Obamacare Countdown: $2.5 Mil to Promote it in Rural Areas
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As the clock ticks towards the implementation of Obamacare the administration has embarked on a costly promotion frenzy to enroll patients, this week allocating north of $2.5 million to target rural areas.
The allotment comes on the heels of an astounding $67 million infusion to dozens of leftist organizations that will help people “navigate” health insurance exchanges that haven’t even been fully established. The taxpayer-funded “navigators” will help the public shop for and enroll in plans that will eventually be available on the new federal government market places. More importantly, they will perform their duties in a “culturally competent manner,” according to the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), the agency doling out the cash.
This week, HHS announced that it has awarded more than $2.5 million to educate and enroll uninsured individuals and families living in rural America. The cash will be divided to “rural health organizations across the country” that will each get $25,000 to sign up new patients in their communities. The groups will also help people understand the benefits available to them, according to the HHS announcement.
“Soon millions of Americans in rural communities will have new opportunities for quality, affordable health coverage through the Health Insurance Marketplace,” HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius says in the release. “Through these awards, trusted community providers will help people understand their coverage options, including whether they can get a discount on costs.”
The recipients of this last-minute promotional grant appear to be clinics, local health agencies and schools in areas around the nation where the population is largely uninsured. It’s no secret why they’re being targeted; for Obama’s healthcare law to succeed millions of people must purchase insurance through the government’s new markets and it doesn’t appear like that’s going to happen.
The navigators mentioned above will target minorities, especially Hispanics, because that demographic is known to be largely uninsured. Here are some examples of the groups that got cash that round; an Arizona nonprofit called “Campesinos Sin Fronteras” that provides services to farm workers and low-income Hispanics; a south Florida legal group that will provide navigators in “racially, ethnically, linguistically, culturally and socioeconomically diverse” communities; three Planned Parenthood branches—in Iowa, Montana and New Hampshire—got a combined $655,000 to serve as navigators.
The Arab Community Center in Michigan got nearly $300,000 to reach out to and engage uninsured community members through “multicultural” media. A Black Chamber of Commerce in South Carolina received over $230,000 to “provide outreach around new coverage options” and a Hispanic aging organization in Texas got $646,000 to help members that are “socially isolated due to cultural and linguistic differences.”
HHS has also launched a 24-hour consumer call center in 150 languages. Additionally, the administration has recruited museums and libraries to help out with signing up patients and community health centers are sharing $150 million in federal grants to help enroll people. Last month HHS launched a contest that awards thousands of dollars in cash prizes to those who create hip videos promoting Obamacare.