Wisconsin

165 Groups Certified to Promote ObamaCare in Wisconsin

Policy

In Wisconsin, some ObamaCare advocates say they are struggling to sign people up for mandatory health insurance because the task is so enormous and government funding is limited. But according to data from the federal Department of Health and Human Services, at least 165 groups have been certified to help people obtain mandatory health insurance under ObamaCare. Among those groups is an SEIU-funded get-out-the-vote organization.

Six organizations, several of them with ties to left-leaning political and social causes, have received funding from the Obama Administration to serve as so-called “Navigator” groups informing people about and enrolling them in ObamaCare. One of Navigator group, an Illinois-based company called R & B Receivables, got $104,520 in federal money to promote ObamaCare in Wisconsin despite filing for bankruptcy in September of 2012.

Along with a number of healthcare providers, the liberal political advocacy and get-out-the-vote group Wisconsin Jobs Now! is listed by HHS as a “certified application counselor” or CAC. According to HHS, a CAC groups “help people understand, apply, and enroll for health coverage through the Marketplace.”

Wisconsin’s marketplace is run by the federal government and launched on October 1st with much confusion and failure. Less than a month after its start, one survey conducted by the state Office of the Commissioner of Insurance found that fewer than 50 people across the state had signed up for health insurance on the federal exchange. Last week, WTMJ reported that after three weeks the Milwaukee Health Department failed to enroll a single person in ObamaCare.

Although working as a “certified application counselor,” Wisconsin Jobs Now! has zero experience in the healthcare industry. During the 2012 recall and general elections, the group worked to turn out the vote for Democratic candidates. In the fall of 2012, the group worked furiously to re-elect President Barack Obama. A sample of one of their campaign flyers is below.

Wisconsin Jobs Now! Voter Flyer

The multitude of groups and organizations working to promote the President’s healthcare reform legislation would appear to contradict the pleas of some ObamaCare champions for more money and manpower to support the education and enrollment effort.

“We just don’t have the resources to get out and really do the job we need to,” an executive with ABC for Health, a Madison-based healthcare law firm, told Gannett Wisconsin Media in a recent story.

A staff member at the left-leaning Milwaukee-based Community Advocates Public Policy Institute told Gannett that some ObamaCare advocates really don’t even know where to start looking for people who need to enroll. “The population who is uninsured, we don’t know who they are or where they are,” Michael Bare said. He went on to clarify that even though some have a “good idea” as to where uninsured people are, it is difficult to get them to participate in the program.

Just how federally-approved CACs will be able to sign people up for insurance remains somewhat confusing. State regulators say that the CACs cannot actually sign people up for specific insurance plans or even recommend which plan is right for certain consumers. The OCI has released a series of regulations governing licensing of CACs. But federal regulators indicate that CACs will be able to perform nearly the same duties as Navigator groups who got federal funding to promote ObamaCare.

 

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