Video: McConnell to HHS: Call off the speech police

posted at 10:55 am on September 23, 2009 by Ed Morrissey

On Monday, we noted that the Obama administration had begun a probe into Humana’s attempts to communicate with its customers on ObamaCare. Humana told customers that the proposed changes would result in reduced benefits for its members on their Medicare Advantage plans, and the White House accused them of spreading faslehoods. Of course, the CBO now says exactly what Humana argued all along, but even absent that, the Obama administration has no business investigating the exercise of free speech.

Senator Mitch McConnell (R-KY) scolded the Obama administration on the Senate floor for its arrogance and overreach. In this conclusion to his remarks, McConnell says the politicians attempting to infringe on free speech should be the ones getting warned:

“I would remind my colleagues that I have spent my career defending the First Amendment rights of people to criticize their elected officials, including me. I would make the same argument if this were a company based in San Francisco or Helena or Chicago.

“The right to free speech is at the core of our democracy. Free citizens have a First Amendment right to petition their government for a redress of grievances. This gag order on companies like Humana and those in all our states, in my view, is a clear violation of that right. It’s wrong.

“Employers that warn their customers about the effects of legislation aren’t the ones who should be getting warnings here. Senators who threaten Americans’ First Amendment rights are.”

And McConnell makes this rather telling comparison:

“Is this how citizens and companies can expect to be treated if health reform passes? That any health provider that disagrees with a powerful Senator will be subject to an investigation and a gag order?

“How is this any different than what the Washington Post and New York Times have done in lobbying for a reporter shield law? Would we stand by if the Judiciary Committee asked the FBI to investigate the media for taking positions on pending legislation we don’t agree with? Of course not.”

It’s no different at all. The Times and the Post have every right to communicate with their customers on political issues, including those that directly impact themselves. Humana has that same right. Only an administration that thinks of American citizens as children would think that we cannot weigh the facts and come to our own conclusions. Arrogance is a mild term indeed for this incident, especially given Douglas Elmendorf’s testimony that completely corroborated Humana’s mailers.

Full speech here:


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“Let me be clear, if you stand in my way I will destroy you.”

Bishop on September 23, 2009 at 11:00 AM

If I was Humana, I’d tell the government to FO.

txag92 on September 23, 2009 at 11:01 AM

Good for McConnell! It’s about time resistance to the Thug-in-Chief shows on Capitol Hill.

I hope this is a trend!

MrScribbler on September 23, 2009 at 11:02 AM

Repeating to myself “If only Bush / the Bush Administration had said / done this…” for the umpteenth time, I’m reminded yet again that Democrats don’t care about the hypocrisy because their principles are different.

They say things they don’t really believe in to demonize the opposition and get elected. They are collectivists and the ends justify the means. It’s that simple.

Drained Brain on September 23, 2009 at 11:02 AM

I can hardly believe this is even an issue for discussion on the senate floor. How blatant does the administration’s disregard for the Bill of Rights have to be before people will demand not just apologies, but resignations?

Vashta.Nerada on September 23, 2009 at 11:04 AM

“But do not fear… I will soon be quivering in a corner looking for that magic ‘middle ground’ with the Democrats! I just pop up once in a while to confirm my conservative bona fides when the wind is blowing to the right.”

mankai on September 23, 2009 at 11:04 AM

It’s no different at all. The Times and the Post have every right to communicate with their customers on political issues, including those that directly impact themselves. Humana has that same right.

Could anyone measure the amount of outrage if the Obama administration told the AARP to shut up?

Rovin on September 23, 2009 at 11:06 AM

Repeating to myself “If only Bush / the Bush Administration had said / done this…” for the umpteenth time, I’m reminded yet again that Democrats don’t care about the hypocrisy because their principles are different non-existent.

Drained Brain on September 23, 2009 at 11:02 AM

CurtZHP on September 23, 2009 at 11:07 AM

Hear hear.

the_nile on September 23, 2009 at 11:07 AM

Of all the atrocities committed by this administration, this one struck me as the most chilling. Good for McConnell. Now we need more – a lot more – of that kind of pushback. Incompetence coupled with arrogance – that’s what it means to be Barack Obama. Even though it was a senator – Baucus – who sent the letter, you can see the WH fingerprints all over it.

wright on September 23, 2009 at 11:07 AM

I’m sure this will get lots of MSM attention.

Mr. Bingley on September 23, 2009 at 11:07 AM

Hubris is a better word.

John the Libertarian on September 23, 2009 at 11:07 AM

This is going to be another Waterloo for this Administration.

rockmom on September 23, 2009 at 11:08 AM

I can hardly believe this is even an issue for discussion on the senate floor. How blatant does the administration’s disregard for the Bill of Rights have to be before people will demand not just apologies, but resignations?

Vashta.Nerada on September 23, 2009 at 11:04 AM

Resignations indeed! This is fundamental. If government can silence its critics with impunity, the Republic is over.

flyfisher on September 23, 2009 at 11:09 AM

The fascism of the current administration is sickening.

rbj on September 23, 2009 at 11:09 AM

As a nation, we are decending into tyranny, with the tyrants in the White House and in power; all the while the Supreme Court sits idly by.

PatriotRider on September 23, 2009 at 11:09 AM

O/T

Palin received a RAVE review from the NY TIMES.

http://www.nytimes.com/2009/09/24/us/politics/24palin.html?_r=1&hp=&adxnnl=1&adxnnlx=1253718580-gK3wD6gLjV+8ShVO9S77Jw

Kudos to her.

AnninCA on September 23, 2009 at 11:10 AM

During the 70s I differed with the Democrats, but on the whole I thought of them as acting basically in good faith. That began to change during the 80s as the leftwingers called for unilateral disarmament and did everything they could to undercut Reagan. It has only gotten worse since then, and now it’s so bad that I EXPECT the Democrats to act in bad faith.

jwolf on September 23, 2009 at 11:12 AM

McConnell is correct, but he needs the passion of Beck in order to properly deliver the message.

PatriotRider on September 23, 2009 at 11:12 AM

As long as the Marxists control two branches of government, they don’t give a flying flip about Constitutional rights. It was lip service when they weren’t in control, an effect to rile the ignorant masses.

I am sick of everything about our government. Back to basics. Citizen legislators based in their districts. We have remote capabilities now and everything can be conducted in the districts and states. No need for Washington DC

eaglesdontflock on September 23, 2009 at 11:12 AM

I’m sure this will get lots of MSM attention.

Mr. Bingley on September 23, 2009 at 11:07 AM

It’s been covered already by the Washington Post, ABC News, The Hill, Politico, and Roll Call. Mitch McConell is ripping mad about this and he isn’t going to shut up. He is the Senate Minority Leader and probably the single greatest defender of the First Amendment in Congress today, so yes, I think he will make the MSM cover this one. He very deliberately compared this nonsense to the Post/NYT lobbying for a reporter shield law. Even liberal media people can see the threat from a government that shuts down speech by corporations.

rockmom on September 23, 2009 at 11:12 AM

Being a Kentuckian, there are times that Mitch has made me very angry with his positions like appearing to support immigration reform until they knew it wasn’t going to pass and then ultimately voting against it instead of doing the right thing all along. However, in this situation, he is spot on.

Gulchie on September 23, 2009 at 11:13 AM

You’d think that if they had a winning argument, the Leftists would welcome debate.

MilSpec32 on September 23, 2009 at 11:13 AM

If its to do with free speech, where is Obama McCain-Feingold on the matter?

bluegrass on September 23, 2009 at 11:14 AM

From the day he decided to run, Obama has had one tactic, and it has worked.
Attack the person who disagrees with you, and attack them viciously.
His campaign felt that Bush had won because Gore was too passive.
They attacked plumbers, Governors, ministers, unemployed, anyone who started to receive any notoriety, or gain any credibility, was attacked by him and his dogs.
An effective strategy when you are campaigning…but pretty obvious not so effective when you are trying to lead a country.

right2bright on September 23, 2009 at 11:14 AM

Gulchie on September 23, 2009 at 11:13 AM

- – - – - -

same here

bluegrass on September 23, 2009 at 11:14 AM

The most delicious part of this is that we now have a liberal Administration shutting down free speech because they “don’t want to scare seniors.” Scaring seniors is OUR job, dammit!!

rockmom on September 23, 2009 at 11:15 AM

O/T

Palin received a RAVE review from the NY TIMES.

http://www.nytimes.com/2009/09/24/us/politics/24palin.html?_r=1&hp=&adxnnl=1&adxnnlx=1253718580-gK3wD6gLjV+8ShVO9S77Jw

Kudos to her.

AnninCA on September 23, 2009 at 11:10 AM

That glowing from the Times? She must have hit a grad slam.

Come on over to our side, AnninCA. We have punch and pie.

rbj on September 23, 2009 at 11:17 AM

God bless McConnell for speaking up.

Pat in NC on September 23, 2009 at 11:17 AM

Why is it that when Bush was in office, every Liberal toad was hopping up and down about Bush sending jack-booted gov’t thugs to every home and office, stripping away your privacy rights?

But, then, the Liberal Dems take over, and we get jack-booted gov’t thugs raiding garage sales and thrift stores, thugs going after any voice against bills propped up by dear leader, and bills wanting to put more thugs in your house if you try to sell it.

It seems like there are tons more thugs on my radar from the Liberal toads than from anything Bush put forth.

Phil-351 on September 23, 2009 at 11:17 AM

From the day he decided to run, Obama has had one tactic, and it has worked.
Attack the person who disagrees with you, and attack them viciously.
His campaign felt that Bush had won because Gore was too passive.
They attacked plumbers, Governors, ministers, unemployed, anyone who started to receive any notoriety, or gain any credibility, was attacked by him and his dogs.
An effective strategy when you are campaigning…but pretty obvious not so effective when you are trying to lead a country.

right2bright on September 23, 2009 at 11:14 AM

That’s classic Alinsky. I forget the rule number, but it’s the one about picking the target. The problem now aside from the fact that they’re in power and are expected to lead and not just campaign, is that they have no prominent figure to demonize. Rush didn’t work. Palin didn’t work. Beck isn’t working. And smearing a large segment of the population as racist, unruly, and fringe is political suicide.

Doughboy on September 23, 2009 at 11:17 AM

Scaring seniors is OUR job, dammit!!

rockmom on September 23, 2009 at 11:15 AM

LOL!

The filthy liar goes on a marathon propaganda outing and then has the audacity to whine when other points of view are expressed to the public. Is Humana racist?

highhopes on September 23, 2009 at 11:18 AM

We need to watch the Census very carefully next year. The gerrymandering that will be attempted will go beyond anything we’ve seen b4. Watchdogs need to be all over it. This is just the beginning.

JAM on September 23, 2009 at 11:18 AM

good on ya Senator.

sharpen your tone a bit.

ted c on September 23, 2009 at 11:18 AM

Come on over to our side, AnninCA. We have punch and pie.

rbj on September 23, 2009 at 11:17 AM

I absolutely defend her on progressive blogs. She’s no dummie or hate-mongerer or any of that nonsense.

Wasn’t that something of a review? I am laughing here. She hit it right outta the park.

(No wonder the other article did report that the CLSA CEO was glowing when it was over.)

AnninCA on September 23, 2009 at 11:19 AM

but even absent that, the Obama administration has no business investigating the exercise of free speech.

Um, yes they do. You may not realize it yet, but this is exactly what these radical fascists are all about. I’m so tired of people treating everything as individual instances instead of the pattern we’re really seeing.

RightWinged on September 23, 2009 at 11:20 AM

We have punch and pie.

rbj on September 23, 2009 at 11:17 AM

… and the gals make some killer casseroles.

thomasaur on September 23, 2009 at 11:21 AM

OT– But WTF is Qaddafi babbling about? Anyone?

stacy on September 23, 2009 at 11:23 AM

This Humana censorship, silencing has turned my stomach.

Gee whiz, it’s like they’re doubling down on last month’s WH.gov tattle-tale site, thinking no one will notice the slow-mo dilution of free speech.

It must be another of Alinsky’s Rules … keep trying the same old schtick until the population just gets too tired to remain vigilant.

marybel on September 23, 2009 at 11:23 AM

Shut-up, you racists!” they explained;

U-Maryland: Racism: At the heart of the heckle

…It seems ever since Obama has assumed his position as Head of State, everyone else suddenly has the audacity to disrespect him. No one ever yelled “You lie!” at George W. Bush.

This is a no-brainer: The man is black and it’s still hard for some people to swallow…

/paging Ken Gladney

Terp Mole on September 23, 2009 at 11:24 AM

Yesterday there was an announcement that MoveOn.org was going to start their own rallies for healthcare, releasing it’s locations at the last minute to cut down on the possibility of counter protests. There was suppose to be one here in front of BC/BS. I can’t find any mention of it on the news so far but here is a screen shot of MoveOn’s sign up.

Blue Cross Blue Shield Deerwood Campus
0 registered participant(s) (300 maximum)
4800 Deerwood Campus Pkwy
Jacksonville, FL 32246

Cindy Munford on September 23, 2009 at 11:24 AM

Very good.

Talk is over, though. It’s become crystal clear in 1/2 a year just how maniacal this administration is toward critics. I can’t even imagine what’s coming down the pike if they have the guts to do what they’ve already done, constitution/Bill of Rights, be damned. These people needed to be shown the door yesterday.

Diane on September 23, 2009 at 11:25 AM

heard this on levin’s show last night…NO ONE can criticize dear leader and his administration…it’s straight to the gulag for you!

cmsinaz on September 23, 2009 at 11:25 AM

The Democratic party is at WAR with the American people.

HondaV65 on September 23, 2009 at 11:26 AM

In the style of the Grand Cyclops from West Virginia and his shouting of “barbaric!!!”

Tyranny!!!!!

Hening on September 23, 2009 at 11:26 AM

Humana also needs to show some balls and continue to send out fliers.

GarandFan on September 23, 2009 at 11:27 AM

Could anyone measure the amount of outrage if the Obama administration told the AARP to shut up?

Rovin on September 23, 2009 at 11:06 AM

Wrong analogy; AARP is parroting the White House talking points and throwing their members under that very large, ever expanding, bus.

Deckard on September 23, 2009 at 11:27 AM

The alternative to Humana sending this letter out would be what happened to B of A. After the bill gets passed, Humana will either have to cut benefits or cut MA plans. That’s something they should let their customers know. If they don’t let their customers know, they’ll be sued for not telling them.

Just like when Ken Lay of B of A said he wanted to let his shareholders know that Merrill was a bad investment. The government said if he told the share holders Merrill was a bad deal, they would fire him.

Now Lay is under investigation for not telling share holders everything they knew about Merrill.

This government is a bully. The Revolutionary War was fought over much less. The Revolutionary War was fought because people didn’t want to pay taxes. You’d think the government would keep this in mind.

ThackerAgency on September 23, 2009 at 11:27 AM

Could anyone measure the amount of outrage if the Obama administration told the AARP to shut up?

Rovin on September 23, 2009 at 11:06 AM

Well yes, but AARP is an organization of people who want to force the government to force younger citizens to pay for even more “benefits” for old coots than they already now enjoy.

Whereas, Humana just frivilously provides medical care that saves lives every day.

Big difference.

NoDonkey on September 23, 2009 at 11:29 AM

0bama and the democrat party have no interest in governing, they want to rule.

This topic is just one example of many. to borrow a phrase, it’s “straight up fascism”. The democrat party is now the party of fascism.

Rebar on September 23, 2009 at 11:31 AM

When oil companies were funding scientific research that examined alternative explanations for global temperature rises other than man-made CO2, a liberal friend of mine argued with a straight face that they should be tried for crimes against humanity. Looking for something like a principle in the actions of liberals appears to be a fools errand. If it gets them more power, then it’s good, and anything that stands in their way is bad. All their platitudes about rights and fairness are just a ploy to gain more power.

Socratease on September 23, 2009 at 11:31 AM

Cindy Munford on September 23, 2009 at 11:24 AM

The one in Philadelphia against CIGNA was a total bust. All it got was a small photo on the last page of the Local News section of the Inquirer. CBS3′s newscast last night called it a “union protest.” LOL

The Left’s campaign to demonize the insurance companies is failing, just like their campaigns to demonize Rush Limbaugh, Eric Cantor, and Sarah Palin have failed. They’re running out of targets now and their takeover of health care is no closer to enactment. The stifling of Humana is going to backfire on them as even people who aren’t big fans of insurance companies will see an even bigger threat from Big Government shutting down free speech.

rockmom on September 23, 2009 at 11:32 AM

Us chil’rens thank you, senator, for speaking up. It’s time now to kick it up a notch. Put away the spitwads and straw, and bring out the elephant gun.

ziggyville on September 23, 2009 at 11:37 AM

rockmom on September 23, 2009 at 11:32 AM

I finally found a news article and they stated that about fifty showed up with a smaller group of counter protesters. The local tea party group was discouraging counter protests, they felt that the time of day and end of work day traffic was a safety issue. Good to know people went anyway, they probably heard it on the news.

Cindy Munford on September 23, 2009 at 11:38 AM

I’m torn between reaching for a pitchfork or reaching for some popcorn. Lately the latter seems most appropriate. I have never been so rapt in watching a person or entity destroy itself like as O and his cronies seem to be doing right now. Watching the democrats double down again and again over this disaster of a bill is utterly unbelievable, yet oddly entertaining.

Green Muse on September 23, 2009 at 11:42 AM

Speaking of Media Matters….This morning on Imus in the Morning.

Imus and Glenn Beck connect the Dots.

Dr Evil on September 23, 2009 at 11:43 AM

Yes, Mitch, this is what it has come to. And that’s what all Repubs in House and Senate must understand. You can’t make friends and work together with radicals who won’t be happy with anything less than total control. Man up Repubs…it’s time you caught up with We the People who are in the Vanguard of this fight.

MainelyRight on September 23, 2009 at 11:43 AM

I have never been so rapt in watching a person or entity destroy itself like as O and his cronies seem to be doing right now.

It would be more interesting if it weren’t entirely predictable from the very start.

And if it weren’t damaging our country so much.

NoDonkey on September 23, 2009 at 11:44 AM

Humana also needs to show some balls and continue to send out fliers.
GarandFan on September 23, 2009 at 11:27 AM

Agreed, but I say ALL the insurers in the same boat need to cowboy-up, join with Humana, and send out similar fliers to their constituents as well.

Let Justice start their insidious, outrageous investigations to gag every last one of them…just so all of the sleeping masses can get the gist of exactly what is going on to silence free speech.

marybel on September 23, 2009 at 11:44 AM

We’re still at the stage where the little people think it’s strictly the heartless corporate executives that are getting slapped around.

But this administration will continue to push the envelope, and one day they will over-reach. They will clamp down on the wrong fellow.

That day will be a historic one.

You blowhards just keep on thinking you’re invincible.

jeff_from_mpls on September 23, 2009 at 11:45 AM

Mitch McConnell is an advocate for the Commonwealth of Ky. as well as all of the United States. He is dedicated to the constitution of the U.S. and is trying to defend one of the great health care providers based in Louisville, Ky. Humana serves millions of customers in Ky. and across state lines. They do it with outstanding service and reasonable costs. That is why the Communist Obama and his DemmoCommunists in congress want to silence Humana and put them out of business! By defending Humana, McConnell is defending all American’s right to free speech! He should be applauded by all Americans! You or your companies may be next to be silenced by Obama! We should all support Mitch and free speech! We will miss it when gone!

Marco on September 23, 2009 at 11:45 AM

Don’t blame this on a “lack of balls” by Humana. It’s a huge company with a huge Medicare Advantage business. It knows what kind of reprisals the government is capable of if it doesn’t play ball. Besides, it already has sent the message to its customers, and tactically it is probably better for it to play the victim of Thug Government now.

rockmom on September 23, 2009 at 11:47 AM

As a citizen of this new…..”impose our will on anyone, we don’t like, because of what they say”…I demand Obama shaddup! I’m developing a nervous eye tick, every time he lies…errrr speaks! x O
^

capejasmine on September 23, 2009 at 11:48 AM

Humana is now a victim of what Chris Wallace described as “a bunch of cry babies”.

shick on September 23, 2009 at 11:50 AM

“Freedom of the Press only applies to the press.”

Wait for it. Coming soon from the folks who twisted “well regulated militia” and “wall of separation of church and state.”

29Victor on September 23, 2009 at 11:51 AM

Scaring seniors is OUR job, dammit!!

rockmom on September 23, 2009 at 11:15 AM

Go ahead, SCARE me, me being a helpless senior and all.

Once I get out of the corner I am cowering in I’m going to take my most recent SS check down to the local NA casino and see if I can double it. If I don’t use it those damn liberals will come and take it from me. All they have to do is yell BOO!

Now, on a more realistic note, I LOVE the smell of burnt gunpowder and Hoppes No. 9 in the morning. Doesn’t scare me one bit. ;-)

Yoop on September 23, 2009 at 11:54 AM

This is the biggest story in the news. It isn’t just “troubling”, it’s incipient fascism. What Baucus did needs to be shouted down with a fury that reverberates across the country.

And in case no one has noticed, we now have an FCC “Diversity Czar” who openly questions the value of free speech and openly sympathizes with Hugo Chavez. This is the Van Jones scandal on steroids.

Salman Rushdie calls the debate on free speech the “whole ballgame.” I agree.

rrpjr on September 23, 2009 at 12:00 PM

Don’t blame this on a “lack of balls” by Humana. It’s a huge company with a huge Medicare Advantage business. It knows what kind of reprisals the government is capable of if it doesn’t play ball. Besides, it already has sent the message to its customers, and tactically it is probably better for it to play the victim of Thug Government now.

rockmom on September 23, 2009 at 11:47 AM

You’re probably right but HEY, WE are the government. If we make a big enough stink about this and free speech they’ll have to back down & leave them alone.

Jeff from WI on September 23, 2009 at 12:03 PM

Scaring seniors is OUR job, dammit!!

rockmom on September 23, 2009 at 11:15 AM

Go ahead, scare me, me being a helpless senior, and all.

Once I get done cowering in this corner, because a liberal said BOO at me, I’m taking my most recent SS check down to the local NA casino and try to double it. If I don’t use it the damn liberals will take it away from me.

Now, on a more realistic note. I LOVE the smell of burnt gun powder and Hoppe’s #9 in the morning. Doesn’t scare me one bit.

Besides, if you consider Hoppe’s #9 an aftershave, ya might be a redneck. ;-)

Yoop on September 23, 2009 at 12:03 PM

Whoops. Both went through. Thought the first might have gotten censored because of the mention of that gun thingy stuff… ;-)

Lag time from the boonies…

Yoop on September 23, 2009 at 12:07 PM

This government is a bully. The Revolutionary War was fought over much less. The Revolutionary War was fought because people didn’t want to pay taxes. You’d think the government would keep this in mind.

ThackerAgency on September 23, 2009

If the current rate of new gun sales (one million per month) continues through the Ogabe administration’s first term, that will be 48 million new gun purchases since January, 09 added to the existing millions. While I’m not suggesting using those weapons in a violent revolution (yet), it would be wise for the current crop of statists to also keep that in mind. I hope it keeps them up nights.

SKYFOX on September 23, 2009 at 12:11 PM

Don’t just talk about it, do something!

PattyJ on September 23, 2009 at 12:11 PM

Democrats just voted down the GOP idea of putting the bill out on the internet before the voting. Remember that.

The filthy liar in the White House and his corrupt party don’t want you to see what they are voting on until after the fact. It is an act of cowardice that only goes to show that it is time to clean out DC and get rid of all the criminals in the swamp.

Again I ask, why isn’t there more outrage about what these people are doing.

highhopes on September 23, 2009 at 12:17 PM

And yet, Obama said this, at the U.N., this morning;

“True leadership will not be measured by the ability to muzzle dissent, or to intimidate and harass political opponents at home.”

His book should have been; “The Audacity of Arrogance.”

Star20 on September 23, 2009 at 12:19 PM

A House subcommittee demands insurance companies provide reports on executive compensation, bonuses, and all offsite conferences. Humana complies willingly and quickly.

In testimony last week before that same subcommittee, Humana’s CFO reports that the company does not offer bonuses to employees who reject claims.

Now there’s this. It’s like someone is deliberately fishing for information to slam Humana.

Gottafang on September 23, 2009 at 12:20 PM

Again I ask, why isn’t there more outrage about what these people are doing.

highhopes on September 23, 2009 at 12:17 PM

It is now up to us, We the People, to stir it up, and get-it-on. Nobody is going to do it for us.

Yoop on September 23, 2009 at 12:21 PM

Another spineless republican who will make a statement and not push back.

The republicans could do so much more than they’re doing, but they will wait until they’re forced by regular citizens like the two kids that investigated ACORN for them, and Beck investigated Van Jones.

They’re too busy making friends with the liberals.

texanpride on September 23, 2009 at 12:23 PM

We are going to have to get in someone’s face….and call them out!

d1carter on September 23, 2009 at 12:24 PM

Again I ask, why isn’t there more outrage about what these people are doing.

highhopes on September 23, 2009 at 12:17 PM

Because our moral culture is seriously deformed.

Face it, I bet even you know some conservatives who sort of like it when some rich fat-cat gets smacked around.

Our problem is moral. Fix that and you fix the rest.

jeff_from_mpls on September 23, 2009 at 12:25 PM

Amendment I

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances. This amendment does not apply, should the people organize themselves for the purpose of private trade and enterprise.

FIFY

RadClown on September 23, 2009 at 12:30 PM

If the current rate of new gun sales (one million per month) continues through the Ogabe administration’s first term, that will be 48 million new gun purchases since January, 09 added to the existing millions. While I’m not suggesting using those weapons in a violent revolution (yet), it would be wise for the current crop of statists to also keep that in mind. I hope it keeps them up nights.

SKYFOX on September 23, 2009 at 12:11 PM

As I posted elsewhere the other day, they might be missing a significant trend in those numbers.

Sales in August set records. This has been going on since last November. They should consider the fact that most of the Conservatives already had a lot of the firearms and ammo that they wanted.

It is very likely, now, that a lot of these purchases in the last 10 months have been by those considering themselves Independents.

Additionally,then, with sales continuing at this record pace it is entirely likely that purchases are now being made by the more moderate liberals. Anecdotal evidence suggest that is the case. It may be that even some liberals are becoming concerned about the future as they see it playing out.

Is the portion of the unarmed-public shrinking toward that 20% hard leftist base? Sould they be considering the implications of that mood?

Yoop on September 23, 2009 at 12:32 PM

Only an administration that thinks of American citizens as children would think that we cannot weigh the facts and come to our own conclusions.

Actually that ‘come to our own conclusions’ is what they’re desparate to avoid.

KCSteve on September 23, 2009 at 12:34 PM

Humana not only has a right but a responsibility to share this information with its customers.

Humana sells a product/service. A pending action of the government jeopardizes their ability to continue to provide that product/service. In my opinion, it would be irresponsible if Humana didn’t inform its customers.

Meezles on September 23, 2009 at 12:36 PM

SKYFOX on September 23, 2009 at 12:11 PM

I bought ammo a few weeks ago and the private dealer imposed a two box limit on me, they still can’t make the stuff fast enough.

NoDonkey on September 23, 2009 at 12:36 PM

I bought ammo a few weeks ago and the private dealer imposed a two box limit on me, they still can’t make the stuff fast enough.

NoDonkey on September 23, 2009 at 12:36 PM

I’m still getting all the 12 gauge Federal that I want at $4.95 per box. Way too much 12 gauge now. Need plans for a 12 gauge Gatlin gun… WHEE!!!

Yoop on September 23, 2009 at 12:43 PM

Humana should simply ignore their threats, continue as they have and let’s see where it goes from their. They had better start standing up to this fascist regime before it’s too late.

rplat on September 23, 2009 at 12:43 PM

Obama has a criminal mind. They are raking Bank of america over the coals as we speak regarding underdisclosure of bonuses for Merryl Lynch execs when they merged. Now we have over disclosure???

Human is in trouble for transparency.

seven on September 23, 2009 at 12:43 PM

Human is a whistle blower.

I suspect Obama will send mega bucks to the NEA artists to draw ugly carricatures of Human execs and shame them publicly.

seven on September 23, 2009 at 12:46 PM

Liberals love free spech as long as it’s along the lines of “Buck Fush” and “no war for oil”.

But dare we say anything negative about “The Won” or his policies and the gag orders fly.

Humana’s lawyers should be having a field day with this. But no healthcare company has enough of a pair to rock the boat right now. Spineless weenies. And the Libs still spew their drivel that these are the “evil corporations” sticking it to us…

JohnBG on September 23, 2009 at 12:48 PM

It’s real easy for you to call them spineless weenies for refusing to take on a $3 trillion federal government with unlimited legal resources. This is what bugs me about conservatives sometimes. Lots of armchair warriors. Attacking the victim instead of the bully. That’s not going to get us anywhere.

Humana did the smart thing here IMO. First, they asked forgiveness and not permission to communicate their views with their own customers. Then, when the government unleashed the hounds, they raised a stink and went to their Senator who happens to be the Minority Leader. It’s his job to advocate for them and “call out” Max Baucus and HHS; it is not their job to risk further sanctions and incur legal costs and reputational risk (how soon before the state-run media would start calling them racist? If you worked for Humana, would you want that?) by challenging the government.

McConnell has pulled some jujitsu here. He has turned one of the biggest and “baddest” insurance companies in America into a victim of government thuggery.

rockmom on September 23, 2009 at 12:57 PM

We do not have First Amendment rights. We have rights recognized by the First Amendment.

bbhack on September 23, 2009 at 1:00 PM

Whose ever idea to send this threatening letter should be fired immediately and HHS should be ordered to cease and desist.

Blake on September 23, 2009 at 1:14 PM

To all the Century Village robots who voted for The One wait until you see your new Medicare Benefits.

LennyV on September 23, 2009 at 1:27 PM

Whose ever idea to send this threatening letter should be fired immediately and HHS should be ordered to cease and desist.

Blake on September 23, 2009 at 1:14 PM

For Immediate Release: Monday, September 21, 2009
Contact: CMS Office of Public Affairs
202-690-6145

MEDICARE ISSUES NEW GUIDANCE TO INSURANCE COMPANIES ON MEDICARE MAILINGS
GUIDANCE COMES AFTER HUMANA DISTRIBUTED POTENTIALLY MISLEADING MATERIALS

Medicare today called on Medicare-contracted health insurance and prescription drug plans to suspend potentially misleading mailings to beneficiaries about health care and insurance reform. The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) recently asked Humana, Inc. to end similar mailings. Humana has agreed to do so.

“We are concerned that the materials Humana sent to our beneficiaries may violate Medicare rules by appearing to contain Medicare Advantage and prescription drug benefit information, which must be submitted to CMS for review” said Jonathan Blum, acting director of CMS’ Center for Drug and Health Plan Choices. “We also are asking that no other plan sponsors are mailing similar materials while we investigate whether a potential violation has occurred.”

Humana is one of a number of private health plans that contracts with CMS to offer health care services and drug coverage to Medicare beneficiaries as part of the Medicare Advantage and Part D programs. CMS learned that Humana had been contacting enrollees in one or more of its plans and, in mailings that CMS obtained, made claims that current health care reform legislation affecting Medicare could hurt Medicare beneficiaries. The message from Humana urges enrollees to contact their congressional representatives to protest the actions referenced in the letter.

“We are concerned that, among other things, the information in the letter is misleading and confusing to beneficiaries, who may believe that it represents official communication about the Medicare Advantage program,” said Blum

Specifically, CMS is investigating whether Humana inappropriately used the lists of Medicare enrollees for unauthorized purposes.

Based on the findings of the investigation, CMS will pursue appropriate compliance and enforcement actions.

# # #

rockmom on September 23, 2009 at 1:27 PM

Being a Kentuckian, there are times that Mitch has made me very angry with his positions like appearing to support immigration reform until they knew it wasn’t going to pass and then ultimately voting against it instead of doing the right thing all along. However, in this situation, he is spot on.

Gulchie on September 23, 2009 at 11:13 AM

Being an Oklahoman, I entirely agree.

Christian Conservative on September 23, 2009 at 1:27 PM

OT – Kadaffi suggested that the wold would be very happy if Obama were made President FOR LIFE!!

OOOooo yeah baby. That’ll help huh?

44Magnum on September 23, 2009 at 2:04 PM

OT – Kadaffi suggested that the wold would be very happy if Obama were made President FOR LIFE!!

I agree he should be president for life.

Of Libya, Zimbabwe, Myanmar or some other tinpot craphole country he and his little cabal of jackasses can rule and stay the hell out of our hair.

And maybe over there, they’ll appreciate his boneheaded ideas.

NoDonkey on September 23, 2009 at 2:10 PM

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