community organizations.
The pretext is that community organizations will do a better job than government employees in enrolling the uninsured in ObamaCare. But the likelihood is that these community organizations will steer the uninsured into the Democratic Party.
And beware. The Senate immigration bill tries to repeat this unsavory use of community organizations. It pays community organizations to educate immigrants about American civics and the path to citizenship.
Last week's brouhaha came about because Sebelius raised money for Enroll America after House Republicans refused to approve more funding for ObamaCare enrollment efforts.
So what is Enroll America? Its board of directors is made up of insurers and hospital organizations that will benefit from enrolling millions of people in ObamaCare. But its management is 100% political.
Its president is Anne Filipic, formerly deputy director of the Office of Public Engagement in the White House, where she networked with community organizers. Before that, she had a top job at the Democratic National Committee, and before that she managed Obama's victorious 2008 Iowa Caucus bid.
To design a media campaign, Enroll America hired Lake Research, which also manages messaging for Acorn, MoveOn.org, LaRaza and 39 members of Congress, all Democrats.
Sebelius' fundraising for Enroll America was inappropriate, but it's minor compared with delivering taxpayer dollars to community groups.
Yet Sebelius isn't breaking the law. Amazingly, the Obama health law requires that community organizations be hired as "navigators" to enroll the uninsured.
So far Sebelius has announced $45 million in navigator grants. Who qualifies? You don't have to know math or insurance, but rules announced April 5 specify you have to match the race, ethnicity and language preferences of the neighborhood that will be targeted.
The odious presumption is that only Asians can assist Asians, only blacks can enroll blacks, only Harlem residents can help Harlem residents.
In addition to navigator grants, last week, HHS announced $150 million for community health centers to "hire and train staff to conduct community outreach efforts." Behind those weasel words is the truth that many community health centers engage in political activism.
The National Association of Community Health Centers states that part of its mission is registering people to vote and collecting patients' signatures on desired legislation. Employees hired by the community health centers can say and do things government employees can't. That's the problem.