Another day, another Obamacare scandal! This time, it happened right here in The Natural State.
An Obamacare event in Arkansas offered a prize for those who attended: Free condoms.
The Obamacare event took place at the University of Central Arkansas last weekend. It was hosted by a group called the Living Affected Corporation, which apparently has received a grant from the federal government to educate the public about Obamacare.
The event organizer spilled out a bag of condoms — as a couple whoops and hollers could be heard from the small crowd.
Then she says, “Ok, if anyone wants a paper application,” but she interrupts herself to pickup condoms that had fallen on the floor. “I have those as well.”
You can see video from the event here.
According to the group’s website, one of their primary objectives is to “Develop and conduct appropriate educational outreach to not only include HIV prevention and advocacy, but also to encompass the social ills affecting all marginalized or oppressed people.” It’s unclear whether or not this condom giveaway qualifies as “appropriate educational outreach.”
I spoke briefly with Diedra Levi, CEO of Living Affected Corporation. She said the group has received a federal grant to promote the Affordable Care Act/Obamacare in Arkansas. While Levi declined to tell me how much the group received in sum, she said LAC received “a little over” $36,000 for every employee and they were awarded enough to hire seven people. By my math, that amounts to around $252,000.
As for the condoms, Levi said they were donated by “private organizations and foundations,” not financed with tax dollars. (She has also disputed the Weekly Standard’s categorization of the condoms as “prizes.”)
Levi said the group’s contract to promote the law runs through May and they will continue hosting similar events around the state. The group has apparently hosted other events here in the state to encourage Obamacare enrollment, including this one in partnership with Planned Parenthood, SNAP, the City of North Little Rock, Arkansas Workforce Centers, and the Arkansas Department of Health:
Heather Haywood, spokesperson for the Arkansas Health Connector, said Living Affected is working as an Obamacare “guide organization” and that no state funding has gone towards the operation or the advertisement of the exchange.
State Senator Bryan King, a leading opponent of Obamacare in Arkansas, says he’s looking into this further:
I have started asking questions about this group and the money they receive. If this event was paid for by the taxpayers, somebody needs to answer questions about the way this meeting was conducted.