"First they ignore you, then they ridicule you, then they fight you, then you win." -- Mahatma Gandhi

HHS Sends Obamacare Propaganda to Seniors

May 28th, 2010 by mopns · No Comments

 

In a must-read editorial today, The Wall Street Journal blasts the Health and Human Services Department for its taxpayer-funded mailer touting the supposed benefits for Medicare under Democrats’ new health care law: “In the full-circle department, recall the moment last September when Senator Max Baucus and Medicare went after the insurer Humana for having the nerve to criticize one part of ObamaCare. It turns out those same regulators have different standards for their own political advocacy. This week Medicare sent a flyer to seniors, ostensibly to inform them of what ObamaCare ‘means for you.’ Many elderly Americans are worried—and rightly so—about where they’ll rank in national health care, given that the new entitlement is funded by nearly a half-trillion dollars in Medicare cuts. They must have been relieved to hear that ‘The Affordable Care Act passed by Congress and signed by President Obama this year will provide you and your family greater savings and increased quality health care.’”

Of course, as the Journal points out, most of what’s contained in the mailer is contradicted by a report from Medicare’s own actuary released last month. For example, the mailer says Medicare “benefits won’t change” but the CMS actuary says Medicare cuts in the bill are “possibly jeopardizing access” to care for seniors. It also claims the unpopular health care law makes “improvements to Medicare Advantage.” In fact, the actuary’s report says “The new provisions will generally reduce [Medicare Advantage] rebates to plans and thereby result in less generous benefit packages.”

The WSJ writes, “That’s also what Humana told its customers, warning that seniors ‘could lose many of the important benefits and services that make Medicare Advantage so valuable.’ Medicare threatened the Kentucky-based company with fines and regulatory punishments for ‘misleading and confusing’ beneficiaries, then issued a blanket gag order on Advantage insurers. The agency later backed down, once its Cosa Nostra message had been signed, sealed and delivered.”

This double standard is precisely what Senate Republicans criticized in their letter to Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius yesterday. They wrote, “We are deeply concerned about the apparent inequities evident in this situation. The representations made in this brochure are objectively inaccurate and incomplete.  They contradict a report by your own actuary as well as analysis by the Congressional Budget Office.  This creates a situation where private companies are prohibited from communicating with their customers, while at the same time taxpayer dollars are being used to communicate a misleading message to millions of seniors.”

The WSJ concludes, “The larger issue is the White House’s view of political opposition. It seems to think its assertions will be true if they are repeated often enough, as long as no one is allowed to disagree.

Comments

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Tags: Healthcare

0 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Fran // Jun 1, 2010 at 9:06 pm

    I got mind today. It’s in the recycle bin. What does that tell you?

  • 2 Nana // Nov 17, 2012 at 10:49 pm

    jobs jobs jobs jobs. They knew it was what people waetnd to hear. So far we have six or more abortion bills, and attempt to use the 2010 budget to cut women’s health care and much much more, and now this house bill, voted for by Republicans, ending the only program that guarantees people will not be denied medical care when they are dying even if they run out of money of their own. There is 1 jobs bill, it was introduced by house Democrats.

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