Axelrod: Insurance Cos. Should Have Given Customers Advance Warning About Cancelling Plans Obama Guaranteed They Could Keep
Assisting the Obama administration in its perpetual flight from responsibility for anything, former Obama campaign manager David Axelrod, who now campaigns from a paid propaganda perch at NBC and MSNBC, tweeted the following on Friday afternoon (HT Twitchy): "Wonder how many Insurance cos that sold junk policies after ACA was signed told customers at purchase that they'd have to eventually switch?"
Yeah, David it was their responsibility to inform their customers about a law whose constitutional fate wasn't decided until June 2012, and about which President Obama issued dozens of guarantees — not promises, guarantees — that "if you like your plan, you can keep your plan," as recently as late September of this year. And who believes, if they had tried to communicate the likelihood of cancellation before they legally had to late this year, that the unhinged wrath of the Obama administration and its leftist smear apparatus wouldn't have rained down mercilessly on them? I'll have more on that topic after the jump, but first, let me highlight several choice responses to Axelrod's tweet out of hundreds:
Why would they say that since the Pres said we could keep our plans if we wanted. #LIAR
Maybe they were dumb enough to take The President at his word.
Why would they? President promised they wouldn't. 34 times.
why is it only asswipes like you calling the cancelled plans junk and not the people who had them?
Junk policy=one consumers want, Obama doesn't want them to have. Soviet style thinking: whatever not mandatory is forbidden.
Considering your "solution" costs more and covers less, who's the one peddling junk policies?
Nice of you to hold ins. Co's to a higher standard than POTUS. You're garbage.
How many PRESIDENTS "told customers at purchase that they'd have to eventually switch?" ZERO
struggling to find any news clippings of insurance companies saying "you can keep your plan. Period" You have that handy @davidaxelrod ?
You dumb bastards are trying to blame this on anything but the culprit which is YOU.
Says the guy who knew the President was lying to the American people about his shitty ACA law and applauded him for it.
Weren't U an Obama adviser who helped to push this down our throats? Did U help LIE to get this HORRIBLE law passed?
Yes he was "an Obama adviser who helped to push this down our throats." Now he's an Obama hack who pretends to actually do "analysis."
Axelrod's question is especially galling because health insurance company intimidation and bullying has been an Obama administration specialty since 2009. One particular example in September of that year involved Humana (bolds are mine):
Roberts blasts Sebelius gag order on Humana
The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, under the direction of the Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius, has ordered Humana, a private health benefit company, to stop disseminating information critical of President Barack Obama’s health reform plans.
Humana had warned its members that their Medicare Advantage benefits might be slashed as part of the changes proposed under the health-care plan being discussed in Washington. Democrats have planned to cut Medicare funds by about $550 billion over the next 10 years to help finance their plans.
The price tag on health care reform legislation hovers around $1 trillion.
Senate Republican leadership has threatened to stall any of Sebelius’ political appointees until she withdraws her order silencing Humana. There are 10 health positions that need to be filled.
“America’s seniors and the health plans that serve them deserve to have their free speech rights respected,” the Senate Republican statement said. Senate Republican leadership also pointed out that health and human services previously followed established guidelines that allow health organizations to provide their members with any information regarding legislation that could affect them.
The precedent determined that stifling this communication “would violate basic freedom of speech and other constitutional rights of the Medicare beneficiary as a citizen.” Since reform-leading Obama took office, this precedent has apparently been overturned.
“Now, the Obama administration has reversed this longstanding HHS decision — in the midst of a critical debate about the future of health care services in our country — to shut down communication between private companies and America’s seniors on an issue that has a direct impact on their health care,” Senate Republicans said.
“Your department has done this by imposing an industry-wide gag order without apparent justification or basis in law, contradicting your past public guidance and the plain language and spirit of the First Amendment, among the most sacred tenets of our democracy,” Senate Republicans continued.
Spokespersons at health and human services said the gag order is for the benefit of Medicare recipients, and the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services justified the decision by saying “we are concerned that, among other things, the information in the letter is misleading and confusing to beneficiaries.”
Well, let's look at what has actually transpired. What Humana feared would happen is starting to happen:
For all the current focus on Obamacare lurching into its infancy, 50-year-old Medicare is also undergoing profound and disruptive change as Congress struggles with soaring medical bills and a growing senior population. Among the changes:
• After years of generous compensation, Washington is squeezing payments to managed care plans like AARP's — collectively known as Medicare Advantage. The idea is to bring these private plans in line with the cost of original, fee-for-service Medicare.
• At the same time, insurers are being required to spend a greater share of their income on patient care, further squeezing profits.
The bolded paragraph above essentially says that Medicare Advantage plans are targeted for extinction. In other words, Humana was right, and was prevented from disseminating information that was not "misleading" or "confusing" — just inconveniently true for the Obama administration.
Speaking of wondering — I wonder how many news outlets are going to point out that Axelrod is using his new role in "journalism" to ramp up the administration's mindless but unfortunately sometimes effective anti-insurance company rhetoric?
Cross-posted at BizzyBlog.com.