November 15 2013
Caught on Tape, Part II: More Evidence of ObamaCare Navigator Fraud
Patrice J. Lee
Just days ago we reported on the release of the first video in a series by conservative gumshoe James O’Keefe and Project Veritas capturing navigators misbehaving. Mainstream press painted the first expose as an isolated incident.
The release of the second investigative video yesterday dispels that notion and uncovers even more appalling evidence from different locations of these taxpayer-paid enrollment counselors encouraging applicants for ObamaCare to commit fraud against the federal government.
The Daily Caller shared a couple of instances from the videos:
“Well, see, I don’t know if you have to report all that,” Texas navigator Kris McCray tells one actress, who said she made a significant amount of money nannying on weekends. “I think they’re going to get that from where you go off on your taxes. Stuff like that, to get a lower premium, I wouldn’t include it. If I was cutting grass on the weekends, and they were just giving me money, that’s my money. I would just try to get that number as low as you can.”
The center where McCray works raked in $785,000 in taxpayer dollars to help Americans enroll in the Obamacare exchanges.
The North Texas Community Health Center, which received $139,487 in taxpayer dollars, also advised an actor “not to worry about” reporting income on an Obamacare enrollment application that he didn’t report on his taxes.
Another navigator, working at a center flush with $145,251 in taxpayer dollars, brushed off questions about reporting a second stream of income.
“Are you sure they won’t find out?” the actor asks the navigator.
“As long as you don’t claim it anywhere at all, it’s –” the navigator interrupts herself.
O’Keefe commented, “Lying about income and smoker status came natural to the navigators we encountered. Some may argue that hiding small amounts of cash income is no big deal. But who, exactly, would that hurt?”
I’ll tell you. It hurts local schools that rely on tax revenue to buy desks and pay crossing guards. It hurts the poor who receive shelter and food benefits from local shelters and food banks. It’s also unfair to the millions of workers who have the government tap our weekly paycheck or dutifully write out that check to Uncle Sam for our share of taxes owed each year.
To see the full unedited Project Veritas videos, click here.
Health and Human Services (HHS) created the navigator program –funded by $67 million through 120 taxpayer-funded grants to 105 organizations– to recruit and train enrollment counselors to be a resource for Americans who want help signing up for ObamaCare.
According to HHS “Navigators are trained to provide unbiased information in a culturally competent manner to consumers about health insurance, the new Health Insurance Marketplaces, qualified health plans, and public programs including Medicaid and the Children’s Health Insurance Program.”
So what are we getting for our $67 million: new instances of tax evasion and fraud. Good deal right?
Texas, which received the largest navigator grant of over $8 million, is at the center of O’Keefe investigation, but the clear pattern of fraud throughout the navigator program is probably not limited to just the Lone Star state. And that’s the most disturbing part of the story.