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Thread: U.S. Medicare probes Humana over letter to patients

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    U.S. Medicare probes Humana over letter to patients

    WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. health officials are investigating whether Humana Inc (HUM.N) used so-called "scare tactics" when contacting its Medicare Advantage health insurance plan customers and warning them about pending health reform legislation, according to a letter released on Monday.
    The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), which oversees the Medicare program for the elderly and disabled as well as privately-run Medicare Advantage options, ordered Humana to halt all related outreach until the agency concluded its investigation.

    CMS said Humana's letter alleges "that current health care reform legislation affecting Medicare could hurt 'millions of seniors and disabled individuals who could lose many of the important benefits and services that make Medicare advantage health plans so valuable.'"

    The letter could violate federal regulations, it added.

    "CMS is concerned that, among other things, this information is misleading and confusing to beneficiaries... makes several other claims about the legislation and how it will be detrimental to enrollees, ultimately urging enrollees to contact their congressional representatives to protest the actions referenced in the letter," CMS wrote Humana in a letter dated September 18.
    U.S. Medicare probes Humana over letter to patients | Special Coverage | Reuters

    This is strictly an attempt to bully any opposition to the unpopular Government health care takeover and silence any critics.

    The Baucus bill will cut $123 billion from the Medicare Advantage program over the next 10 years and all Humana did was point out this fact.

    In fact, the Baucus draft legislation slashes $123 billion over the next decade from Medicare Advantage, which Democrats hate despite the fact that almost one-fourth of beneficiaries have chosen it over traditional fee-for-service Medicare. One reason seniors like it is because private insurers focus on quality and preventive care and try to manage benefits, as opposed to simply paying bills.

    A new study from America's Health Insurance Plans, the industry trade group, finds that seniors on Advantage in California spent 30% fewer days in hospitals over fee-for-service patients, based on federal data. Democrats say that insurers are "overpaid," but the cuts—as Humana correctly noted—mean that seniors may lose this coverage.

    Mr. Baucus doesn't want seniors to be educated about these facts, and obviously he's willing to use his enormous power to punish any private company that doesn't affirm his, well, creative version of reality. Nearly half of Humana's yearly revenue comes from Medicare Advantage, and the insurer says that it is complying in full with the CMS investigation. Yesterday, the agency also barred all Advantage insurers from providing similar information to their beneficiaries.

    This episode neatly shows how all U.S. health care will operate if Mr. Baucus's bill becomes law. For months Humana and the wider insurance lobby have been among ObamaCare's most prominent cheerleaders, with the exception of Advantage cuts and the public option—even though they'll be converted into government contractors in the business of fulfilling whatever Congress happens to dictate. The insurers are willing to give up their remaining business autonomy because Democrats intend to mandate that all consumers buy their products—but as with Advantage now, that means government will control the funds upon which the insurers' survival depends. They'll have no choice but to genuflect, or else the political class will pull out the tire irons.
    Baucus Bullies Humana Inc. - WSJ.com

    What's next?.. IRS audits for private citizens that question the virtue and benevolence of these thugs in DC?

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    Re: U.S. Medicare probes Humana over letter to patients

    Quote Originally Posted by Crunch View Post
    U.S. Medicare probes Humana over letter to patients | Special Coverage | Reuters

    This is strictly an attempt to bully any opposition to the unpopular Government health care takeover and silence any critics.

    The Baucus bill will cut $123 billion from the Medicare Advantage program over the next 10 years and all Humana did was point out this fact.



    Baucus Bullies Humana Inc. - WSJ.com

    What's next?.. IRS audits for private citizens that question the virtue and benevolence of these thugs in DC?
    Silence from the left is deafening. I remember their crocodile tears on perceived fears that the Patriot Act would allow the government to listen to them talking to their mommys, and yet not a peep on this blatant attack on the first amendment.

    The government has NO right to issue a gag order on any private company or citizen unless they are endangering the country. Informing customers on the dangers of impending legislation is the norm in this country.

    If perceived scare tactics are illegal, then most mailings from Congress would be banned.

    • "The America Republic will endure until the day Congress discovers that it can bribe the public with the public's money." -- Alexis de Tocqueville





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    Re: U.S. Medicare probes Humana over letter to patients

    Quote Originally Posted by Crunch View Post
    U.S. Medicare probes Humana over letter to patients | Special Coverage | Reuters

    This is strictly an attempt to bully any opposition to the unpopular Government health care takeover and silence any critics.

    The Baucus bill will cut $123 billion from the Medicare Advantage program over the next 10 years and all Humana did was point out this fact.



    Baucus Bullies Humana Inc. - WSJ.com

    What's next?.. IRS audits for private citizens that question the virtue and benevolence of these thugs in DC?
    No it's not. They are under contract through use of medicare not to mislead medicare patients. They sent out a letter that lied to them and therefore they broke contract. Our federal government has every right to demand a retraction of their statement. There is no bullying here.
    It's time for a revolution in our country. Not a revolution forged with guns and bombs but a revolution forged of compassion and altruism. A revolution that extends a hand to those who don't have and who cannot. A revolution that makes Health Care available to all those in the US.

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    Re: U.S. Medicare probes Humana over letter to patients

    What exactly is the issue here? There is a very specific set of guidelines about contacting medicare patients and they weren't followed. Case closed, or are we just trying to turn this into yet another partisan slugfest over a non-issue?
    Affiant further sayeth not.

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    Re: U.S. Medicare probes Humana over letter to patients

    Quote Originally Posted by formerroadie View Post
    No it's not. They are under contract through use of medicare not to mislead medicare patients. They sent out a letter that lied to them and therefore they broke contract. Our federal government has every right to demand a retraction of their statement. There is no bullying here.
    But, Humana didn't lie to their clients. What now?
    Quote Originally Posted by Top Cat View Post
    At least Bill saved his transgressions for grown women. Not suggesting what he did was OK. But he didn't chase 14 year olds.

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    Re: U.S. Medicare probes Humana over letter to patients

    Quote Originally Posted by apdst View Post
    But, Humana didn't lie to their clients. What now?
    Even if that is the case (extremely debatable) they still violated the very specific guidelines for contacting these medicare patients. So.... again, what exactly is the issue here? Or are you saying that we should allow some companies to violate the law because they agree with your opinion?
    Affiant further sayeth not.

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    Re: U.S. Medicare probes Humana over letter to patients

    Always these right wingers take the side of big corporations.

    This medicare advantage program costs taxpayers 14% more per patient and should be done away with.

    But that's not how they look at it. If Obama is behind it....they are against it.
    Last edited by dragondad; 09-23-09 at 09:11 PM.

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    Re: U.S. Medicare probes Humana over letter to patients

    Quote Originally Posted by formerroadie View Post
    No it's not. They are under contract through use of medicare not to mislead medicare patients. They sent out a letter that lied to them and therefore they broke contract. Our federal government has every right to demand a retraction of their statement. There is no bullying here.
    Mislead?? Was the Congressional Budget Office "misleading" when they said that a large portion of the benefits provided by Medicare Advantage would be lost??

    Though ABC did not air it, in yesterday's hearing before the Senate Finance Committee, the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office confirmed that approximately half of all benefits under Medicare Advantage would be cut:

    Sen. Mike Crapo (R-WY): “So, Approximately Half Of The Additional Benefit Would Be Lost To Those Current Medicare Advantage Policy Holders?” CBO Director Douglas Elmendorf: “For Those Who Would Be Enrolled Otherwise Under Current Law, Yes.”
    Humana not only had the right, but the obligation to tell its insureds how this legislation would affect their coverage and health care. This is a blatant violation of their first amendment rights.

    • "The America Republic will endure until the day Congress discovers that it can bribe the public with the public's money." -- Alexis de Tocqueville





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    Re: U.S. Medicare probes Humana over letter to patients

    Quote Originally Posted by Gill View Post
    Mislead?? Was the Congressional Budget Office "misleading" when they said that a large portion of the benefits provided by Medicare Advantage would be lost??



    Humana not only had the right, but the obligation to tell its insureds how this legislation would affect their coverage and health care. This is a blatant violation of their first amendment rights.
    It was a lie because Obama said it was a lie. And we all know that Obama does not lie.

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