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On Controversy surrounds Lawrence navigator for Affordable Care Act

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Chelsea Kapfer 1 year, 6 months ago

This article saddens me. Just because someone has some financial problems in their life does not disqualify them for a job. I, like many others, have fallen behind on bills for whatever reason. Life is hard, especially as a single mom! Let her make her living and raise her family. Certainly there are more important issues at hand than this womans personal financial problems.

Kevin Groenhagen 1 year, 6 months ago

Jon Stewart and KAMU are pooh-poohing this, but this situation illustrates the serious concerns that Gov. Bobby Jindal expressed about the navigator program two months ago:

"The ‘navigators’ will be required to take only 20 hours of online course training, which will apparently make them experts on the 1,000 page ObamaCare bill. An HHS official was even quoted this week saying, “We view training as an ongoing process.” Count me as skeptical.

"To make matters worse, these ‘navigators’ are going to have access to all kinds of personal information that will make the whole program ripe for fraud.

"When helping individuals sign up for ObamaCare, these community organizers will have access to sensitive personal information, including social security numbers and tax information.

"Amazingly, HHS is not planning on requiring background checks on these individuals before putting them to work. Besides the obvious identity theft concerns, this is a frightening development in light of the political activities and invasion of privacy, which the IRS and others have engaged in during the Obama presidency." http://www.foxnews.com/opinion/2013/08/12/obamacare-navigator-program-is-ripe-for-disaster/

I'm for health-care reform, but it has to be done right. Unfortunately, it is not being done right because the Obama administration was more concerned with doing things quickly than doing things correctly. They rushed out a website on October 1 that was not ready and may not be completely ready for many months to come. They also rolled out the navigator program too quickly and did nothing to address the concerns of Jindal and others. Obviously, adequate background checks were not conducted on the navigators. Stewart and KAMU are spinning after the disclosure of Ms. Wells' legal issues. However, if you had asked them four months ago if the navigator program would allow individuals who had written bad checks and with outstanding arrest warrants to have access to social security numbers, birth dates, and other personal information, what do you think they would have said?

Kevin Groenhagen 1 year, 6 months ago

The "worthless check" lawsuit was just six years ago. The outstanding arrest warrant was current as of last week.

As I indicated to Giles Bruce, who I think did a great job covering both sides of this story, Ms. Wells "may be a great person and as honest as they come." The concern that I and many others have is that there may be many navigators out there who are not so great and less than honest. At a minimum, Kathleen Sebelius and her team should have set up a system to do adequate background checks on navigator candidates before allowing them access to social security numbers and other sensitive, personal information.

Kevin Groenhagen 1 year, 6 months ago

My comment was directed at another commenter, whose comment has since been removed. There was nothing personal in my comment; I merely pointed out that the other commentator posted something that was not factual.

Seth Peterson 1 year, 6 months ago

Considering you've never made a post with factual content in it. . .

Kevin Groenhagen 1 year, 6 months ago

This comment was removed by the site staff for violation of the usage agreement.

Leslie Swearingen 1 year, 6 months ago

Am I understanding this right? She wrote a check for the amount she owned at the hospital and it bounced? Would not that amount be a felony? Would not it have been better for her to explain to them why she could not pay and set up a payment plan?

I believe that if anyone else had a wrote a fraudulent check for this amount they would now be in prison. One more example of my confusion in how the law is enforced.

Frank McGuinness 1 year, 6 months ago

"I'm for health-care reform, but it has to be done right" Kevin, While you may support health care reform the problem is that your party or parties have either thwarted the attempts at past reform (see Bill Clinton) or avoided them entirely (See George W Bush and H.W., Reagan) even when they had the all 3 branches of gov't and the ability to pass reform. Healthcare in the hands of conservatives would likely be kicked down the road for another century if left up to them or never addressed at all. Fortunately for Americans, President Obama took on the status quo and delivered. Is it perfect or will it be, not hardly. So you can complain all you like about the ACA but you have had your opportunities to make it "your" way and that time has passed. At this juncture not only is it the law of the land but as time goes on more and more Americans find themselves happy with portions or a majority of the law and its repeal is not only unlikely but in a decade or less it will be untouchable like Social Security or Medicare.

Kevin Groenhagen 1 year, 6 months ago

The only GOP president to have had a GOP-controlled House and Senate was Bush 43, and that was mainly from just 2003 to 2007. Note the Democrats killed Social Security reform and reform of Fannie and Freddie, so it is unlikely that the Democrats would have allowed a GOP-sponsored health-care reform program to pass.

"At this juncture not only is it the law of the land but as time goes on more and more Americans find themselves happy with portions or a majority of the law...."

Being the law of the land does not make it a good law, nor does it mean that opposition ends. Slavery was once the law of the land. Do you believe abolitionists should have just accepted the "law of the land"? As far as Obamacare becoming more popular, the odds on that are not good. More and more people are finding out that they have been sold a bill of goods. Obama clearly lied when he said that premiums would be reduced by an average of $2,200 a year, you can keep your own doctor, etc.

I read Eric Hoffer's "The True Believer: Thoughts on the Nature of Mass Movements" (1951) over the weekend, and he wrote, "There can be no mass movement without some deliberate misrepresentation of facts." Obama's "mass movement" is no exception. You may be upset with the complaints regarding Obamacare, but many of us don't like being lied to.

And note that Social Security and Medicare are both unsustainable as currently configured. Can you explain to me the wisdom of yet another massive entitlement program that we cannot afford?

Kevin Groenhagen 1 year, 6 months ago

Of course, I can. Obama's misrepresentations regarding the facts of the ACA are well-documented:

http://www.nationalreview.com/article/360617/obamacare-snake-oil-charles-c-w-cooke

Kevin Groenhagen 1 year, 6 months ago

James, the J-W changed its comments policy in order to promote more civility. It appears to me that your working to show that the policy change will not result in the desired goal.

I did self-publish a book. I am definitely not putting myself in the category of these great authors, but Mark Twain, Walt Whitman, Stephen King and John Grisham also self-published books. So we can dispense with the canard that self-publishing somehow discredits the author. You haven't read the book, so you cannot honestly judge what is in the book. There is nothing libelous or slanderous in the book.

Please keep your comments limited to the topic of the article and be more civil. I spent some years in the Marines, so I am quite capable of slugging it out here with you. However, neither the moderators nor the others readers would welcome that.

Kevin Groenhagen 1 year, 6 months ago

I'm sorry to hear that you feel threatened by military veterans.

In any case, I see the game you're trying to play. I'm not playing along. From this point on, I will give your comments the attention they deserve, i.e., they will be ignored.

Frank McGuinness 1 year, 6 months ago

Well For one, they at a minimum had opportunities to address the issue and failed to do so. Also both democrats and republicans support the repeal of preexisting conditions, extending the age to 26 for youth, exchange marketplace and other important parts of the law so I doubt Democrats would have blocked a bill containing those portions. Actually the primary part that Republicans dislike is the individual mandate so its wholly incorrect to think that democrats would have blocked a bill containing the previous portions I listed.

Comparing the approval of Slavery laws to giving someone healthcare isn't even a debatable topic.

While Medicare or Social Security may be unsustainable the ACA has already reduced our budget deficit and those savings are even used in GOP sponsored bills at the same time they attempt to repeal the bill.

Kevin Groenhagen 1 year, 6 months ago

"Comparing the approval of Slavery laws to giving someone healthcare isn't even a debatable topic."

That was a predictable response. The issue is your comment concerning "the law of the land," and not the specific law.

"While Medicare or Social Security may be unsustainable the ACA has already reduced our budget deficit ...."

Above I mentioned Eric Hoffer's comment that no mass movement can exist without some deliberate misrepresentation of facts. Hoffer also noted that mass movements rely on those who are willing to accept deliberate misrepresentation of facts.

Bob Forer 1 year, 6 months ago

Kevin, please explain to me why in the world you would pick on a person you probably haven't even met and embarrass them publically to attempt to prove a poltiical position. All of us are human beings and make mistakes in our lives. The private financial affairs of one individual has abolutely no bearing on an issue affecting the entire country. Have you no decency?

Kevin Groenhagen 1 year, 6 months ago

I haven't picked on anyone. I sent a lead to another individual who did more investigating and found PUBLIC records that prove the Obamacare navigator program is not doing due diligence by doing thorough background checks on the navigators. If you have not yet read Gov, Bobby Jindal's comments about the navigator program above, please do so.

Richard Heckler 1 year, 6 months ago

This whole mess probably developed through the Sam Brownback family of unethical politicians in an effort to further complicate signing up for Obamacre in Kansas.

Why would the Daily Caller or Slade have any reason to be following any history on this person? This is outrageous and unacceptable behavior.

I say people from the Sam Brownback family of unethical politicians created this unfortunate mess for this person.

The unethical spot light should be focused on the Sam Brownback and Kobach 24/7. Look at how the national GOP behaves and we know Sam Brownback is from Washington,D.C.

If the GOP can't win the issues which is often they go for character assassination no matter what.

Fire the Sam Brownback administration! Kansas cannot afford a republican administration!

Richard Heckler 1 year, 6 months ago

Leave this person alone. Let her get back to work!

John Graham 1 year, 6 months ago

Ms. Wells stated she was unaware of the warrant until contacted by the reporter. If you review the information from the Shawnee County Court it is quite clear she is not telling the truth. Many jobs I have had required me to list any legal issues I had in the present or past. Failure to document such information would be grounds for termination. Yes her issues were with personal finances that she was apparently unable to manage, I think such information is pertinent to a job that involves helping the public with healthcare financial issues. I am not saying she would steal, but if she is unable to manage her own financial affairs what makes us think she would do any better when managing others healthcare financial matters?

John Graham 1 year, 6 months ago

Click on the highlighted $5236.59 dollar amount in the article where it mentions the warrant. It will take you to info about the Shawnee County Court case. Read it. She posted $50 bond in 7/12 and $100 bond in 8/12. So clearly she knew of this issue.

Richard Heckler 1 year, 6 months ago

Cut the political back stabbing and character assassination of this person. Clearly she wants to work and needs the money. I'm not sure why the LJW thought this to be newsworthy.

Dirty politics straight from the Brownback camp..... the bottom line.

Leave this person alone. Let her get back to work!

Why would the Daily Caller or Slade have any reason to be following any history on this person? This is outrageous and unacceptable behavior. There was no reason and only because some right wing Obamacare haters thought it best to smear this person...... talk about low down and dirty.

Kevin Groenhagen 1 year, 6 months ago

Richard:

Your conspiracy theory holds no water. The "Brownback camp" had nothing to do with this. I found the information about Ms. Wells' "worthless check" case after doing research concerning the navigator program for a book I am writing on what I call the "socialist coalition." I had heard that remnants of what used to be called ACORN were involved in the navigator program, and I wanted to see if Ms. Wells was associated with ACORN, SEIU, or any other affiliated group. I found no evidence of that, but did find the worthless check case. Michael Volpe, a Chicago-based reporter with the Daily Caller, has done articles on the lack of background checks concerning the navigators, so I forwarded what I found to him. He subsequently found the other information, including the outstanding arrest warrant. Despite Jon Stewart and KAMU's comments, no reasonable person would have allowed a potential navigator candidate to join the program if he or she had an outstanding arrest warrant on his or her record. That would defy common sense. As John Graham notes above, it would not have been possible for Ms. Wells to have been ignorant of that outstanding arrest warrant until, as she claims, Volpe asked her about it. Obviously, Ms. Wells did not share the outstanding arrest warrant information with Mr. Stewart or KAMU. A basic background check would have found that arrest warrant. In fact, Volpe found it and the other legal issues after a quick search at PeopleSmart.com.

No one is picking on Ms. Wells personally. In fact, her legal issues never would have been an issue if Kathleen Sebelius and HHS had done due diligence and conducted adequate background checks on navigator candidates. Unfortunately, as also demonstrated by the Obamacare website, the Obama administration chose to put in place the website and navigator program quickly rather than correctly. Ms. Wells' case is merely a symptom of that. And there are others. For example, there is an illegal immigrant running a navigator program in New York. Think of the identity theft possibilities with that situation.

I'm not just spouting right-wing propaganda regarding the problems with Obamacare. Yesterday, the Chicago Tribune, Obama's hometown newspaper, called Obamacare a "mess" in its editorial.

http://my.chicagotribune.com/#section/-1/article/p2p-77808576/

John Graham 1 year, 6 months ago

There is no character assassination. The statements in the article are facts found on public records.

Richard Heckler 1 year, 6 months ago

You want mis-information? Slade and Daily Caller are two reliable sources 24/7.

Richard Heckler 1 year, 6 months ago

None of this was or is necessary. She was hired to do a job simple as that. Once this was presented in the public chat board and newspapers it becomes character assassination. This is none of the public's business simple as that.

It is a tool to get in the way of Obamacare which is part of the Brownback, ALEC and Tea Party platform. The right wing of Kansas is against Obamacare coming to Kansas. This faction is also against Medicaid,Medicare and Social Security Insurance.

This faction is also against Public Education.

Rosilyn Wells was hired to do a job. Let her do her job and feed her family. The people who hired Rosilyn Wells were pleased with her qualifications so let this woman get on with it.

Obamacare is for Kansas consumers which offers better coverage and consumer protection than the previous status quo by a long shot.

John Graham 1 year, 6 months ago

While I have written against hiring navigators without background checks, I am NOT as you suggest against public education, social security, Medicaid or medicare. I am not a member of the tea party, ALEC, or a fan of Brownback. Just because someone has an opinion on one issue does not mean you can pigeon hole them on all topics.

Richard Heckler 1 year, 6 months ago

Talk about a mess. How about this grand scheme which is likely outright fraud?

Health insurers have forced consumers to pay billions of dollars in medical bills that the insurers themselves should have paid, according to a report released yesterday by the staff of the Senate Commerce Committee.

Insurers make paperwork confusing because "they realize that people will just simply give up and not pursue it" if they think they have been shortchanged, Potter said.

More on this story: http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/06/24/AR2009062401636.html

The country needs more federal regulators to keep an eye on this industry.

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