Senator Mitch McConnell, (R-KY) blasted the Obama administration for putting a gag order on health insurance companies.
“It appears that a particular senator has encouraged the administration to use its powers to clamp down on an opponent of the administration’s health care policy.
“What’s more, the administration snapped to attention at the senator’s request. It followed the senator’s advice, and almost immediately the government clamped down on a private health care company in my home state that had been sharing its concerns about the administration’s health care proposal with seniors on Medicare.
“Yesterday, we saw how legitimate those concerns were, when the director of the non-partisan independent Congressional Budget Office said that the administration’s proposed Medicare cuts would indeed lead to significant cuts in benefits to seniors. Let me repeat that.
“First and foremost, this episode should be of serious concern to millions of seniors on Medicare who deserve to know what the government has in mind for their health care. But it should also frighten anyone who cherishes their First Amendment right to free speech — whether in Louisville, Helena, San Francisco, or anywhere else.
“And it should concern anyone who’s already worried about a government takeover of health care. Why? Because it seems that in order to advance its goals, the administration and its allies are now attacking citizen groups and stifling free speech.
“Let’s review: at the instigation of the Chairman of the Finance Committee, the author of the health care legislation now working its way through Congress, the Executive Branch, through the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, has launched an investigation into Humana for explaining to seniors how this legislation might affect their coverage.
“One more time: a private health care provider told its elderly clients how health care legislation might affect their lives. And now the federal government is putting its full weight into investigating that company at the request of the senator who wrote the legislation in question.
“And we now find out that the concerns that this company was raising to its clients were perfectly legitimate, according to the director of the CBO.
“This is so clearly an outrage it’s hard to believe anyone thought it would go unnoticed. For explaining to seniors how legislation might affect them, the federal government has now issued a gag order on that company, and any other company that communicates with clients on the issue, telling them to shut up — or else.
If the gag order on insurance companies isn’t bad enough, one big player is exempt: AARP! Not only are they exempt from the gag order, the democrat health care bills include kick backs for AARP!
One of the subplots to the health care debate I’ve been following is the cozy relationship between AARP and the Obama administration, as the group has thrown its full-throated support behind the Democrats’ health care push even though their membership comes from the age group most opposed to Democratic health care proposals. Today, House Republicans have issued a report providing evidence that AARP is in a position to recieve tens of millions of dollars in “kickbacks” if Democratic health care legislation becomes law.
But this isn’t the only way that AARP is getting special favors, according to the report.
Earlier this month insurer Humana Inc. sent customers who enrolled in the company’s Medicare Advantage plan a letter warning them that their benefits would be in danger if the Democratic health care legislation passed. Senate Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus complained to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, which not only ordered Humana to stop sending the letters to its customers, but prohibited any other private insurers from doing the same. Except, that is, AARP — which sponsors a Medicare Advantage program in addition to the Medigap policies it offers, but was exempt from the Obama administration’s gag order.