Episode 59: Exposing ObamaCare Navigators, and Bankrupting Another California City
James O’Keefe’s Project Veritas has exposed corruption, fraud, and hypocrisy. The latest group to get in front of his all-seeing eye are the ObamaCare Navigators, those helpful folks who will get you through all the ins and outs of the ObamaCare exchanges, and get you the best price for your health insurance. And, as O’Keefe finds out, even if they have to convince you to commit fraud. Does that sound like another group you have heard of, another target of O’Keefe’s exposes? Well, it’s the same MO, and in some places, it’s the same people.
Yet another city (and yet another one in California) could be going bankrupt. But the reason they’re going under is over-promising, in this case, to their police force, who’s salaries and pensions gobble up 70% of the city’s budget. Over-promising is also giving our US government a pain in the budget, and we may be in for the same fate as these cities. However, we have to be willing to state the truth about our finances, because examples of what happens when you ignore the truth may soon visit Desert Hot Springs, California.
Getting some shopping done? If you’re going to shop at Amazon, please consider clicking on my affiliate link. Thanks!
You can listen to “Consider This!” on the Blubrry Network if you like. You can find podcasts and save them to your MyCast list, and come back anytime and listen to the latest episodes.
Similarly, Player.fm allows you to subscribe to podcasts and play all the latest episodes from your browser.
The Stitcher Network is another possibility. Again, you can find podcasts, add them to your favorites, and then either listen to them on the web site, stream them to your smart phone, or to some snazzy GM, Ford, and BMW car. If you do download Stitcher to your phone, please use the promo code “ConsiderThis” to let them know where you heard about it.
Of course, you can always subscribe via iTunes as well. And please leave a comment letting them know how you like it. I really appreciate listener ratings on iTunes, which can also lead to having more listeners, and more ratings! Keep the ball rollin’!
And if you have some other podcatcher or RSS reader, click here to get the direct feed and paste it wherever you need it.
I would love it if you would spread the word about the podcast! Click the Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Digg or LinkedIn icons below (or all of them!) to recommend “Consider This!” to your social media audience.
James O’Keefe has been exposing fraud with his Project Veritas for years. The oxen that have been the target of his goring have been of the variety that liberals tend to hold dear, which is why, while saying they don’t like fraud, they typically try to marginalize him. And when that doesn’t work, people like Rachel Maddow just make stuff up.
The latest group to find themselves in front of the cameras of Project Veritas are the ObamaCare “Navigators”, those 50,000 folks who will, if you need it, give you help in getting signed up for the Healthcare Exchanges. Once those exchanges are actually, y’know, working. They’ll get you the lowest premium, even if they have to tell you to commit fraud.
[See video above]
The audio isn’t the best, but watch the video for the subtitles and the rest of the expose. It’s just slightly over 10 minutes, about as much time as you’ll be listening to this podcast, so it’s worth the short amount of time.
And it’s not just the fraud that is of concern. Enrollment information is being shared with a political group called Battleground Texas, one that is trying to get more Democrats elected. There’s more in the video, and O’Keefe says this isn’t the last of what he has. Hopefully he’ll get to the issue of no federal background checks being required for these folks.
O’Keefe’s undercover videos were a major reason that fraud was uncovered in the group ACORN, and it seems like these Navigators are cut from the same cloth. In fact, in some states, they’re one and the same, with former ACORN people forming more groups under different names and supplying people to work as Navigators.
Yup, if you liked ACORN, you’ll love the ObamaCare Navigators, because both groups seem to have the same agenda. And competence.
I’ve talked on this show before about the problems big cities are facing when it comes to Cadillac pensions. San Bernadino, California and Detroit, Michigan declared bankruptcy largely due to this. And now comes word that another California city may follow in their footsteps.
Desert Hot Springs , a resort town of 26,000 warned that it will run out of money by March due to burdensome salary and pension costs. That would make it the third California city along with San Bernardino and Stockton to succumb to that. Amy Aguer, the interim director of finance, said nearly 70 percent of the city’s budget was consumed by police costs, most of which were spent on salaries and pension payments.
Now, part of this problems is the California public employees’ pension program, Calpers. The cost charged for participating keeps going up. Karol Denniston, a bankruptcy attorney in San Francisco said, “Calpers keeps increasing costs and many of these cities have cut costs down to where there is nothing else left to cut.” And I’m sure that contributes to the problem, but I really don’t think it accounts for 70% of Desert Hot Springs’ budget.
But the main thing is, if they do go under, who gets paid? Do the pensions get cut in order to pay off creditors? That’s a difficult question to answer. It’s a case of competing promises. The root causes of all of this, though, are those initial promises. Russell Betts, a council member, stated the obvious when he sad, “It’s obvious we can’t continue with salaries and pensions that are in the stratosphere, no matter how much love there is for our police department.” Sure, it’s obvious now, when the problems arise. But if you’d said anything like that years ago, you’d have been labeled as someone who “hates” the police, or public workers in general. “We should be paying our police more than our football players!”, some might shout, even though I’m sure that Desert Hot Springs doesn’t have a national football team. But anyway…
That’s a nice sentiment until you have no money left. I’m not suggesting what Desert Hot Springs should be paying its cops, nor suggesting that such pensions aren’t deserved. It’s just that when you overpromise, sooner or later someone’s got to pay the piper. And even if it’s shared pain between pensioners and creditors, promises get broken.
The solution is to state the obvious before having to break those promises. The problem is that there are too many voters and council members who think that government money is limitless, which is only true until it isn’t. Sure, stating the obvious – that we should live within our means – may get you called ‘heartless’, among other choice adjectives, but it must be said.
That’s kind of like how those of us who were against this huge set of promises we often call ObamaCare were treated. We’re stating the obvious, but we’re being called ‘heartless’, all because we don’t want to go bankrupt. We’re already going bankrupt, that much is for sure, but we’re rather not hang another boulder around our neck while trying to stay above water. As I’ve mentioned before, federal pensions and existing entitlements alone cost more than we take in in taxes. Among the many promises that ObamaCare will not fulfill is that it will reduce the deficit. We can’t afford that.
I feel like I’m council member Cassandra sometimes, warning of danger that is obvious to anyone who would see, but not being believed, in spite of so much evidence surrounding us. Website glitches are sideshows. Economic realities will bury us.