On Friday, Washington Post reporter Juliet Eilperin filed a Style section front-pager on Marlon Marshall, the “deputy director of the White House Office of Public Engagement, where he is charged with helping to sell the Affordable Care Act, which remains politically polarizing and was damaged by a disastrous Web site rollout last fall.”
What sticks out most in this profile is how Planned Parenthood – which receives hundreds of millions of dollars in federal money each year – is an integral part of selling Obamacare door to door, and this is somehow not seen as controversial:
At 3 p.m. on most Tuesdays, Marshall also joins a meeting of groups working on enrollment. The group meets outside the White House, and Marshall cannot dole out marching orders. But he can suggest where the law’s supporters can boost their efforts — such as the Texas cities of San Antonio, El Paso and McAllen, for example, or in Atlanta.
The world Marshall aims to coordinate — but does not preside over — includes groups such as the Service Employees International Union, Enroll America, the League of United Latin American Citizens and the Planned Parenthood Federation of America. They are looking to find the uninsured, but as Deirdre Schifeling, Planned Parenthood’s national organizing and electoral campaigns director, put it, “There’s no perfect list.”
Enroll America has developed a model — with the aid of some of the technology experts from the president’s 2012 campaign — that aims to identify uninsured residents in a given neighborhood. Chris Wyatt, the group’s managing director, said it means advocates now have about a 30 percent chance of finding a person without coverage when someone opens the door. “That’s half of all the doors we need to knock on,” he said.
About 400 Planned Parenthood canvassers are using that model to knock on 15,000 doors a day in 18 cities; Schifeling said it works 10 to 30 percent of the time. The canvassers come armed with tablets so they can sign people up for an e-mail account and fill out an application for coverage at the end of their initial conversation. Schifeling said canvassers have a 55 percent success rate for enrollments.
So Planned Parenthood, a major government grantee and a group that stands to benefit from more federal funding for health care -- and they hope taxpayer-funded abortions in the near future -- is fungibly using its government grants as they knock on 15,000 doors a day? It sounds like the House needs to hold an oversight hearing on how this is happening.