Saturday, September 11, 2010

Shredding the First Amendment 

This is appalling. The Obama Administration is implicitly threatening health insurers that disagree with its estimates for the costs of Obamacare in communications to their policyholders. HHS Secretary Sebelius:

It has come to my attention that several health insurer carriers are sending letters to their enrollees falsely blaming premium increases for 2011 on the patient protections in the Affordable Care Act. I urge you to inform your members that there will be zero tolerance for this type of misinformation and unjustified rate increases....

Forget the usual point ("imagine if Bush had done this"). This is an obvious threat by the administration designed to chill speech that is protected under the First Amendment. Tactics like these are genuinely offensive to the Constitution, and should be clearly called out as such. These people are thugs.


By Blogger MTF, at Sat Sep 11, 08:29:00 AM:

Well said.

I never would have guessed that Sebelius, a good Ohio girl, would ever have stooped so low but power obviously corrupts even the best upbringing pretty quickly.  

By Blogger Noumenon, at Sat Sep 11, 09:52:00 AM:

I don't want the government pressuring them but I do like how this effort points out that the corporations are engaging in political speech here.  

By Blogger Dawnfire82, at Sat Sep 11, 10:08:00 AM:

... what?

1) How was that *ever* in question? Look no further than unions for God's sake.

2) 'The new legislation makes us have to raise our rates to stay in business' is political speech?

I guess when the government seeks to control the economy, any economic speech is also political speech.  

By Blogger JPMcT, at Sat Sep 11, 10:26:00 AM:

Althouhg I bemoan the Marxist proclivity of the Obama administration, it is of some solace that they are bad at it. If we had somebody with the steel will and amorality of Stalin, it would be all over...but fortunately we have the Community Organizer, who has all he can do simply to avoid stepping on his...er...appendage, and often fails at this!

Since when does the government get the RIGHT to show any level of "Tolerance" for a private concern??

It is WE who tolerate the government, not the government "tolerating" us!!!

If we do not react to this with our votes, then the next level of "zero tolerance" will be for internet blogs, e-mails and newspapers.

VOTE, people...VOTE!!!  

By Blogger The Grouch, at Sat Sep 11, 10:30:00 AM:

How can premiums not increase as Obamacare gets phased in? Even the illusion master himself admitted as much yesterday.

My employer issued a memo to all employees shortly after Obamacare was passed saying: 1) Obamacare would cause premiums to rise faster than normal, 2) It would cause benefits to be reduced, and 3) Any resulting rise in premiums or penalties assessed for Cadillac plans would be passed directly through to employees..... all I can say is thanks a lot, Mr. President.

How does Sebelius have any credibility left after all the lies?  

By Anonymous Gringo, at Sat Sep 11, 11:53:00 AM:

TH, I have tried a number of times to post a comment in you Koran dumping thread, and it never registers. For some reason, it gets caught up in a spam filter.  

By Blogger MTF, at Sat Sep 11, 01:40:00 PM:

I am troubled by Noumenon's comment. There is a belief on the left that any corporation making economic statements counter to the political narrative advanced by the administration is engaged in "political speech". Notwithstanding the fact that corporations are equally entitled to make political statements as Noumenon or anyone else, this is not a political statement. It is an economic statement, and not only are the companies free to make such statements, they are required to make them (or least they are if they are companies with publicly traded securities).  

By Anonymous Anonymous, at Sat Sep 11, 03:26:00 PM:

Anon attorney here. This merits a Congressional hearing, perhaps a lawsuit.  

By Anonymous Ignoramus, at Sat Sep 11, 05:12:00 PM:

“This merits a Congressional hearing, perhaps a lawsuit.”

I second this.

Sebelius isn’t just threatening insurers for spreading “misinformation” … she goes further by saying that there’ll be “zero tolerance for … unjustified rate increases.” Thus she’s trying to set up insurers to be the fall guys for the inevitable higher costs that will come with Obamacare.

In a related development, at Friday’s press conference ABC’s Jake Tapper put Obama on the spot:
“You pledged, A, that you would bend the cost curve [down], and B, that you Democrats would be able to campaign on this. And CMS reported yesterday that the cost curve is actually bending up, from 6.1 percent to 6.3 percent, post-health care legislation. And the only Democrats I’ve seen talking about health care legislation are running TV ads saying that they voted against it.”

In his response Obama let slip that “as a consequence of us getting 30 million additional people health care, at the margins that's going to increase our costs, we knew that. We didn't think that we were going to cover 30 million people for free.”

As to bending the cost curve down, Obama said “But I said at the time, it wasn’t going to happen tomorrow, it wasn’t going to happen next year.”

Obama didn’t address Tapper’s question about Democrats running away from Healthcare as a campaign issue until further prodding from Tapper, whereupon Obama gave a curt attribution to its being the “political season.”

Source: http://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2010/09/10/press-conference-president-obama

The enactment of Healthcare was a national scandal.

I’d love to cross exam Baby Daddy Orzag on how he gamed the CBO scoring for Healthcare. I’d love to get into how Stupak got rolled. I’d love to explore how the Congressional Black Caucus leaked the Tea Party Racial Slur Story to the press before it was even supposed to have happened. Etc. Etc. “The Truth is Out There”

The next act in this sad story will be Obama’s getting exposed as a Lying Sack of Shit. Developing ...  

By Anonymous Anonymous, at Sun Sep 12, 08:54:00 AM:

corporations are engaging in political speech here.

At one time such representations used to be called protecting your business interests.

But now that the government has seen fit to arrogate control that business to itself it is transformed into political speech.

Funny that.  

By Anonymous Anonymous, at Sun Sep 12, 10:32:00 AM:

As the federal government begins to fill vacancies on the ObamaCare death panels, millions of people will drop off the health care programs that we are on and join the program available only to the public sector elite. This shift will decrease the aggregate costs of our program just as the Kenyan and the dems said it would!  

By Anonymous Ignoramus, at Mon Sep 13, 08:57:00 AM:

A follow-up re Sebelius threat over “unjustified rate increases.” It’s not an idle threat. Sebellius wrote: "We will also keep track of insurers with a record of unjustified rate increases: those plans may be excluded from health insurance Exchanges in 2014."
Thus, Sebelius is threatening to exclude rogue insurers from a big part of the market if they don’t play along.  

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