02.22.2012 2

Obama’s ‘Rules for Radicals’ Health Care Buy

Saul Alinsky's Rules for RadicalsBy Rick Manning — Not content with making the health insurance industry unprofitable, through rules and regulations set out in enacting Obamacare, the Obama administration released the first eight grants/loans under the Consumer Oriented and Operated Plan (CO-OP) program.

The CO-OP program was established under the Obamacare law to put into place one federal government selected group in every state that is supposed to provide an insurance alternative to those few companies that remain after the imposition of the law.

The grants/loans have raised the political antenna of Bill Wilson, the President of Americans for Limited Government who said, “These grants/loans reek of political payola as one group, the Saul Alinsky-affiliated, Common Ground Healthcare Cooperative of Wisconsin was formed in August, 2011 just three short months prior to applying for the taxpayer money.   In true, Rules for Radicals fashion, Obama’s administration found this group worthy of receiving $56,416,000 in taxpayer largesse.”

Common Ground is an affiliate of the Industrial Areas Foundation, a group the radical Saul Alinsky founded, as reported by the Journal Sentinel in Milwaukee.

The provision of $56 million taxpayer funds by the federal government for health care organizing comes at a time when Wisconsin’s public employee unions are orchestrating a recall election of the Governor after failing in a retaliatory bid for power in the Senate last year.  Wisconsin’s state government moved forward with changes in the state’s collective bargaining rules early in 2011 over the objections of the unions.  Ironically, those changes have allowed the state to bring the budget into balance without having to lay off any public employees.

Wilson continued his analysis stating, “Only the most naïve would believe that this $56 million injection of money into the political charged atmosphere in Wisconsin is anything more than an attempt to buy votes in favor of the public employee recall election of Governor Scott Walker and to tip the balance in this important swing state in November.

“There are no lengths that Obama won’t go in his attempt to use Chicago-style politics to drive his election bid, and this $56 million to a group with no track record and dubious connections is just one more outrage,” Wilson concluded.

Shockingly, the rules governing the grants  issued by Obama’s Health and Human Services Department projected that the CO-OPs would have a 35-40 percent default rate.  With $3.4 billion budgeted for the program, the most conservative loss estimate is $1.19 billion, or twice the total cost to taxpayers of the Obama Energy Department funded Solyndra failure.

Other groups receiving grants are the Freelancers CO-OP of New Jersey, Freelancers CO-OP of Oregon, Freelancers Health Service Corporation (based in New York), New Mexico Health Connections, Montana Health Cooperative and Midwest Members Health (Iowa and Nebraska.)

According to Politico Pro, a private subscription news service, the CO-OPs have been termed government funded “venture capital for health care” by the executive director of the Freelancers Union Insurance programs.  Ironically, the Freelancers programs have come under fire over the years for inefficient operations and a variety of difficulties regarding member coverage.

The CO-Ops will be able to offer health plans starting on January 1, 2014.

Rick Manning is the Director of Communications for Americans for Limited Government.

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