GOP to block health nominees in Medicare spat - Yahoo! News
WASHINGTON – The Senate's top Republicans said Thursday they wouldn't allow President Barack Obama to fill health posts until his administration stops barring insurers from telling the elderly how Democrats' health overhaul could affect their benefits.
Sen. Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., the minority leader, and seven other Republicans wrote to Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius demanding she immediately lift what they called a "gag order" that calls on private companies that contract with Medicare to stop communicating with their elderly customers about the measure's potential effects.This is quite unconstitutional to issue gag orders for no other reason than to deter dissent over bills.One such insurer, Humana Inc., headquartered in McConnell's home state, told its Medicare customers in a recent mailing that the bill could slash their benefits. The missive urged seniors to contact lawmakers to ask them to oppose it.
The Republicans' latest threat is retaliation after a federal agency told Humana and other insurers that work with Medicare to immediately stop such mailings or similar Internet postings. The order came from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, known as CMS, which oversees the federal health programs for the poor and elderly.
How authoritarian of them.