Sign in to comment!

Menu
Home

Politics

Legislation

Enroll America under fire again after video suggests involvement in partisan politics

enroll_america.jpg

FILE: A certified application counselor for ObamaCare at the Borinquen Medical Center in Miami, Florida. (REUTERS)

Enroll America, the group leading efforts to enroll Americans in ObamaCare, is facing accusations again that it has violated its tax-exempt nonprofit status by engaging in partisan politics -- following the release of a video in which a top official seems to brag about his political connections.

The complaint was filed Friday by the group with the IRS.

In the video, Christopher Tarango, a communications director for the group, says: "I'm doing Enroll America right now. But I'm also, I shouldn't be saying this, but I'm also helping out with HD 50, so that's as partisan as it gets.

"There's a lot of talent that got sucked into Organizing for Action. I mean, there's a lot of talent that got sucked into Enroll America, but we are all Obama people."

Tarango was referring to a Texas House race when he says “HD 50,” in the video, secretly record by Project Veritas in an Austin coffee shop on Nov. 8, according to Cause of Action.

Tarango also seems to be telling an actor posing as a Democratic political operative that he might be able to help in a deal to sell ObamaCare applicant information, after first rejecting the notion.

He suggests he knows a high-ranking company official “well enough that, to feel like if we had a few beers, this would not be the craziest conversation that he's ever heard.”

Cause of Action -- a self-described nonprofit, nonpartisan government accountability group -- also wrote a letter Nov. 13 to Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott asking him in part to evaluate whether entities such as Enroll America and Battleground Texas have violated the IRS code and his state’s laws.

The letter followed at least one other video by the conservative group Project Veritas and called into question the validity of so-called “navigators” that help Americans sign up for ObamaCare.

“Despite its claims of serving the public good, it appears that Enroll America has abused its tax-exempt status by using donor contributions for political and other impermissible purposes,” the group said Friday.

Cause of Action also argues Tarango’s comments indicate Enroll is “engaging in political activity by coordinating with the pro-President Obama group Organizing for Action, a 501(c)(4) organization.

Battleground Texas is a 527 political action committee. The letter this week to the IRS suggests some people who helped get Obama elected in 2012 are now with that group.

This is the second IRS complaint filed by the Cause of  Action against Enroll American.

The group filed the first complaint in July, asking the IRS to investigate Enroll America’s tax status due to failing to operate for a charitable purpose.

The group purportedly collected $3.8 million in donations just in 2011.

This spring, House Republicans started a probe into Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius soliciting donations from companies her agency might regulate, to help sign up uninsured Americans for ObamaCare.

Sebelius asked charitable foundations, businesses executives, churches and doctors to donate money to Enroll America and other nonprofits that are helping to implement Obama's health care overhaul.

The agency has said there is a special section within the Public Health Services Act that allows the secretary to solicit financial support for nonprofit organizations conducting public health work.