Cover Oregon bans criticism of Obamacare. Wait… what?
posted at 6:08 pm on December 17, 2013 by Jazz Shaw
The state most likely to be named the country’s worst Obamacare exchange is reportedly banning its partners from saying almost anything negative about it in a broad confidentiality agreement.
Radio host Lars Larson and his show’s legal expert Bruce McCain report that in order to contract with Cover Oregon, so-called “community partners” are forced to sign a far-reaching non-disparagement agreement that could put the organizations at risk of losing all their grant money if Oregon state officials decide they disagree with any unfavorable statements about the Obamacare exchange.
The document bans organizations that promote the exchange and help consumer apply from saying anything “false, misleading, deceptive, libelous, defamatory or obscene.” Community partners are part of an outreach program targeting “hard-to-reach, non-English speaking, geographically isolated, and underserved populations.”
Defamatory? That covers a lot of territory. And “misleading” is pretty much open to the interpretation of the people writing the checks. In other words, if you even make a comment on that fact that the web site is a rolling disaster and some of the policies you’ll find (should you somehow get through) will be pretty expensive and not offer very good coverage… no money for you!
Free speech in America. Ain’t it grand?