Lack of Credibility

Maine Heritage Policy Center Loses What Little Credibility It Had Left
MPA Calls On Maine Heritage Policy Center to Reimburse State for Cost of Their Antics

The latest "shocking" video released by the Maine Heritage Policy Center and their national partners in an attempt to undermine the system that provides health care benefits for Maine families is even less "shocking" than the last.

The video, released by MHPC in partnership with Americans for Prosperity and videographer James O'Keefe, who is currently on probation for illegally entering the offices of Senator Mary Landrieu, attempts to show that Maine's state health care system is open to fraud.

What it shows instead is a DHHS employee with a huge caseload who nonetheless conducts herself with patience, compassion and wisdom.

Rather than assisting the actor to apply for MaineCare, the DHHS worker secretly filmed at the Portland office spent almost 40 minutes walking him though the requirements of various state and federal programs and informed him that the income he claimed to have and his demographics likely precluded him from receiving benefits. The fake applicant was sent away without even applying for coverage.

After the last heavily edited and misleading video was released by these groups, journalists across the state panned the attempted sting.

Maine Today columnist David Offer asked "where's the beef?"

Kennebec Journal and Morning Sentinel editor and publisher Tony Ronzio declared that the video was actually "a vote of confidence in the system ."

Press Herald columnist Bill Nemitz called it "so idiotic that it hurts."

The second video, released today on the YouTube channel of O'Keefe's "Project Veritas," is even less persuasive and the MHPC seems to realize this. In their release announcing its launch, the worst they do is to take the DHHS employee to task for giving the fake applicant basic information about the MaineCare system that they claim "could be used as part of future attempts to defraud the system."

Maine People's Alliance executive director Jesse Graham called on the Heritage Policy Center to apologize for their actions and repay the people of Maine for the state money they've wasted during their "stings."

"It's sad that this corporate-funded group is working to undermine our state's health care safety net at the very time that Maine workers and families need it the most," said Graham. "O'Keefe and the Maine Heritage Policy Center should be ashamed of themselves for wasting the time of public employees all the way from the DHHS office in Biddeford to the Governor himself. It's time for them to admit that their antics have failed and make restitution to the state for all the time and resources they've wasted."

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Video available here: http://www.mainepolicy.org/2011/08/think-tank-grades-dhhs-intake-employee-process-revealed-in-second-undercover-video/