NORTH TEXAS (CBSDFW.COM) – Two North Texas offices of the Urban League of Greater Dallas are at the center of a national controversy tonight.
One person has already lost her job. The woman was let go after the release of what many are calling an embarrassing video.
Some employees who have recently been trained to help enroll people in the national Affordable Care Act or what is often referred to as Obamacare, have been purportedly been caught on hidden camera video encouraging people to lie about their health habits and income.
“If you could walk me through some because I had some questions on it,” a man is heard saying in one of the videos.
Video posted online reportedly exposes employees of the Dallas Urban League giving questionable, if not illegal advice about how to get the best coverage under the new Affordable Care Act.
“Don’t get yourself in trouble by declaring it now,” a worker is seen saying. ‘You lie because your premiums will be higher.”
The conservative government watchdog group Project Veritas went undercover inside Urban League offices in Dallas and Irving. Those are two locations that are among hundreds of organizations nationwide given millions in government grants to act as navigators and guide those without health insurance as they sign up for Obamacare.
On the video, an employee can be seen and heard telling a man posing as an enrollee that he can get cheaper coverage if he doesn’t report all of his income.
In another clip, an employee encourages a man to lie about being a smoker. “Don’t tell them that. Don’t tell ’em,” the worker says. “I always lie on mine.”
The Urban League of Greater Dallas announced Tuesday that one of the employees seen on video has been fired, and three others suspended.
The organization also released a statement that said, in part,
“The Urban League of Greater Dallas does not condone, nor would we ever sanction, misleading the public or any individual who seeks our assistance about any issue, and particularly in this case, an issue as critical as health care. Our organization has taken immediate steps to address the actions of the identified employees and investigate the full context of what occurred in our Dallas and Irving offices. We are also requesting a copy of the unedited footage of the entire videotaped encounters.”
Late Tuesday night, US Representative Pete Sessions from Dallas called for congressional hearings on the matter. He also called for investigations into the ACA navigation programs for possible fraud and abuse.
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