Ex-Illinois Obamacare worker was jailed in Jerusalem bombings


WASHINGTON (JTA) — Illinois briefly employed as a health care navigator a woman convicted in a 1969 terrorist bombing in Israel.

The Illinois Department of Insurance in November revoked the certification of Rasmieh Yousef Odeh, National Review Online reported this week, after her Israeli conviction was revealed subsequent to her arrest on immigration charges.

The insurance department had hired Odeh, an activist in Chicago’s Arab-American community, as a “navigator,” an official who assists people seeking health care options through the Affordable Care Act, President Obama’s signature health care reform. Illinois is among a number of states that with the federal government launched what is known as Obamacare late last year.

Israel jailed Odeh for life for her involvement in a number of Jerusalem bombings in 1969, including one at a supermarket that killed two Hebrew University students, Leon Kanner and Eddie Joffe.

She was released in a prisoner exchange with the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine in 1980, and immigrated to the United States from Jordan in 1995.

Odeh, who became a naturalized citizen in 2004, was arrested in October for failing to mention her conviction in her immigration papers.

Recommended from JTA