One would think that the current Mishy/Axelrod/Emanuel administration would know by now that acting with such a heavy hand is NOT going to get them any farther along the path of fascism socialism without more of the Silent Majority stepping up and adding another pair of boots on the line in the sand; but I guess not because the following story actually made it into the Washington Post. Boy, oh boy, oh boy, is the media stuck between a rock and a hard place that they put themselves in.
The federal government has ordered health insurers to stop telling Medicare beneficiaries that proposed health reform legislation could hurt seniors and jeopardize their benefits.
The government might take enforcement action against insurers that have tried to mobilize opposition to the legislation by sending their enrollees “misleading and confusing” messages, a senior official of the Department of Health and Human Services said in a memo Monday.
The mailings in question urge enrollees to contact their congressional representatives and protest the legislation, the memo said.
A spokesman for America’s Health Insurance Plans, the industry’s main lobbying group, issued a statement Tuesday criticizing what he described as the government’s “gag order.”
“Seniors have a right to know how the current reform proposals will affect the coverage they currently like and rely on,” AHIP spokesman Robert Zirkelbach said.
Sen. Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, the Senate’s Republican leader, denounced the HHS order as an attempt to squelch free speech.
“We cannot allow government officials to target individuals or companies because they do not like what they have to say,” McConnell said.
“Is this what we believe as a Senate — that this body should debate a trillion-dollar health care bill that affects every American while using the powerful arm of government to shut down speech?” McConnell said.
The big insurer Humana triggered the HHS crackdown with a letter to Medicare enrollees claiming that health reform proposals could hurt “millions of seniors and disabled individuals” who “could lose many of the important benefits and services that make Medicare Advantage plans so valuable.” The letter was sent in envelopes marked “important information about your Medicare Advantage plan — open today!”
HHS wrote to Humana last week instructing it to stop the mailings, and it wrote to all Medicare Advantage plans Monday, saying “such communications are potentially contrary to . . . federal law.” The government regulates communications between the health plans and their members.
Remember that definition of fascism; socialism with a veneer of capitalism. The government doesn’t own the companies, it just controls them…