Answer: The Administration already is trying:
The Obama administration warned insurance companies Monday they face possible legal action for allegedly trying to scare seniors with misleading information about the potential for lost benefits under health care legislation in Congress.In particular, the letter to Humana says (emphasis in original):
"As we continue our research into this issue, we are instructing you to immediately discontinue all such mailings to beneficiaries and to remove any related materials directed to Medicare enrollees from your Web sites," said a notice from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid.
Teresa DeCaro, an agency official, sent the notice to all companies that sell private Medicare coverage and stand-alone drug plans to seniors. The warning came as President Barack Obama's health care legislation is moving toward key tests in a Senate committee over the next several days, and with public polls showing widespread skepticism among seniors.
CMS has learned that Humana has been contacting enrollees in one or more of its plans and alleging that current health care reform legislation affecting Medicare could hurt "millions of seniors and disabled individuals [who] could lose many of the important benefits and services [emphasis in original document] that make Medicare advantage health plans so valuable." The message, which is included in an envelope that states it contains "important information about your Medicare Advantage plan--open today!," makes several other claims about the legislation and how it will be detrimental to enrollees, ultimately urging enrollees to contact their congressional representatives to protest the actions referenced in the letter.The Humana letter was prompted by a complaint from Senator Baucus (D-Mont.). Of course, the already-converted are encouraged to proselytize for the Administration.
CMS is concerned that, among other things, this information is misleading and confusing to beneficiaries, represents information to beneficiaries as official communications about the Medicare Advantage program, and is potentially contrary to federal regulations and guidance for the MA and Part D programs and other federal law, including HIPAA. As we continue our research into this issue, we are instructing you to end immediately all such mailings to beneficiaries and to remove any related materials directed to Medicare enrollees from your website.
Conclusion: The President isn't just bribing artists to become parrots. He's attempting to outlaw debate. To the applause of progressives--who still claim conservative critics are unhinged. What happened to free speech? (NOfP note: link specifically addresses speech by regulated corporations.)
All those promises about transparency?--just fooling!
(via Villainous Company)