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Hullabaloo


Thursday, November 07, 2013

 
Triple A strategy: ALEC, ACORN and the ACA

by digby

I think this signals a shift in tactics, or at the very least an experiment:
Attorney General Greg Abbott hinted strongly Tuesday that Texas may impose additional training and background checks on “navigators” hired under federal grants to help people sign up for insurance through the Affordable Care Act.

A day before President Barack Obama was to meet with navigators in Dallas, Abbott said his office and the state Department of Insurance have found weaknesses in federal rules.
The flaws could allow criminals to obtain Texans’ personal financial and health information through navigator sloppiness, Abbott warned. Crooks themselves could become navigators, he said.

In a letter to Insurance Commissioner Julia Rathgeber, he urged the department to “move quickly to establish state regulations that will protect Texans’ medical privacy.”
Republican members of the U.S. House, GOP state attorneys general and Gov. Rick Perry have warned that the federal government’s rules and online 20-hour training course for navigators were inadequate.
And this:
On the Senate floor yesterday, Senate Minority Whip John Cornyn (R-Texas) took this to an almost comical level.
“We’ve already heard anecdotal reports about Obamacare navigators, including a woman who had an outstanding arrest warrant at the time she was hired – along with former members of an organization known as ACORN, that’s had its own share of problems with corruption and lawbreaking.

“As I said a moment ago, these people will be allowed to collect some of the most sensitive personal information that we have as Americans.”
Gosh, I hope they don't go undercover and make a video out of your sensitive personal information and then put it out on the internet. That would be just terrible. That is, of course, if ACORN still existed, which it doesn't. Except in the fevered imaginations of a lot of conservative white folks apparently.

This sounds like the anti-abortion "death by a thousand cuts" style of opposition. If they can't defund it in one fell swoop, which I think they now realize cannot happen since the reforms are completely reordering the private insurance market already, they will chip away at it in increments, with targeted complaints and legal challenges on the state as well as the federal level. It's not unanticipated, but this signals that they'll use ALEC's patented techniques to make the law unworkable and unpopular wherever they can. FYI.

And clearly, they'll also use the lowest forms of racist fearmongering to do it: ACORN is a euphemism for "black." Basically, the senator from Texas is telling people that scary, criminal negroes are going to have access to all your personal information and will use it to hurt you. There can be no other explanation for his absurd comments.

So, it begins. I hope that people are prepared to fight this in the US Congress and in most of the states because that's how it's going to be.

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