A document obtained by a recent public records request exposes the highly partisan nature of the taxpayer-funded Washington Healthplanfinder—our state’s online Obamacare exchange. An email sent by Washington Health Benefit Exchange CEO Richard Onizuka details how the Exchange proposes to supplement voter registration via the Healthplanfinder website, the call center, and through navigators and in-person assisters.
The fact that Obamacare is in the business of voter registration is old news. As a part of the [un]Affordable Care Act, enrollees are offered the opportunity— through exchange websites—to register to vote. Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services spokesman Brian Cook told the Washington Post back in 2013 that the National Voter Registration Act of 1993 is to blame. According to Cook, the law “requires states to offer voter registration [at] all offices that provide ‘public assistance’ (including Medicaid applications). Because people applying on healthcare.gov could be eligible for either Medicaid or Marketplace coverage, we will be providing info on voter registration to people who request it.”
Of course, registering voters via Obamacare websites gives Democrats a major political advantage. Uninsured Americans supported Barack Obama over Mitt Romney by a whopping 40 percent margin.
It’s not the fact that Healthplanfinder is supplementing voter registration—or even the clear advantage to Democrats—that exposes the highly partisan agenda of our state’s Exchange. Rather, it is to whom Onizuka chose to send the actual letter informing them of how the Exchange was proposing to go about setting up voter registration that raises a red flag.
Onizuka addresses the letter to the who’s who of liberal organizations, on both the state and national level. Notably, the letter is not sentto a single conservative organization. Not one.
Here’s the list of recipients who Onizuka directly addressed in the letter:
- Dana Laurent of the Win/Win Network
The harmless sounding “Win/Win Network” is actually a liberal attack network based out of Seattle. The organization champions liberal causes and has close ties to the far-left Progress Alliance of Washington. Laurent herself ran for the chairmanship of the state Democrat Party in 2014, but was defeated.
- Niyati Shah of Project Vote
Project Vote started off as Project VOTE!, a Chicago voter registration drive successfully run by none other than Barack Obama in 1992. From 1994 to 2008, Project Vote worked closely with ACORN. In fact, prior to ACORN’s downfall, Project Vote’s board members also had membership in the now disgraced organization.
- Jenn Rolnick Borchetta of Demos
Demos is a liberal “think tank” which featured Barack Obama as a co-founding board member while he was still an Illinois state Senator. The organization is financed by George Soros.
- Alan Martinson of Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law
Since its founding by the request of John F. Kennedy, Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law has moved farther and farther to the left as time progresses. The organization has close ties to Project Vote and Demos. It has past affiliations with ACORN.
The list of recipients copied by Onizuka on this letter is comprised of a variety of far-left organizations, local labor groups which operate in our state to elect Democrats, and a few elected officials. Here’s the list:
- League of Women Voters of Washington
- Statewide Poverty Action Network
- Public School Employees of WA/SEIU 1948
- SEIU Local 925
- WA Federation of State Employees/AFSCME, Council 28
- Washington State Council of Fire Fighters
- Washington Bus
- African Diaspora of Washington
- Children’s Alliance
- Washington State Labor Council, AFL-CIO
- Planned Parenthood Votes Northwest
- 21 Progress
- Washington Low Income Housing Alliance
- UAW Local 4121
- Washington CAN!
- SEIU Healthcare 1199NW
- SEIU Healthcare 775NW
- Asian Pacific Islander Americans for Civic Engagement (APACE)
- State Rep. Sam Hunt (Democrat)
- Office of the Governor
- Secretary of State’s Office
- Washington Health Benefit Exchange Board
- Office of the Attorney General
Is it surprising that Onizuka could not even think of a single conservative organization to copy on his email? The choice to leave out any conservative – or even non-Left – affiliated groups from communication concerning how the Exchange will go about registering enrollees to vote reveals the blatant agenda behind the Obamacare voter registration push: get Democrats elected.
The Exchange faced several embarrassing setbacks since its launch. From overcharging enrollees to charging for insurance enrollees don’t actually have to various other website “glitches,” the Exchange has faced mess after mess with no truly viable solution. During the last open enrollment period, the Exchange fell short of its goal by more than 20%.
As Shift reported, the Exchange’s failure to attract paying customers—not Medicaid enrollees—adds strain to taxpayers who will carry the responsibility for the unmet costs to run the exchange. That’s because the exchange is funded through three mechanisms: “a tax on insurance premiums paid in the exchange, a tax on insurance companies selling policies in the exchange and state taxpayer money that funnels through the state Health Care Authority.” If the exchange’s enrollment goals are not met, the money from the premium tax and the insurance company tax is simply not there to meet costs.
So, perhaps rather than engaging in highly partisan politics, the Exchange would better serve the public by actually fixing its many, many messes and attracting paying customers.