Sebelius: insurers who criticize ObamaCare may get locked out of system

posted at 11:36 am on September 10, 2010 by Ed Morrissey

Does ObamaCare trump the First Amendment?  HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius must think so.  Yesterday, after apparently tiring of criticism of the new law from the companies it will eventually put out of business, Sebelius offered to expedite that process for those who don’t take an opportunity to shut their mouths:

President Barack Obama’s top health official on Thursday warned the insurance industry that the administration won’t tolerate blaming premium hikes on the new health overhaul law.

“There will be zero tolerance for this type of misinformation and unjustified rate increases,” Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius said in a letter to the insurance lobby.

“Simply stated, we will not stand idly by as insurers blame their premium hikes and increased profits on the requirement that they provide consumers with basic protections,” Sebelius said. She warned that bad actors may be excluded from new health insurance markets that will open in 2014 under the law. They’d lose out on a big pool of customers, as many as 30 million people nationwide.

By those standards, Sebelius would have to exclude Medicare as well.  Four months ago, Medicare — which is under Sebelius’ authority — released a highly misleading brochure about the impact ObamaCare has on its consumers.  It stated that Medicare Advantage patients would “still receive guaranteed Medicare benefits,” which was never in question, but made it sound as though they would suffer no reduction in services or benefits from the $500 billion in cuts to the program.  It also bragged about changes in ObamaCare that had nothing to do with Medicare, including the mandate that insurers keep “children” on family policies until age 26 — a provision that does not include Medicare, for obvious reasons.

Rarely have we heard a Cabinet official tell Americans to stay out of political debates at the risk of losing their businesses.  It points out the danger in having government run industries and holding a position where politicians can actually destroy a business out of spite.  It also demonstrates the thin skin of our current administration, where Hope and Change means keeping your mouth shut and pretending that everyone is happy while businesses slowly circle the drain.

Of course, maybe Sebelius won’t go as far as to lock them out of the state exchanges for disputing the Official Smiley-Face Rhetoric Enforcement Squad at HHS.  Perhaps she’ll just send them to a re-education facility instead.


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Good GOD, WTF are they going to threaten next??????

reshas1 on September 10, 2010 at 11:39 AM

Not to worry, by 2014 Sebelius won’t even half access to the White House.

Thune on September 10, 2010 at 11:39 AM

Hey, Sebelius, you may not have heard, but the HC law is dead.

Vashta.Nerada on September 10, 2010 at 11:40 AM

This is the insidious problem with this onerous legislation—it sets up thuggish punks like Kathy to browbeat others. That’s the thing about statism, it demands control, obedience and “get in line” behavior.

Keep it up Kathy, just keep it up, the larger you are sister, the harder you’re going to fall….

ted c on September 10, 2010 at 11:40 AM

Must not question The Reich !!!

viking01 on September 10, 2010 at 11:40 AM

Rarely have we heard a Cabinet official tell Americans to stay out of political debates at the risk of losing their businesses.

Haven’t we heard this from this regime before?

It points out the danger in having government run industries and holding a position where politicians can actually destroy a business out of spite.

It’s called fascism.

rbj on September 10, 2010 at 11:40 AM

YOU VILL COMPLY WITH THE DIRECTIVES OF DEAR LEADER!!!

YOU VILL BE HAPPY!! DO YOU UNDERSTAND???

Insurance Companies:
“Yes Dear Leader, we understand and will comply.”

HDFOB on September 10, 2010 at 11:41 AM

the saving grace of this is that one day in the future, folks like Kathy Sebelius are going to need a tube in their chest, or one down the throat of their kid or something….and there is going to be a medical provider there that’s going to set her prissy ass straight.

ted c on September 10, 2010 at 11:42 AM

There wont be a system for them to be locked out of soon enough.

WoosterOh on September 10, 2010 at 11:43 AM

No whistle blower protection, I guess. What about broadcasters that criticize it, will they get their license pulled?

redshirt on September 10, 2010 at 11:43 AM

Good GOD, WTF are they going to threaten next??????

reshas1 on September 10, 2010 at 11:39 AM

They are merely borrowing islamic rageboy’s tactics. They see it silences dissent.

clnurnberg on September 10, 2010 at 11:43 AM

Wow. Suddenly I feel like a small rancher on the E. slopes of the Bighorn mountains in a little place called Kaycee Wyoming in the late 1800′s.
And the govt is the Wyoming Stock Grower’s Association.
We’re all rustlers & the big guys with their cronyism & nepotism are gonna run the small guy off his land & steal all his stuff.
Just blackball anyone who won’t tow the line.
This is INSANE.
Anyone feel like grabbing their Winchester in self defense & hoping up out in the boondocks somewhere to hide from all of this?!

Badger40 on September 10, 2010 at 11:44 AM

Wow! This broad is sure saying the Wrong thing! Obummer’s arrogance is rubbing off on his dog washers!

GFW on September 10, 2010 at 11:44 AM

Talk about a boot on your neck!…ouch.

SHARPTOOTH on September 10, 2010 at 11:45 AM

How long before even the Zero cuts loose this fascist? Time for her to go under the bus with the rest of his posse

HBowmanMD on September 10, 2010 at 11:45 AM

& hoping up out in the boondocks somewhere to hide from all of this?!

HOLING up.
Need more coffee.

Badger40 on September 10, 2010 at 11:45 AM

It takes real political genius to make insurance companies – especially health insurance companies – look like victims….

PersonFromPorlock on September 10, 2010 at 11:47 AM

When will this nightmare be over?

mozalf on September 10, 2010 at 11:47 AM

Sebelius needs a little re-education on the U.S. constitution. Actually the whole Obama regime including our constitutional scholar of a POTUS needs to spend time in a civics class.

simkeith on September 10, 2010 at 11:47 AM

This is totally insane.

Living4Him5534 on September 10, 2010 at 11:47 AM

If Obama can shut down cardealers because he doesn’t like their politics, why not insurance companies? Never let a manufactured crisis go to waste?

clnurnberg on September 10, 2010 at 11:48 AM

We’ve got criminals running the government.

Dusty on September 10, 2010 at 11:49 AM

And Sadam won elections with 95+% of the vote. Obama is trying to figure out how he can do that. This is one way.

EliTheBean on September 10, 2010 at 11:49 AM

De-fund it.

Repeal it.

Never give Dems power again.

John the Libertarian on September 10, 2010 at 11:49 AM

Where are the Kos kid types and lefties that were screaming that Bush was a fascist,takeover the government guy?Shows you how stupid they are.

docflash on September 10, 2010 at 11:51 AM

Good God, Ed, what good is it to be a tyrant if you can’t be tyrannical?

Kafir on September 10, 2010 at 11:51 AM

You all better watch what you say.

Drained Brain on September 10, 2010 at 11:51 AM

Re-education camps!

lorien1973 on September 10, 2010 at 11:52 AM

In the stupid remarks category this ranks in the top 5–conservatively. Where does he find these dim wits?

jeanie on September 10, 2010 at 11:52 AM

Are we allowed to root against the White Sox?

Akzed on September 10, 2010 at 11:52 AM

Where are the Kos kid types and lefties that were screaming that Bush was a fascist,takeover the government guy?Shows you how stupid they are.

docflash on September 10, 2010 at 11:51 AM

It’s always projection. they know that they want authoritarian control, so they assume that is what their opponents are doing.

Monkeytoe on September 10, 2010 at 11:53 AM

Lefties want this stuff. Government will save us from the big bad eeeeevil corporations, except those corporations who donate all their money to politicians on the left, of course.

But this has to be so tone deaf. Can she honestly think that people will not put two and two together?

Vanceone on September 10, 2010 at 11:53 AM

Turn over any type of commerce to government, and it becomes political. Everything you turn over to government becomes political. Why don’t people understand that? The type of light bulbs you can buy has even become political.

RBMN on September 10, 2010 at 11:54 AM

And the GOP reply is …. ?

OldEnglish on September 10, 2010 at 11:55 AM

Nice little insurance company you have there. Be a shame if anything happened to it.

Lily on September 10, 2010 at 11:56 AM

Speaking of this administration and free speech, will anybody ask why POTUS at his press conference is calling on reporters for questions from a list that apparently wouldn’t fit on TOTUS?

He called on one woman and then had to confirm that she was in the room.

Drained Brain on September 10, 2010 at 11:56 AM

Good GOD, WTF are they going to threaten next??????

Likely the confiscation of gold (bullion/coins) a la Harry Truman circa 1933.

Day after day this administration displays exactly how they would prefer to ruin America – where-oh-where is November when you need her – never thought I’d be looking forward to the cold weather with such hope for change. . . .

karra on September 10, 2010 at 11:58 AM

Bordering on tyranny.

WisCon on September 10, 2010 at 11:59 AM

“The beatings will continue until morale improves.”

alwyr on September 10, 2010 at 11:59 AM

So much fodder for TV, radio, billboard and magazine ads for 2012, assuming any Republican has the stones to use them. That’s my fear; that echoes of “raaacist!” will sound in their ears and cow them into McCain-type campaign gutlessness.

Extrafishy on September 10, 2010 at 11:59 AM

These radicals have no understanding of how inconsistent their acts and statements are with the fundamental view that Americans have of their freedoms and the workings of a free society. They say and do these things because that is the way they see the world. They will take over completely unless we boot them out, starting with tying their hands by taking over at least the House of Representatives this November.

GaltBlvnAtty on September 10, 2010 at 12:00 PM

Next – people that complain about the health care they get under Obamacare will be denied it.

albill on September 10, 2010 at 12:00 PM

Hey, if I criticize it, can I be left out of it, too?!?

This is a great idea: All the insurance companies and the insured just have to criticize the plan. Then we will all be left out of it and can go back to business as usual!

That’ll work, right?

(goes back to sniffing glue)

db on September 10, 2010 at 12:00 PM

Ya vol mein Oberfuhrer!

What in the world has happened to this once great Republic?

rplat on September 10, 2010 at 12:00 PM

Time for a RICO investigation of this administration.

Mason on September 10, 2010 at 12:01 PM

Sebelius: Sign ze paper.
Insurance Company: But I cannot sign the paper.

Sebelius:SIGN ze Paper!
Insurance Company:But I cannot sign the paper.

Sebelius: SIGN ZE PAPER!!!
Insurance Company:But I cannot sign the paper.

Sebelius:WHY CAN YOU NOT SIGN ZE PAPER!!!
Insurance Company:Because you have broken both my hand….

mechkiller_k on September 10, 2010 at 12:01 PM

This aint my America.

abobo on September 10, 2010 at 12:02 PM

“a provision that does not include Medicare, for obvious reasons”

Actually those reasons aren’t that obvious. More people are having children later in life. In my children’s case, both my wife and I will be nearly 70 before our youngest is 26. In our case alone, my employer based health insurance (Tricare, I am retired military) requires that I move to Medicare as soon as I am eligible – this will occur while we still have 2 children under the age of 26.

instugator on September 10, 2010 at 12:03 PM

Likely the confiscation of gold (bullion/coins) a la Harry Truman circa 1933.

Day after day this administration displays exactly how they would prefer to ruin America – where-oh-where is November when you need her – never thought I’d be looking forward to the cold weather with such hope for change. . . .

karra on September 10, 2010 at 11:58 AM

Roosevelt

I, Franklin D. Roosevelt, President of the United States of America, do declare that said national emergency still continues to exist and pursuant to said section to do hereby prohibit the hoarding gold coin, gold bullion, and gold certificates within the continental United States by individuals, partnerships, associations and corporations and hereby prescribe the following regulations for carrying out the purposes of the order:

clnurnberg on September 10, 2010 at 12:03 PM

No whistle blower protection, I guess. What about broadcasters that criticize it, will they get their license pulled?

redshirt on September 10, 2010 at 11:43 AM

If they think they can, they will.

Progressive = Authoritarian = Fascist

iurockhead on September 10, 2010 at 12:04 PM

These sorts of comments could/should make excellent advertisements for the GOP, come fall of 2012.

notropis on September 10, 2010 at 12:04 PM

can we call them brownshirts yet?

unseen on September 10, 2010 at 12:05 PM

The First Amendment was designed with criticism of the govt in mind. This must not stand.

itsnotaboutme on September 10, 2010 at 12:05 PM

can we call them brownshirts yet?

unseen on September 10, 2010 at 12:05 PM

Not if you expect to keep your property.

clnurnberg on September 10, 2010 at 12:07 PM

Sebelius – “Oops, I said the quiet part loud and the loud part quiet.”

teke184 on September 10, 2010 at 12:07 PM

OBAMA SIEGT AN ALLEN FRONTEN!

quikstrike98 on September 10, 2010 at 12:08 PM

A Liberal Fascist.

Who’d a thunk it?

Mr. Bingley on September 10, 2010 at 12:12 PM

But Ogabe told us everyone would be able to keep their insurance no matter what. Say, he wouldn’t have been lying to us now, would he?

WarEagle01 on September 10, 2010 at 12:14 PM

Where do we pick up our stars that we pin to our shirts.

rich801 on September 10, 2010 at 12:14 PM

Tax cheat sebelious. She was governor of Kansas and funded by Tiller the Killer.

seven on September 10, 2010 at 12:15 PM

Will anyone demand her resignation over this, or will we all just roll over?

petefrt on September 10, 2010 at 12:15 PM

Started seeing these tactics during the election when St Louis County DA and county attorneys threaten to arrest people who said misleading things about Obama. Apparently, disagreement is now lying and can get you arrested. Why this wasn’t followed up more closely, I don’t know. Maybe, because we have no true independent press in this country.

Blake on September 10, 2010 at 12:16 PM

So much fodder for TV, radio, billboard and magazine ads for 2012, assuming any Republican has the stones to use them. That’s my fear; that echoes of “raaacist!” will sound in their ears and cow them into McCain-type campaign gutlessness.

Extrafishy on September 10, 2010 at 11:59 AM

Dude, the Race Card is maxed out – Jon Stewart proved it. Another example of how overspending leads to collapse.

instugator on September 10, 2010 at 12:16 PM

What they once did in secret, they now do in the open.

Community Reinvestment Act- threatening, extorting banks to give loans to those the banks knew couldn’t keep up with payments.

The banks were telling the truth then. But because they didn’t want their name smeared in the press they caved in. Look where we are now.

The Health Insurance Companies are telling the truth now. What happens next is up to the insurance industry. Do you stand up and tell the truth or do you allow the Greatest Health Care, bar none, tumble into 3rd world status.

journeyintothewhirlwind on September 10, 2010 at 12:19 PM

unseen on September 10, 2010 at 12:05 PM

Yet? Whaddaya mean, yet? I already do.

Ryan Anthony on September 10, 2010 at 12:21 PM

Any doubts that this is working towards a dictatorship, should no longer have any doubts. They ARE working towards a dictatorship.

capejasmine on September 10, 2010 at 12:23 PM

Where do we pick up our stars that we pin to our shirts.

rich801 on September 10, 2010 at 12:14 PM

That is sooooooo yesterday. We’ll probably get a brand burned into our arms or chest. A great big O, and a serial number.

capejasmine on September 10, 2010 at 12:25 PM

Could Barry Soetoro have possibly surrounded himself with more and bigger imbeciles?

Dopenstrange on September 10, 2010 at 12:25 PM

Cruella Deville will skin you alive…

d1carter on September 10, 2010 at 12:29 PM

“Simply stated, we will not stand idly by as insurers blame their premium hikes and increased profits on the requirement that they provide consumers with basic protections,” Sebelius said. She warned that bad actors may be excluded from new health insurance markets that will open in 2014 under the law. They’d lose out on a big pool of customers, as many as 30 million people nationwide.

It all depends on the meaning of the word “basic” and the the meaning of the missing word “all”. Insurance companies stay in business by managing risk. That’s why there’s a lifetime cap on what you can claim from an insurance company, and why insurance companies currently can charge more for, or even refuse, people with existing conditions.

Obama promulgated a law that says all people must be covered, including people with existing conditions, and which requires the IRS to assess a yearly penalty for deliberately uninsured people which doesn’t even come close to covering a single premium payment.

I’m sure that Obama meant the above to force the bitter clingers to buy insurance, but who won’t be buying insurance are young healthy folk who will take the $750 hit (or, in the case of college kids, their parents will) to avoid paying even a “basic” premium to an insurance company. Then, if they become sick, they can take their preexisting condition, no matter how bad, and buy the coverage they now know they need.

Insurance companies, who have traditionally relied upon group policies (in which everyone, from the very healthy to the very sick, pay in), will no longer have that actuarial advantage, and must take that into account in setting rates.

Sebilius and her ilk have made this bed, and now must sleep in it — as must the rest of us. May God keep us all safe.

unclesmrgol on September 10, 2010 at 12:30 PM

Well, at least she doesn’t have that much say in how this well written bill gets implemented.

No wait: The secretary shall…

forest on September 10, 2010 at 12:33 PM

It would be nice if someone from the insurance industry would stand up and say, We won’t be threatened by some donk b*tch for merely telling the truth.

Blake on September 10, 2010 at 12:34 PM

Likely the confiscation of gold (bullion/coins) a la Harry Truman circa 1933…

karra on September 10, 2010 at 11:58 AM

Uh… you mean FDR, don’t you? Another example of the public school system in the US…

Jonas Parker on September 10, 2010 at 12:35 PM

Dude, the Race Card is maxed out – Jon Stewart proved it. Another example of how overspending leads to collapse.

instugator on September 10, 2010 at 12:16 PM

You may well be right, and I hope you are, but that doesn’t mean he won’t pull it out of his wallet and hope it won’t be rejected.

Extrafishy on September 10, 2010 at 12:35 PM

That is sooooooo yesterday. We’ll probably get a brand burned into our arms or chest. A great big O, and a serial number.

capejasmine on September 10, 2010 at 12:25 PM

Oh come on, you know that is not true. It will be a light implanted in our palms a la Logan’s Run.

Aviator on September 10, 2010 at 12:36 PM

It would be nice if someone from the insurance industry would stand up and say, We won’t be threatened by some donk b*tch for merely telling the truth.

Blake on September 10, 2010 at 12:34 PM

They dare not. She now has near dictatorial power over them.

forest on September 10, 2010 at 12:36 PM

Dismantling America, part 23443.

Sponge on September 10, 2010 at 12:39 PM

It would be nice if someone from the insurance industry would stand up and say, We won’t be threatened by some donk b*tch for merely telling the truth.

Blake on September 10, 2010 at 12:34 PM

I’ll bet they do. Unless they are blaming Odumbo Care.

Didn’t they try and pull something like this awhile back??? I wish I could remember what it was…but they got called on it and immediately back pedaled.

BigWyo on September 10, 2010 at 12:39 PM

my god, what next?

trailortrash on September 10, 2010 at 12:39 PM

President Barack Obama’s top health official on Thursday warned the insurance industry that the administration won’t tolerate blaming premium hikes on the new health overhaul law.

“There will be zero tolerance for this type of misinformation and unjustified rate increases,” Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius said in a letter to the insurance lobby.

Just for reference folks:

Tyrant: an absolute ruler unrestrained by law or constitution

Tyrannical: being or characteristic of a tyrant or tyranny

Oppressive
1 : unreasonably burdensome or severe
2 : tyrannical
3 : overwhelming or depressing to the spirit or senses

(From the Merriam-Webster Dictionary)

The far-left Oppressive wing of the Democratic party fits all three of those definitions, don’t it?

Chip on September 10, 2010 at 12:40 PM

Thug government.

obladioblada on September 10, 2010 at 12:41 PM

This is nothing less than tyranny.

But it seems we’re getting used to that, doesn’t it? Not that long ago, we wouldn’t have stood for it, but I guess we’re not only going to stand, we’re going to bend over for it.

Midas on September 10, 2010 at 12:42 PM

Does this mean my company’s insurance provider (employee coverage) will decide against the 57% increase next year that cited coming Obamacare/increased regulation and requirements as the primary cause?

Midas on September 10, 2010 at 12:44 PM

She ain’t gonna be able to do squat, if the bill ain’t funded. So there, Kathy.

kingsjester on September 10, 2010 at 12:46 PM

Didn’t they try and pull something like this awhile back??? I wish I could remember what it was…but they got called on it and immediately back pedaled.
BigWyo on September 10, 2010 at 12:39 PM

Just the opposite – big companies have to list any large anticipated loss of revenue as a matter of law, so they did; it was almost entirely due to the increased mandates of Obamacare and how that was going to affect these companies’ bottom lines (something which, BTW, they warned Obama about before the HCR thing ever heated up – he was having none of it).

Waxman went ballistic, and called them all up to D.C. for a Congressional Hearing, because he was CONVINCED that they were only doing this out of spite.

As soon as they put him some f***ing knowledge, he realized that the LAST thing that the Democrats needed was having this come to light in the general public, so he quietly cancelled the meeting (and the press didn’t make a sound….).

TeresainFortWorth on September 10, 2010 at 12:49 PM

She is biting off more than she can chew. There have been many examples of political hacks being chewed up and spit out by the insurance industry.

Vince on September 10, 2010 at 12:50 PM

Can we impeach now?

Bishop on September 10, 2010 at 12:50 PM

Time for more “re-education”.

vcferlita on September 10, 2010 at 12:51 PM

Could Barry Soetoro have possibly surrounded himself with more and bigger imbeciles?
Dopenstrange on September 10, 2010 at 12:25 PM

Yes, but it would mean cloning himself.

Bishop on September 10, 2010 at 12:52 PM

They dare not. She now has near dictatorial power over them.

forest on September 10, 2010 at 12:36 PM

Recently the SEC tried to bully the insurance industry into compliance with securities laws over their indexed annuities. A number of companies got together and made them back down. Interestingly, they got help from the State insurance commissioners.

Vince on September 10, 2010 at 12:54 PM

So the cowardly little ditz is saying that if insurers say the wrong thing to Dear Leader, Dear Leader won’t let them sell money losing policies in 2014?

Good God, is there anybody left among the Democrat trash with an IQ above room temperature?

MNHawk on September 10, 2010 at 12:56 PM

Didn’t Nostrildamus try this a few months ago…

Joe Barton of Texas, took to the floor to denounce Waxman’s intimidation tactics. He condemned the April 21 hearing and Waxman’s announced investigation into the American Farm Bureau’s opposition to the global warming tax “cap and trade” legislation Waxman’s committee has passed. Barton accused Waxman of using his power to intimidate Americans out of using their First Amendment rights, and suggested that Waxman’s actions should be investigated.

And, equally revealing, is the staff memo which accompanies Waxman’s announcement.

That memo says that the committee’s staff investigators found that the companies had followed the law by filing the loss reports Waxman wanted to attack.

I guess Sebilious doesn’t understand nor adhere to the concept of lessons learned.

BobMbx on September 10, 2010 at 12:56 PM

I think Lucy McEvil Sibelius needs a real man in her life.If you catch my drift.

DDT on September 10, 2010 at 12:56 PM

“Simply stated, we will not stand idly by as insurers blame their premium hikes and increased profits on the requirement that they provide consumers with basic protections,” Sebelius said. She warned that bad actors may be excluded from new health insurance markets that will open in 2014 under the law.

Madam Secretary, we the voters of the United States wish to remind you, with all due respect, that there will be a different President in 2014, who may choose a different HHS Secretary, who may choose to take different action than Your Majesty.

Steve Z on September 10, 2010 at 12:57 PM

This is fundamentally how political power is used. Reward your friends, punish your enemies. The only difference is that this woman is so used to that, she saw nothing wrong with stating the truth out loud. We are lucky that our political enemies are not subtle.

The only way to fix the problem is to minimize the power available to politicians.

Splunge on September 10, 2010 at 12:58 PM

Well, apparently I’m not allowed to call her what I called her. How about “crack whore?”

Merovign on September 10, 2010 at 1:01 PM

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