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Will ACORN sprout in ObamaCare?

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By John Barnhart

    A couple of months ago, thanks to some enterprising private citizens, ACORN got caught giving advice on how to break the law.

    Videos surfaced in September of employees at ACORN field offices in three different cities advising a pair, posing as a pimp and a prostitute, on how to launder money earned from prostitution. They also got advice on how to evade the law to bring underage prostitutes into the country and house them.

    As a result of the scandal the videos produced, Congress voted to strip ACORN of public funding.

    In spite of this, ACORN isn’t gone. Federal funding provided only 10 percent of ACORN’s budget and ACORN still has friends in Congress. When the votes were taken, 75 in the House of Representatives and 11 in the Senate voted against the measures. Apparently for some “Democrats,” counseling people on how to break the law and get away with it isn’t a problem as long as it’s a leftist organization that’s doing the counseling.

    Now comes ObamaCare. The House’s version of the bill, H.R. 3962, passed on a 220-215 vote and it includes some interesting features.

    One provision provides grants to community health worker programs. The only qualification required of the organizations running these programs is that they have “documented community activity and experience with community healthcare workers.”

    My bet is that this will be a vehicle for ACORN’s Congressional buddies to once again fund this  organization. The votes that defunded ACORN defunded it from existing programs under which it was receiving taxpayer money. These won’t prevent it from once again bellying up to the public feeding trough under new government initiatives.

    Only public vigilance produced the scandal that got ACORN out of taxpayers’ pockets this fall. In spite of having an unsavory reputation for having a hand in voter fraud, Congress didn’t take action until it was embarrassed into action by videos produced by private citizens.

    Only public vigilance will keep ACORN from getting its hands back into taxpayers’ pockets. If the above mentioned language appears in the final version of ObamaCare, then you can bet ACORN’s friends in the federal government will once again use health care as a vehicle to resume sending the taxpayers’ money to them.

    Congressman Tom Perriello was one of the 220 congressmen who voted in favor of H.R. 3962. I think the bill is a bad idea because I’m convinced that it will do more harm than good. I don’t think it will lower insurance rates and I do think it threatens those of us who have employer provided or subsidized insurance. I think it’s going to hurt people on Medicare. I also think it’s going to either dramatically raise federal deficits or dramatically raise taxes on all of us.

     I do, however, have to give Congressman Perriello credit for voting for the Stupak-Pitts amendment that put strong language in the bill to bar the use of federal funds to pay for abortions. He also voted with the majority, in September, when the House voted on the above mentioned legislation to block federal funds from going to ACORN under an existing program.

    Now, it remains to be seen what happens in the Senate and it’s up to us to keep tabs on what’s going on. We also need to keep after our senators to make sure that the Stupak-Pitts language is included in the Senate version of ObamaCare while any provisions, that ACORN could use to get back on the taxpayer-funded gravy train, disappear.