By John Fund. President Obama has had a poor record of job creation, but at least one small economic sector is doing well: community organizing.
The Department of Health and Human Services is about to hire an army of “patient navigators” to inform Americans about the subsidized insurance promised by Obamacare and assist them in enrolling. These organizers will be guided by the new Federal Data Hub, which will give them access to reams of personal information compiled by federal agencies ranging from the IRS to the Department of Defense and the Veterans Administration. “The federal government is planning to quietly enact what could be the largest consolidation of personal data in the history of the republic,” Paul Howard of the Manhattan Institute and Stephen T. Parente, a University of Minnesota finance professor, wrote in USA Today. No wonder that there are concerns about everything from identity theft to the ability of navigators to use the system to register Obamacare participants to vote.
HHS secretary Kathleen Sebelius wasn’t satisfied with the $54 million in public funds allocated for navigators this year, so she tried to raise money from health-industry executives for Enroll America, the liberal nonprofit group leading the PR push for Obamacare. She had to retreat under withering criticism that she was shaking down companies that were dependent on government, a clear conflict of interest.
Because 34 states have declined to set up their own insurance “exchanges,” the job of guiding exchange enrollees in those states has been left to Washington. The identity of the groups who will get the Sebelius grants isn’t yet known, but Politico reports they are likely to include Planned Parenthood, senior-citizen advocacy organizations, and churches. Read more from this story HERE.
Obamacare data hub a ‘honey pot’ for ID thieves, warn critics
By Paul Bedard. The data hub President Obama’s health care team is creating to exchange personal health and financial information on Obamacare users will be a ripe target for computer hackers and identity thieves, charge critics who claim it hasn’t been tested for security flaws.
“It’s the greatest collection of private identification information ever assembled on Americans that will be put into one place,” said Rep. Patrick Meehan, who chairs a House cybersecurity subcommittee. “It is every bit of sensitive information one would need to know to completely take over the identification of a person,” said the Pennsylvania lawmaker.
The Obamacare data hub, he added, “creates a honey pot and the day that it goes online it is going to be a target for hackers and others and they are unprepared to protect the system.”
At an oversight hearing last week, administration officials said that the hub, still under creation, will be used to verify Obamacare applications. It will share information among federal agencies, like the IRS, and state agencies. A separate system will keep store key information such as income, Social Security numbers, email addresses, and even pregnancy status of Obamacare users.
Officials called on the public and Congress to “trust” that the information will be protected from hackers, but several lawmakers balked. Read more from this story HERE.
By Ben Sasse. The author has served as chief of staff for the U.S. Justice Department’s Office of Legal Policy and as assistant U.S. secretary of Health and Human Services under President George W. Bush. Currently president of Midland University, he has been exploring a U.S. Senate candidacy.
Obamacare is a ticking time bomb for Democrats in the 2014 elections. Nobody knows this better than President Barack Obama, which is why over the Fourth of July holiday weekend he unilaterally decided to delay its controversial employer mandate provision until after the midterm elections.
No wonder: The $2,000 per-worker fine is disastrously unpopular. Already, employers are laying off workers and dramatically cutting others’ hours in an effort to skirt the new penalty. The fact that this perfectly predictable development surprises many in Washington only underscores that they didn’t really read this 2,300-page monstrosity before they passed it.
Desperate for any appearance of victory, Republican leaders have decided to match the president’s delay with one of their own: proposing legislation to delay for a year the mandate for individuals. Perhaps useful, perhaps not. Well-meaning people can differ about legislative strategy.
But if Republicans don’t have a larger plan to actually oppose this unprecedented power grab in a way the American people will understand, then they will have given up the ghost on actually turning back the slew of new job-killing bureaucracies. Read more from this story HERE.
By Becket Adams. U.S. Sen. Mike Lee (R-Utah) told TheBlaze Monday he has recruited more than a dozen Senate Republicans to help him defund President Barack Obama’s landmark health care law.
Fifteen Republican senators, including Sens. Marco Rubio (Fla.), Ted Cruz (Texas), John Cornyn (Texas), Rand Paul (Ky.), James Inhofe (Okla.), David Vitter (La.), Roger Wicker (Miss.), John Thune (S.D.), and Chuck Grassley (Iowa), will block a continuing resolution to keep the government funded beyond Sept. 30 if it includes funding for Obamacare, Lee said.
“The president has said that he’s not willing and not able to enforce Obamacare as it was written,” Sen. Lee told TheBlaze in a phone interview. “And so he has chosen instead to enforce this law selectively.”
“He has picked out two things that he has said he won’t enforce. One is the employer mandate and the other is the requirement that the government obtain some kind of proof for those who are claiming eligibility for Obamacare exchange subsidies,” he added.
The senator continued, arguing that the president “doesn’t have the power” to selectively enforce and amend laws passed by Congress. Read more from this story HERE.