Enforcers of ObamaCare
Secretary of Health and Human Services Kathleen Sebelius is allergic to the truth. She is the enforcer of ObamaCare's Jenga tower of lies upon lies upon lies.
Three years ago, when insurers and other companies had the audacity to expose ObamaCare's damage to their customers and workers, Sebelius brought out her brass knuckles. Remember? As I reported at the time, the White House coordinated a demonization campaign against Anthem Blue Cross in California for raising rates because of the new mandate's costs. Obama singled out the company in a “60 Minutes” interview, and Sebelius sent a nasty-gram demanding that Anthem “justify” its rate hikes to the federal government.
A private company trying to survive in the marketplace was forced to “explain” itself to federal bureaucrats and career politicians who have never run a business (successful or otherwise) in their lives. Sebelius went even further. She called on Anthem to provide public disclosure of how the rate increases would be spent — a mandate that no other private companies must follow.
In an even more heavy-handed effort to suppress criticism, Sebelius wrote to America's Health Insurance Plans (AHIP), the national association of health insurers, calling on its members “to stop using scare tactics and misinformation to falsely blame premium increases for 2011 on the patient protections in the Affordable Care Act.” The threatening cease-and-desist letter commanded: “I urge you to inform your members that there will be zero tolerance for this type of misinformation and unjustified rate increases. ... Simply stated, we will not stand idly by as insurers blame their premium hikes and increased profits on the requirement that they provide consumers with basic protections.”
The speech-stifling gag order declared war on every opponent of ObamaCare who dared to question the administration's phony claims of cost-savings or expanded access.
Health care policy analyst Merrill Matthews points out that Sebelius cracked her whip against health insurer Humana even before the law had passed. When the insurer warned seniors that an ObamaCare proposal to cut reimbursements could harm their Medicare Advantage benefits and coverage, Sebelius demanded that the company “suspend potentially misleading mailings to beneficiaries about health care and insurance reform.”
The warning, of course, proved true. In September 2010, Harvard Pilgrim Health Care canceled MA policies covering 22,000 seniors precisely because of ObamaCare rules on reimbursements and MA-style plans.
Sebelius' power-mad partner on Capitol Hill, Henry Waxman, targeted companies including Caterpillar, Verizon and ATT in a brass-knuckled effort to silence companies speaking out about the cost implications and financial burdens of ObamaCare. After the firms reported write-downs related to the ObamaCare mandate (disclosures that are required by law), Waxman scheduled an inquisition hearing to berate them publicly.
Caught with their pants down on the ObamaCare website abomination and unable to stifle the cries of millions of Americans who are unable to keep the plans and doctors they like, the Obama administration is blaming insurers, contractors and customers for its own ideological mess.
Michelle Malkin is the author of “Culture of Corruption: Obama and his Team of Tax Cheats, Crooks and Cronies” (Regnery 2009).
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Two found dead in North Oakland apartment
- Survivalist accused of killing trooper pleads not guilty
- 3 in Westmoreland charged in prescription narcotics operation
- Starkey: What are Penguins, Pirates up to?
- Youngwood officials worry about too many tenants in homes
- Wolf signs ban on new drilling beneath state land
- Westmoreland humane society slates ‘Have a Heart’ event
- Pitt’s 2015 schedule includes 5 road games in 1st 7 games
- BNY Mellon is putting iconic Citizens Bank Tower up for sale
- Kennametal plans plant closings, job cuts; fallout from oil and gas decline
- Pa. Treasurer McCord resigns without explanation, to leave Feb. 12