Health care

Lawsuit: ObamaCare navigators used as union recruiters

HOUSTON – A lawsuit filed by an organizer for Battleground Texas accuses a labor group established by ACORN founder Wade Rathke of instructing an ObamaCare navigator to spend time recruiting union members.

The complaint echoes decades-old criticisms of Rathke and ACORN: They use federal money meant for services to the poor in pursuit of their own labor organizing activities.

Cedric Anthony, who went to work for the Democratic Party’s Texas recruitment operation, filed a wage-and-hour lawsuit in June against two groups he says jointly employed him as a “federal navigator assisting people with the Affordable Care Act” – Southern United Neighborhoods and Local 100 United Labor Unions.

Both groups were founded by former ACORN organizers, the latter by its founder, Rathke. In his federal suit, Anthony alleges that while he worked as a federal navigator from Dec. 12, 2013, to April 1, 2014, in the Houston area, his “responsibilities included traveling to school campuses to register cafeteria workers to the labor union and attending community events to register individuals for the Affordable Care Act.”

The watchdog group Cause of Action discovered the lawsuit recently, and sent a letter to the Inspector General of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services calling for an audit to determine whether the two groups misused federal funds for their own benefit. The group notes SUN has received $1.4 million from HHS to employ ObamaCare navigators, and its sub-grantee United Labor Unions spent $189,000 in 2013 as part of its contract to provide navigators to enroll people in ObamaCare.

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