Welcome!

News Feed Item

Judicial Watch Sues HHS for Obamacare Navigator Records

WASHINGTON, DC -- (Marketwired) -- 04/22/14 -- Judicial Watch announced today that on March 27, 2014, it filed a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuit against the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to obtain records about controversial Obamacare navigators, including records about navigator qualifications and background checks (Judicial Watch v. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (No. 1:14-cv-00512)). HHS reportedly has hired 50,000 navigators to assist applicants enrolling in Obamacare health care plan at a cost of $67 million to taxpayers.

Based upon its November 8, 2013, FOIA request, Judicial Watch seeks the following:

  • Any and all records concerning, regarding, or related to contracts awarded to private entities to provide navigators to assist individuals obtaining health insurance under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act; and

  • Any and all records concerning, regarding, or related to federal requirements for the above-mentioned navigators, including but not limited to background checks and qualifications.

According to a November 11, 2013, article in National Review Online, among the organizations providing Obamacare navigators is Local 100 United Labor Unions, a New Orleans group run by ACORN founder Wade Rathke. The article reports, "Local 100 is a 'sub-grantee' providing navigators for the Southern United Neighborhoods group, which received a $600,678 grant to promote Obamacare enrollment. It also received a $270,193 grant for similar work in Arkansas and a $486,123 grant for Louisiana." Other organizations include the National Urban League, which was paid $376,000 for its Obamacare outreach in Texas, as well as such leftwing groups as Planned Parenthood and the Virginia Poverty Law Center Inc.

Serious questions have also been raised about the requirements to be an Obamacare navigator and the screening given to those who are hired. At a November 6, 2014, Senate Finance Committee hearing, Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius admitted to Senator John Cornyn (R-TX) that the federal government conducts no background checks on Obamacare navigators, and it was "possible" that they could be convicted criminals. The exchange went as follows:

Cornyn: "So I want to ask you about the navigators ... Isn't it true that there is no federal requirement for navigators to undergo a criminal background check, even though they will receive sensitive personal information from the individuals they help to sign-up up for the Affordable Care Act?"

Sebelius: "That is true ...."

Cornyn: "So a convicted felon could be a navigator and could acquire sensitive personal information from an individual unbeknownst to them?"

Sebelius: "That is possible."

In August 2013, thirteen state attorneys general warned Sebelius that training and safeguards in place for the navigators appeared to be inadequate. In a letter to the HHS secretary, they wrote that the background check system "pales in comparison" to what is typically required for workers in programs receiving federal health dollars, adding, "It is not enough simply to adopt vague policies against fraud." In January 2014, National Review reported that as many as 43 convicted criminals were working as Obamacare navigators in California. And in March, Breitbart reported that Obamacare navigators were enrolling clients at Mexican Consulates nationwide, including Mexican nationals.

Judicial Watch has pending another FOIA lawsuit over security concerns about the Obamacare healthcare.gov web portal.

"The Obamacare navigator program seems as corrupt as any Chicago patronage operation -- and is a danger to the privacy of millions of Americans who are participating in Obamacare," said Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton. "The use of Obamacare navigators and the Healthcare.gov web site should come with consumer warnings. The Obama administration's illegal secrecy about these Obamacare navigators should make Americans very nervous."

Add to Digg Bookmark with del.icio.us Add to Newsvine

More Stories By Marketwired .

Copyright © 2009 Marketwired. All rights reserved. All the news releases provided by Marketwired are copyrighted. Any forms of copying other than an individual user's personal reference without express written permission is prohibited. Further distribution of these materials is strictly forbidden, including but not limited to, posting, emailing, faxing, archiving in a public database, redistributing via a computer network or in a printed form.

Latest Stories
The WebRTC Summit New York, to be held June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY, announces that its Call for Papers is now open. Topics include all aspects of improving IT delivery by eliminating waste through automated business models leveraging cloud technologies. WebRTC Summit is co-located with 20th International Cloud Expo and @ThingsExpo. WebRTC is the future of browser-to-browser communications, and continues to make inroads into the traditional, difficult, plug-in web co...
For basic one-to-one voice or video calling solutions, WebRTC has proven to be a very powerful technology. Although WebRTC’s core functionality is to provide secure, real-time p2p media streaming, leveraging native platform features and server-side components brings up new communication capabilities for web and native mobile applications, allowing for advanced multi-user use cases such as video broadcasting, conferencing, and media recording.
In his keynote at @ThingsExpo, Chris Matthieu, Director of IoT Engineering at Citrix and co-founder and CTO of Octoblu, focused on building an IoT platform and company. He provided a behind-the-scenes look at Octoblu’s platform, business, and pivots along the way (including the Citrix acquisition of Octoblu).
SYS-CON Events announced today that Enzu will exhibit at SYS-CON's 20th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY, and the 21st International Cloud Expo®, which will take place October 31-November 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Enzu’s mission is to be the leading provider of enterprise cloud solutions worldwide. Enzu enables online businesses to use its IT infrastructure to their competitive ad...
"Plutora provides release and testing environment capabilities to the enterprise," explained Dalibor Siroky, Director and Co-founder of Plutora, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at @DevOpsSummit, held June 9-11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York City.
DevOps tends to focus on the relationship between Dev and Ops, putting an emphasis on the ops and application infrastructure. But that’s changing with microservices architectures. In her session at DevOps Summit, Lori MacVittie, Evangelist for F5 Networks, will focus on how microservices are changing the underlying architectures needed to scale, secure and deliver applications based on highly distributed (micro) services and why that means an expansion into “the network” for DevOps.
"We are an all-flash array storage provider but our focus has been on VM-aware storage specifically for virtualized applications," stated Dhiraj Sehgal of Tintri in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 19th Cloud Expo, held November 1-3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
Choosing the right cloud for your workloads is a balancing act that can cost your organization time, money and aggravation - unless you get it right the first time. Economics, speed, performance, accessibility, administrative needs and security all play a vital role in dictating your approach to the cloud. Without knowing the right questions to ask, you could wind up paying for capacity you'll never need or underestimating the resources required to run your applications.
Web Real-Time Communication APIs have quickly revolutionized what browsers are capable of. In addition to video and audio streams, we can now bi-directionally send arbitrary data over WebRTC's PeerConnection Data Channels. With the advent of Progressive Web Apps and new hardware APIs such as WebBluetooh and WebUSB, we can finally enable users to stitch together the Internet of Things directly from their browsers while communicating privately and securely in a decentralized way.
WebRTC is about the data channel as much as about video and audio conferencing. However, basically all commercial WebRTC applications have been built with a focus on audio and video. The handling of “data” has been limited to text chat and file download – all other data sharing seems to end with screensharing. What is holding back a more intensive use of peer-to-peer data? In her session at @ThingsExpo, Dr Silvia Pfeiffer, WebRTC Applications Team Lead at National ICT Australia, looked at differ...
Adding public cloud resources to an existing application can be a daunting process. The tools that you currently use to manage the software and hardware outside the cloud aren’t always the best tools to efficiently grow into the cloud. All of the major configuration management tools have cloud orchestration plugins that can be leveraged, but there are also cloud-native tools that can dramatically improve the efficiency of managing your application lifecycle. In his session at 18th Cloud Expo, ...
Security, data privacy, reliability and regulatory compliance are critical factors when evaluating whether to move business applications from in-house client hosted environments to a cloud platform. In her session at 18th Cloud Expo, Vandana Viswanathan, Associate Director at Cognizant, In this session, will provide an orientation to the five stages required to implement a cloud hosted solution validation strategy.
The security needs of IoT environments require a strong, proven approach to maintain security, trust and privacy in their ecosystem. Assurance and protection of device identity, secure data encryption and authentication are the key security challenges organizations are trying to address when integrating IoT devices. This holds true for IoT applications in a wide range of industries, for example, healthcare, consumer devices, and manufacturing. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Lancen LaChance, vic...
With the proliferation of both SQL and NoSQL databases, organizations can now target specific fit-for-purpose database tools for their different application needs regarding scalability, ease of use, ACID support, etc. Platform as a Service offerings make this even easier now, enabling developers to roll out their own database infrastructure in minutes with minimal management overhead. However, this same amount of flexibility also comes with the challenges of picking the right tool, on the right ...
With all the incredible momentum behind the Internet of Things (IoT) industry, it is easy to forget that not a single CEO wakes up and wonders if “my IoT is broken.” What they wonder is if they are making the right decisions to do all they can to increase revenue, decrease costs, and improve customer experience – effectively the same challenges they have always had in growing their business. The exciting thing about the IoT industry is now these decisions can be better, faster, and smarter. Now ...