Obamacare loans money to Alinsky-tied group Common Ground in swingstate Wisconsin - More obama cronyism with your tax dollars?
A Saul Alinsky-tied group has been awarded a $56 million federal loan to start up a nonprofit health insurance company -- one of several organizations across the country this week tapped to launch a new network of insurers under the sponsorship of the federal health care overhaul.
The Wisconsin group, Common Ground Healthcare Cooperative, was awarded the funding on Tuesday. According to the Department of Health and Human Services, the group is expected to provide coverage statewide within five years after starting on a smaller scale in early 2014.
"The indisputable fact is that Common Ground was an outgrowth of the Alinsky operation in Chicago," Wilson said. "We're not giving money to a group with experience in health care issues or in setting up exchanges. ... We're handing the money to people who have been trained by arguably the single most expert individual on community organizing in the last 100 years."
Common Ground, a Milwaukee group that dates back to 2004, is an affiliate of the Alinsky-founded Industrial Areas Foundation.
Common Ground Healthcare Cooperative, an offshoot which technically is independent from Common Ground, is new. According to state records, it incorporated in August 2011, just a few months before the loan applications were due. The group announced its formal launch on Tuesday, along with the $56 million loan decision.
The federal loans announced this week were worth a total of nearly $640 million. Six other organizations in seven states received them. The money is meant for the creation of so-called Consumer Operated and Oriented Plans, which will serve as nonprofit, cooperative-style insurance groups which will offer an alternative to other private plans. The goal is to eventually fund one of these groups in every state and the District of Columbia.
But Wilson said some of the other groups awarded appear to have more experience in the field than the Wisconsin organization. He said his group would file a Freedom of Information Act request to the government to find out more about the process.
Wilson described the transaction as a "huge wad of money in a swing state."
Republican Rep. Dave Camp's office also complained that another group, the Freelancers Union, was awarded more than $340 million via federal loans in three states as part of the same program.
In a statement, Camp questioned whether the group was even eligible, describing the loan as a "reward" for "political friends."
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