SPRINGFIELD - Governor Pat Quinn distributed millions of federal dollars to 44 politically-active organizations and county health departments in order to assist clients in buying into the Affordable Care Act. State Rep. Darlene Senger thought taxpayers deserved an audit of how those funds were distributed.
The Illinois House leadership disagrees with Rep. Senger - there's no need for the details of where all that federal money went. Speaker Mike Madigan and his assistants made it clear Tuesday when they rejected Senger's call for an audit.
“In February of this year I introduced House Resolution 807 that called for the Department of Insurance to audit the Obamacare Navigator program. The program has used at least $36 million taxpayer dollars to hire over 1,200 navigators to help guide people through their healthcare enrollment choices. Even with the support of numerous of my colleagues, the resolution has been sent to sub-committee without a scheduled hearing.”
The list of organizations getting millions from the federal government grant included public sector union locals, as well as immigrant- and LGBT-focused groups - eacg hand-picked by Governor Quinn. The AIDS Foundation of Chicago was marked for $650,000.00, the Chicago Federation of Labor Workers for $250,000.00. The Illinois Coalition for Immigrant and Refugee Rights was listed to get $1,250,000.00 and SEIU Local 4 to receive $710,000.00.
All that money, plus millions more for Obamacare workers raised eyebrows in September. One House member, Darlene Senger of Naperville called on the governor to open the books to see where and the Obamacare navigator funds were distributed.
"With the recent disclosure of the waste and abuse in a similar program that lacked oversight, the Neighborhood Recovery Program, it is clear that we need to open the books on all government spending so that more taxpayer dollars aren’t wasted. That is why I call on you today to vote to allow this resolution to be called in committee because when we find out about waste and abuse 4 years after it occurs is it too late.”
Senger’s motion to have the bill assigned to committee for hearing was denied. The resolution calls for the Department of Insurance to audit the Navigator program and its performance. The resolution has been sent to the House Health Insurance Exchange Subcommittee where it has not had a hearing.
The Affordable Care Act In Person Counselor program distributed money among the following Illinois groups: