By Pat Hughes
It would be great if we lived in a world where the State of Illinois’ Medicaid system was not so mismanaged that a convicted terrorist could be hired as an Obamacare navigator. But reality intervenes, requiring us to take preventive measures to protect those who are in the over-extended system—and the state as a whole.
Rasmieh Yousef Odeh was convicted in Israel for her role in several bombings. Unnervingly, the state’s background check did not uncover this fact before putting her on the payroll. How could this happen? An all too typical failure of large-scale bureaucracy provides the answer.
The federal government doesn’t require states to conduct any criminal background checks on Obamacare navigators, a stunning reality confirmed by HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius in Congressional testimony. Strike one. Illinois could require the background checks, but doesn’t. Strike two. We don’t even conduct an audit of the Navigator Program to do an after the fact assessment of mistakes—like hiring Odeh—that were made in implementing the program. In fact, members of the Illinois House of Representatives voted against allowing a bill to audit the Navigator Program to even be heard and debated on the House floor. Strike three.
In a state where lion’s meat regulation, internet dating safety, the dangers of tanning beds, and numerous other initiatives that place regulations on business in the name of public safety are debated liberally, the hypocrisy of voting against a bill that would look into the hiring practices of a large and—by all accounts—mismanaged program is remarkable.
Those who voted ‘No’ cast a vote against the security of the people of Illinois in order to protect their party and its most prominent piece of legislation. They voted against you and in favor of their own political interests.
This case alarmingly illustrates the greatest threat faced by the people of Illinois today: a ruling class that aggressively suppresses any measure aimed at confronting a serious problem—whether it is pension reform, education reform or an audit of the Obamacare Navigator Program—because it is inconvenient to their agenda and compromising to their will to power.
Unless we force those in power to change—or until we replace them with true public servants—we will carry with us the burden of having future generations wonder why we ignored clear warnings when their safety and security was in our hands.