Green Room

Cover Oregon bans criticism of Obamacare. Wait… what?

posted at 6:08 pm on December 17, 2013 by

You folks should know by now that you don’t speak ill of your betters. (H/T to The Examiner.)

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?

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Nothing to see here. Just the true colors of liberals who encourage different points of view…..as long as they agree with that point of view.

GarandFan on December 17, 2013 at 6:14 PM

I saw that yesterday, and laughed.

I think this update at the end is worth noting:

Update: Cover Oregon responded to The Daily Caller News Foundation after this article was posted and said interim director Bruce Goldberg was recently made aware of the language and has pledged to change the agreement. Spokeswoman Ariane Holm told TheDCNF Cover Oregon is “doing a complete review of all contracts with current partners (community partner, agents, carriers, etc.) and taking steps to remedy the language.”

Anti-Control on December 17, 2013 at 6:18 PM

Another unintended consequence – when government tries to handle the business that should be done only between voluntary parties.

Non-disclosure agreements – completely acceptable in a voluntary context – definitely becomes violations of the First Amendment.

22044 on December 17, 2013 at 6:22 PM

Just talk “off the record” like all the cowards in DC.

txhsmom on December 17, 2013 at 6:23 PM

“false, misleading, deceptive, libelous, defamatory or obscene.”

Pretty much how we ended up with O’care in the first place, just don’t call it what it is and you’re good to go.

antipc on December 17, 2013 at 6:35 PM

The document bans organizations that promote the exchange and help consumer apply from saying anything “false, misleading, deceptive, libelous, defamatory or obscene.”

Don’t worry, I won’t tell anyone that Cover Oregon works.

rbj on December 17, 2013 at 7:04 PM

Oh yeah? Well what’s YOUR plan?

xblade on December 17, 2013 at 7:21 PM

Long Klieg lights.

Murphy9 on December 17, 2013 at 7:45 PM

So if I use the term Affordable Care Act is that misleading? I’m confused.

DaveDief on December 17, 2013 at 8:02 PM

The first rule of Obamacare is you don’t talk about Obamacare!

Freddy on December 18, 2013 at 1:44 AM

I do believe we are at the point where comparisons of this administration to dictatorships are no longer violations of Godwin’s Law.

UltimateBob on December 18, 2013 at 6:14 AM

Ann Coulter said Monday night that Liberals are mentally ill. I believe it. These scum of the earth lowlifes are following their Savior’s lead—–To Hell with the CONSTITUTION. I’ll say what I want to about these BASTARDS. This law is a f**king joke.

tmgrant on December 18, 2013 at 8:04 AM

Oscar. Mike. Gulf.

The decline is accelerating.

Deafdog on December 18, 2013 at 8:37 AM

Hey Democrats:

Foxtrot. Oscar. Alpha. Delta.

Nutstuyu on December 18, 2013 at 9:07 AM

I do believe we are at the point where comparisons of this administration to dictatorships are no longer violations of Godwin’s Law.

UltimateBob on December 18, 2013 at 6:14 AM

We’ve been going there for awhile now with Obama repeatedly attempted to make law by decree and the Republicans deciding to behave as a potemkin opposition party in exchange for $$$ and adulation from the media. You cannot have a one party state very long without it morphing into an authoritarian system. It’s just human nature.

Doomberg on December 18, 2013 at 9:30 AM

The document bans organizations that promote the exchange and help consumer apply from saying anything “false, misleading, deceptivedefamatory…”

Aren’t you caught between a rock and a hard place here? Seems like there’s nothing left to say, between these two criteria.

The Schaef on December 18, 2013 at 9:33 AM

Disgusting….. I have long said that free speech is only for liberals….. and those total idiots actually believe it!

ultracon on December 18, 2013 at 10:00 AM

This is basic lawyer language. And “misleading” normally has very defined meanings in terms of business contracts. As does “defamatory”. You need to try harder for the outrage, Jazz.

GWB on December 18, 2013 at 10:43 AM

Alternate Headline: “I find your lack of faith…disturbing”.

NickelAndDime on December 18, 2013 at 10:58 AM

…anonymous sources!…that’s what is needed!

KOOLAID2 on December 18, 2013 at 1:10 PM

Meanwhile, Reddit bans climate change skeptics: .

AJsDaddie on December 18, 2013 at 3:48 PM

“false, misleading, deceptive, libelous, defamatory or obscene.”

I like bashing Obamacare as much as the next guy, but I’m pretty sure these are legal terms of art, having either statutory or common law definitions. Basically, Cover Oregon won’t be able to use the 8th definition from Webster’s to go after these guys. They’ll need to meet the legal definition. No idea what that is in Oregon, but such things usually have truth as an absolute defense.

irishgladiator63 on December 18, 2013 at 3:54 PM

Getting paid to sellout your morality … the definition of prostitution. Good for you “community partners”.

Carnac on December 18, 2013 at 4:16 PM