Alinsky group takes credit for Obamacare bill

Saul Alinsky

The late Saul Alinsky shown here in an interview on Firing Line, conservative icon Bill Buckley’s legendary TV show. (Snip: Firing Line video/YouTube)

The Industrial Areas Foundation credits an affiliate in Massachusetts for “the template for the national Affordable Care Act.” The full name of the act is the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act commonly known as Obamacare.

IAF was founded by the late Saul Alinsky who birthed the community organizing model. Alinsky organized through wealthy philanthropists, church groups, and civic groups to meet his objectives.

On the IAF national website, there is a statement about the group’s influence on Obamacare:

Universal Health Care: The Greater Boston Interfaith Organization, the IAF affiliate in Massachusetts, spearheaded the state-wide coalition that pushed through Massachusetts’ 2006 bi-partisan universal health care law, signed by then-governor Mitt Romney. This groundbreaking legislation, which provided access to life-saving health coverage for 500,000 Massachusetts residents, became the template for the national Affordable Care Act.”

Organizations based on faith groups divert the traditional tenet of faith—directly performing and funding work on behalf of the poor—to government bodies. Such organizations then have no need for utilizing their own money, capitalizing instead on taxpayer funding via government bodies.

Conservative icon Bill Buckley once said of Alinksy, “Mr. Alinsky doesn’t mind criticism…when he is criticized, his influence grows among the people he desires to influence.” Buckley also noted, “For a fee—a very modest fee—Mr. Alinsky will come to your town to organize the poor.”

Little public information is available at the IAF website about the organization’s funding. The so-called ‘War on Poverty,’ however, has been in play since the 1960s, and it has been successfully used as a means to political power for progressive and socialist ideologues.

Since the administration of President Lyndon B. Johnson (D), Democrats have utilized the poverty theme, engaging thousands of community groups to register voters and to mobilize opinion on behalf of candidates.

In 1966 Alinksy told an audience at Boston College he found “slum leadership” by scouting “the field for troublemakers.” The college newspaper said Alinsky believed:

“The most important quality in such a leader is a ‘deep, hot anger against injustice.’”

Democrats successfully used the poverty theme in 2008 and 2012, having also succeeded with it ahead of 1992. In 1989 The L.A. Times pointed out the role of IAF in the 1990 gubernatorial election, calling IAF a “grass-roots network”, and noting it as “a national organization formed to mobilize the poor for political action…becoming one of the state’s more important political factors.”

When The New York Times marked the 50th anniversary of the War on Poverty in January, 2014, the paper acknowledged, “The poverty rate has fallen only to 15 percent from 19 percent in two generations, and 46 million Americans live in households where the government considers their income scarcely adequate.”

The NYT rationalized the failure by theorizing the poverty rate would have been higher without federal intervention.

The Obamacare tax bill is one more milestone on the political poverty trail, and at present, no one can really say what impact it will have on healthcare although most expect health insurance premiums to rise for those who pay for it.

In 2012, Fox News reported, “A Saul Alinsky-tied group has been awarded a $56 million federal loan to start up a nonprofit health insurance company.”

(Filed by Kay B. Day/March 18, 2014)

About Kay Day

Kay B. Day is a freelance writer who has published in national and international magazines and websites. The author of 3 books, her work is anthologized in textbooks and collections. She has won awards for poetry, nonfiction and fiction. Day is a member of the American Society of Journalists and Authors and the Authors Guild.
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