The Four Minute Men were a group of volunteers authorized by the President Woodrow Wilson, to give four-minute speeches on topics given to them by The Committee on Public Information. The topics dealt with the American war effort in the First World War and were presented during the four minutes between reels changing in movie theaters across the country. Wikipedia
Instead of volunteers, to rev up the populace in support of a war, this administration, a modern version of Woodrow Wilson’s, is paying for their propaganda. The similarities don’t end with the propaganda. Wilson ran on the slogan “He Kept Us Out Of War.” Obama claimed,
“If you like your doctor, you will be able to keep your doctor. Period. If you like your health care plan, you will be able to keep your health care plan. Period. No one will take it away. No matter what.”
For politicians, promises are at best guidelines, for those of the progressive, relativistic stripe, they are just means to an end.
With about half the population opposed to the vast extension of government involvement in their lives through what is ironically named the Affordable Care Act, the government feels the need to recruit an army of propagandists – or, federal navigators – to help America “understand what’s in the bill” since no one, including the Congress that rammed it through, has read this monstrosity. (When a government needs to hire navigators to help people understand how to comply with a new law, perhaps that law is a bit too complex or intrusive.)
According to the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, the federal navigators are hired to help Americans buy insurance on the new exchanges. These navigators will provide 1.7 million “help” sessions a year.
Section 1311(i) requires that an Exchange establish a Navigator Program under which it awards grants to individuals or entities who satisfy the requirements to be Exchange Navigators. Navigators will assist consumers by providing education about and facilitating selection of qualified health plans (QHPs) within Exchanges, as well as other required duties. For Federally-facilitated Exchanges (FFE) and State Partnership Exchanges (SPEs), CMS will be awarding these cooperative agreements.
After all, the American people are obviously incapable of understanding what is being done to them. (The sad thing is, this is hardly a sarcastic statement, because it’s probably true.)
Here is what these legions of new government drones are supposed to do:
Maintain expertise in eligibility, enrollment, and program specifications and conduct public education activities to raise awareness about the Exchange;
They are scared that young people will not enroll because of the cost (because their large premiums are expected to fund everyone else). Mr. Obama is already speechifying to college kids about why they should join up.
Where are these paragons of virtue navigators going to come from? Given the quality of Homeland Security airport screeners wouldn’t you love to have one of them helping you manage your health care. Who is going to train these people and how much is that going to cost? What a great way to do some political indoctrination of the indoctrinators.
Provide information and services in a fair, accurate, and impartial manner. Such information must acknowledge other health programs (such as the Medicaid program and Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP));
Facilitate selection of a QHP;
Provide referrals to any applicable office of health insurance consumer assistance or health insurance ombudsman established under Section 2793 of the PHS Act, or any other appropriate State agency or agencies, for any enrollee with a grievance, complaint, or question regarding their health plan, coverage, or a determination under such plan or coverage; and
Provide information in a manner that is culturally and linguistically appropriate to the needs of the population being served by the Exchange, including individuals with limited English proficiency, and ensure accessibility and usability of Navigator tools and functions for individuals with disabilities in accordance with the Americans with Disabilities Act and section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act.
The justification for creating this additional government bureaucracy is to ensure that the Affordable Care Act gets firmly established – especially in states that don’t want it. To do this, like what has been done with the food stamp program over the last 5 years, the administration and it’s minions want to attach as many Americans to the public teat as possible, especially those who are English illiterate, because, after all, these are likely new Democrat voters.
The establishment of Navigator Programs to provide education and outreach to consumers about health insurance exchanges and to provide culturally and linguistically appropriate information in a fair, accurate, and impartial manner among consumers is authorized by Sections 1311(d)(4)(K) and 1311(i) of the Affordable Care Act.
Section 1321(c)(1) of the Affordable Care Act authorizes the Secretary of HHS to “establish and operate” a federal Exchange within any State that does not elect or is not prepared to establish a State-based Exchange, as well as to “take such actions as are necessary to implement” the requirements for establishing an Exchange, including the awarding of Navigator grants.
Exchanges must provide various forms of consumer assistance in order to fulfill the requirements of 45 CFR §155.205(d) and (e).
On the bright side (here’s hoping for inefficiency), the supporting document that outlines the detail of this government evangelization program has fraud built right in. The doughty navigator will be able to submit his work electronically.
Navigator awardees will submit progress reports using the format prescribed by CMS. While they have to identify themselves, there is no requirement for an electronic signature.
It is anticipated that Navigators may be contacted by potentially hundreds, if not thousands, of consumers per month. Close monitoring, through data collection reports, of the nature of these contacts will help identify any concerns with implementation.
Since these will be cooperative agreements, CMS will be in close contact with Navigator program staff within FFEs. Upon request by Navigator entities, CMS may allow less frequent reporting due to burden on program activities.
These government drones (who will make about $20 an hour) may also need to dig into matters that most Americans might consider more personal.
In order to perform their required duties, Navigators may need to communicate with clients about sensitive topics, such as their health status and needs, in order to assist with eligibility determinations and enrollment. As such, some information such as individual or family income, employment status, citizenship, and other characteristics that people might commonly consider private may be communicated.
But don’t worry, these are professionals, after all, and the government doesn’t intend to do anything with the data collected. Remember, there won’t be any PII (Personally Identifiable Information)
… Navigators do not retain any PII on a consumer other than a consent form to allow them to assist a consumer …
At this time, CMS does not expect that the data collected in the quarterly and annual reports will be published or shared with other agencies
And surely this program will only be necessary while the Affordable Care Act is getting off the ground?
CMS would like an exemption from displaying the expiration dates as these forms are used on a continuing basis. To include an expiration date would result in having to discard a potentially large number of forms.
Government bureaucracies never expire. They are perpetual, like the propaganda war this administration is actively pursuing against half of America. Unlike the four-minute men of Wilson’s time, this time the propagandists aren’t volunteers, we’re paying for our own indoctrination.