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HHS sends Montana $1.5 million to promote Obamacare

By   /   July 17, 2013  /   News  /   3 Comments

By Dustin Hurst | Watchdog.org

The community organizers are coming.

Backed by federal cash, community health centers around Montana collectively will  hire 27 workers tasked only with pushing more people into Obamacare.

Last week, U.S. Department of Health and Human Service Secretary Kathleen Sebelius announced $150 million in community health center grants, money that will go to hire more than 1,100 Obamacare outreach workers across the country.

HHS will give 16 Montana health centers almost $1.5 million to hire the 27 workers a year. The federal agency expects Treasure State outreach coordinators will enroll more than 14,000 people in health programs.

Funds will flow to clinics in Billings, Cut Bank, Missoula, Butte and Great Falls, among others. Here’s a look at the distribution:

MT HHS cash

What exactly will these workers do for the next year? In short, they’ll help people enroll in Medicaid if they qualify, or inform them of their option to purchase coverage through the exchange, an Amazon.com of health insurance that’s a key tenet of the health reform law.

“Investing in health centers means that people in neighborhoods and towns across the country have one more resource to help them understand their insurance options and enroll in affordable coverage,” Sebelius said in a news release.

Outreach workers likely will work with community groups and nonprofits to spread the word about Obamacare. They’ll certainly have their work cut out for them. A Kaiser Family Foundation poll released earlier this year revealed that more than 40 percent of Americans are unaware that Obamacare is the law of the land.

Ben Domenec , a research fellow at the conservative Heartland Institute, longtime skeptics of Obama’s health reform law, says the money only means more bureaucracy and overhead costs added to an already-bloated health system.

“There are already thousands of employees focused on enrolling people in Medicaid and CHIP at these health centers, but HHS wants to double the number, because they understand that the more people they shove into this unsustainable program, the harder it will be to repeal,” Domenech told Watchdog.org last week.

Domenech and others allege that the workers hired will act as public relations specialists with the sole intent of propping up Obamacare.

“They’re going to use this money to hire Obamacare promoters, who will push people who come through their doors to sign up for taxpayer-subsidized coverage, whether through Medicaid, the CHIP or the (private insurance) exchanges,” he told Watchdog.org.

 Contact Dustin Hurst at Dustin@Watchdog.org


Dustin is a contributor to Watchdog.org and news director for IdahoReporter.com in Boise, Idaho. His work has been featured by Reason, Townhall.com, Fox News, the Washington Examiner, the Spokesman Review and Public Sector Inc., among others. Steve Forbes also tweeted one of Dustin's stories one time.

  • It’s our own money (or borrowed from the ChiComs, so our grandkids will have to pay it back) that they are trying to bribe us with!
    ….wouldn’t $1.5 million cover a whole lot of REAL medical expenses, rather than trying to put boot polish on a dog turd to tell us it’s supposed to be a candy bar?

  • Loretta Romo

    This is a much of BSSSSSSSS he must know someone, that knows someone within theses Heath care Center. Hell we didn’t get no funds I live in a small town…….

  • Sam Jackson

    The exchanges will hardly be amazon.com. Amazon is a dynamic marketplace bristling with diversity and competition. Lots of choices, all kinds of stuff at all kinds of prices. The insurance exchanges will not be like that. They will be forced to sell the government mandated coverage, so that you could not, for example, get catastrophic coverage only, with a high deductible, driving your premium down. You will be forced to be covered for all kinds of things you don’t want or need. It will not be hundreds or thousands of companies competing with each other to meet your needs, as with, say, cell phones, where prices range from $10 to $400, more like choices for cable tv, and those choices stink.