Some folks on the Hill are gagging over the administration’s clumsy attempt to gag Humana, Inc.
What did the giant health care corporation do? It informed senior citizens how the Medicare cuts proposed by the Obama administration would affect their own health care. An investigation of Humana was promptly launched.
Senator Mitch McConnell, in whose district Humana is headquartered, took to the floor of the Senate today to denounce this:
“It appears that a particular senator has encouraged the administration to use its powers to clamp down on an opponent of the administration’s health care policy.
“What’s more, the administration snapped to attention at the senator’s request. It followed the senator’s advice, and almost immediately the government clamped down on a private health care company in my home state that had been sharing its concerns about the administration’s health care proposal with seniors on Medicare.
“Yesterday, we saw how legitimate those concerns were, when the director of the non-partisan independent Congressional Budget Office said that the administration’s proposed Medicare cuts would indeed lead to significant cuts in benefits to seniors. Let me repeat that.
“First and foremost, this episode should be of serious concern to millions of seniors on Medicare who deserve to know what the government has in mind for their health care. But it should also frighten anyone who cherishes their First Amendment right to free speech — whether in Louisville, Helena, San Francisco, or anywhere else.
“And it should concern anyone who’s already worried about a government takeover of health care. Why? Because it seems that in order to advance its goals, the administration and its allies are now attacking citizen groups and stifling free speech.”