Conservative provocateur and undercover filmmaker James O’Keefe released a video on Thursday revealing rampant fraud among Obamacare navigators.
“Lying about income and smoker status came natural to the navigators we encountered,” O’Keefe narrates. “Some may argue that hiding small amounts of cash income is no big deal. But who, exactly, would that hurt?”
The video rolls on to show more Obamacare navigators, whom, O’Keefe notes, are paid in taxpayer dollars, advising the undercover actors to leave any extra, substantial cash they make unreported. (RELATED: Sebelius: Possible for convicted felons to become Obamacare navigators)
“Well, see, I don’t know if you have to report all that,” Texas navigator Kris McCray tells one actress, who said she made a significant amount of money nannying on weekends. “I think they’re going to get that from where you go off on your taxes. Stuff like that, to get a lower premium, I wouldn’t include it. If I was cutting grass on the weekends, and they were just giving me money, that’s my money. I would just try to get that number as low as you can.”
The center where McCray works raked in $785,000 in taxpayer dollars to help Americans enroll in the Obamacare exchanges.
The North Texas Community Health Center, which received $139,487 in taxpayer dollars, also advised an actor “not to worry about” reporting income on an Obamacare enrollment application that he didn’t report on his taxes.
Another navigator, working at a center flush with $145,251 in taxpayer dollars, brushed off questions about reporting a second stream of income.
“Are you sure they won’t find out?” the actor asks the navigator.
“As long as you don’t claim it anywhere at all, it’s –” the navigator interrupts herself.
HealthCare.gov’s malfunctions and the sweeping cancellations of millions of health insurance plans have left Americans little choice but to rely on Obamacare navigators to manage their sensitive health information, O’Keefe said.
O’Keefe’s first installment also showed Obamacare navigators encouraging undercover actors to defraud the system by lying about their income, in order to lower the cost of their new health-care premiums.
“I always lie on mine,” one navigator’s assistant at the National Urban League Irving Community Center said.
O’Keefe maintains that the videos are only the tip of the iceberg.
We have so much footage, so many offices. So many employees. So much fraud caught on tape. We’re going to release them all one by one.
— James O’Keefe (@JamesOKeefeIII) November 12, 2013