Democrats announced yesterday that HHS was investigating whether the insurer Humana was misleading seniors about health reform legislation. And CMS, the government entity within HHS that administers Medicare told Humana, in no uncertain terms, to cease and desist lobbying its customers on health reform legislation.
But today Republicans accused the White House and CMS of trying to implement a “gag order” on insurance companies that provide Medicare Advantage programs.
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell does not normally get riled up, but he just gave an impassioned speech on the Senate floor about the gag order, Humana, and Senate Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus, who initiated the HHS investigation. McConnell referred to Baucus only as “a colleague.”
“Using the full weight of the federal government’s enforcement powers to stifle free speech should trouble all Americans — and all of us — even more,” McConnell said. “We cannot allow government officials to target individuals or companies because they do not like what they have to say.”
“Shut up! the government says,” said McConnell on the Senate floor of ... (CONTINUES)