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ABC Notices Obama Administration's Effort to Suppress Criticism of ObamaCare
ABC World News reported on Newsbusters ^ | September 23, 2009 | Brent Baker-Newsbusters Charles Gibson-ABC

Posted on 09/23/2009 3:19:24 AM PDT by chuck_the_tv_out

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell's decision to go to the Senate floor on Tuesday to call out the Obama administration for using the full power of a federal regulatory agency to suppress free speech -- specifically, to silence Humana's predictions about the impact of proposed ObamaCare cuts to the Medicare Advantage program -- led ABC, but not CBS or NBC, to air a story on the “gag order.”

ABC's story began with a McConnell soundbite (“'Shut up,' the government says, 'don't communicate with your customers. Be quiet and get in line,'”), before reporter Jonathan Karl explained McConnell was referring to the “Department of Health and Human Services, telling insurance companies who serve Medicare recipients, to stop 'misleading' and 'confusing' mailings, saying, quote: 'We are instructing you to immediately discontinue all such mailings, and remove any related materials from your Web sites.'”

Karl continued: “The extraordinary order comes in response to a mailing the Humana insurance company sent to customers in the Medicare Advantage program. The Humana mailing warned that because of Medicare cuts in the health care reform bills, quote, 'millions of seniors and disabled individuals could lose many important benefits and services.'”

On Monday, HHS offered “guidance” to silence criticism: “MEDICARE ISSUES NEW GUIDANCE TO INSURANCE COMPANIES ON MEDICARE MAILINGS.”

So far, the government's power play has succeeded. “Humana backed down, stopping the mailing and announcing that it would cooperate with the investigation,” James Taranto noted in his Monday “Best of the Web,” lamenting: “Corporations may provide lots of useful goods and services, but never count on them to take a stand for freedom.”

Now the question is, will the media champion free speech and be outraged by the abuse of power to suppress it, or will most journalists not mind the government hushing voices which go against Obama?

The story on the Tuesday, September 22 World News on ABC (transcript provided by the MRC's Brad Wilmouth):

CHARLES GIBSON: In Washington, the Senate Finance Committee today began voting on amendments to the health care reform bill, and the bill that comes out of that committee will become the centerpiece for the health care debate. But even before the amendment process began, a war of words broke out over what one of the nation's largest health insurance companies is saying about the bill. Here's Jonathan Karl.

JONATHAN KARL: It's not often you hear language like this on the Senate floor.

MITCH MCCONNELL, SENATE MINORITY LEADER: "Shut up," the government says, "don't communicate with your customers. Be quiet and get in line."

KARL: He's talking about this order issued last night by the Department of Health and Human Services, telling insurance companies who serve Medicare recipients to stop "misleading" and "confusing" mailings, saying, quote, "We are instructing you to immediately discontinue all such mailings, and remove any related materials from your Web sites." The extraordinary order comes in response to a mailing the Humana insurance company sent to customers in the Medicare Advantage program.

The Humana mailing warned that because of Medicare cuts in the health care reform bills, quote, "millions of seniors and disabled individuals could lose many important benefits and services." But Senate Finance Chairman Max Baucus says it is misleading to say his bill cuts Medicare benefits and ordered the HHS to investigate, prompting the gag order. Some legal experts say the order is unconstitutional. Senator McConnell agrees.

MCCONNELL: We cannot allow government officials to target individuals or companies because they do not like what they say.

KARL: And even some Democratic Senators are concerned that the bill now before the Senate Finance Committee reduces spending on Medicare Advantage by $123 billion.

SENATOR BILL NELSON (D-FL): I think it would be intolerable to ask the senior citizens on Medicare who have it to give up substantial health benefits that they're enjoying under Medicare.

KARL: HHS declined a request for an on-camera interview, but told us that they are investigating whether the mailings illegally give the impression that they are official communications from Medicare. While that investigation goes forward, Charlie, the gag order remains in place.



TOPICS: News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: bho44; bhofascism; bhohealthcare; chuckposts; democrats; hhs; humana; humma; internazis; obama; obamacare

1 posted on 09/23/2009 3:19:24 AM PDT by chuck_the_tv_out
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To: chuck_the_tv_out

Medicare is government run health care. The public is getting a sample of what a full blown public option could mean to their free speech and future health care.

“Shut up and get in line.” they forgot to add, “We’’ll call you when the Board determines if you’re eligible for that procedure”.


2 posted on 09/23/2009 3:26:58 AM PDT by kempster
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To: chuck_the_tv_out

They are vindicating all critics of Obamacare, every last racist one of them...


3 posted on 09/23/2009 3:27:15 AM PDT by Carlos Martillo II (Guernica was a work of art...and I don't mean the painting.)
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To: chuck_the_tv_out

They’ll find some way to cover Zero’s butt. “He didn’t know what his uppity subordinates were up to. Heads will roll!” Let’s see, It’s GWB’s fault. That’s a good one. We’ve used it over and over and it still works! (Charlie Rangel is already pinning Acorn on Bush’s tail.) You’d think the press would notice that curtailing freedom of speech has repercussions but they’ve all drunk Koolaid.


4 posted on 09/23/2009 3:28:09 AM PDT by hershey
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To: chuck_the_tv_out

Vee aaahr instrucccting
You cease and desissst, Bach Schnell!
Praise the Fatherland!


5 posted on 09/23/2009 3:30:45 AM PDT by Haiku Guy (If You have a Right / To the Service I provide / I must be a Slave)
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To: chuck_the_tv_out

Sounds “fishy” to me...


6 posted on 09/23/2009 3:31:53 AM PDT by Haiku Guy (If You have a Right / To the Service I provide / I must be a Slave)
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To: hershey

The MSM thinks they will be part of the elite once the “transformation” is complete. They need to take a long hard look at what dictators, socialists and communists have historically done to the media once their usefulness is outlived. I called Humana yesterday and told them to keep supporting their seniors and the American people will back them up.


7 posted on 09/23/2009 3:37:36 AM PDT by John.Galt2012 (I'll take Liberty and you can keep the "Change"!)
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To: chuck_the_tv_out

It would be incredible if just one of the state ran media networks actually started real journalism. Unfortunately, all that ever happens is a little piece like this every once and a while.


8 posted on 09/23/2009 3:45:08 AM PDT by CriticalJ
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To: chuck_the_tv_out

I’d say some testimonials from former Soviet citizenry are in order here.

The tyrannical, dictatorial actions by this guy Obama’s misAdministration appear common to much of what I read, and understood of the Communist Soviet style during the Cold War era.

...and NO people, Communism contrary to what the Leftists whom promoted the SOB, and his sycophant ilk currently running this country have said since the fall of the Berlin Wall IS NOT DEAD.


9 posted on 09/23/2009 3:52:02 AM PDT by rockinqsranch (Dems, Libs, Socialists...Call 'em What you Will, They ALL have Fairies Living In Their Trees.)
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To: chuck_the_tv_out

How do we get a copy of both the Humana letter and the Nazis’ cease and desist order? I would love to get them and then have everyone send it out to 5 other people who would send it out to 5 other people, etc. Let’s go viral! Let’s do Humana’s job for them since they are apparently scared of the ass-monkeys in D.C. If I was the head of Humana I would have told them to go F themselves.


10 posted on 09/23/2009 4:01:14 AM PDT by jhroberts
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To: kempster

Over reaching is a Democrat party principle.
Time to cut their over reaching hands off.


11 posted on 09/23/2009 4:01:17 AM PDT by Joe Boucher (google; operation garden spot and REX84 (FUBO))
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To: Joe Boucher

I am happy at least one network, besides Fox, had the fortitude to report on this. Perhaps this is the crack in the dam...time will tell.


12 posted on 09/23/2009 4:12:44 AM PDT by Mouton
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To: Mouton

See, I always thought a newsman or woman made their name by going against the administration. Find the dirt on them. Not by climbing up obozo’s ass.


13 posted on 09/23/2009 4:21:06 AM PDT by Joe Boucher (google; operation garden spot and REX84 (FUBO))
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To: chuck_the_tv_out
ObamaCare

Why would ANYONE want this crap passed?

I ask liberals..."is it because they did such a great job with The Postal Service, Medi-care & AMTRAK?"

Think with FACTS, not feeeeelings.

14 posted on 09/23/2009 4:23:34 AM PDT by Puppage (You may disagree with what I have to say, but I shall defend to your death my right to say it)
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To: jhroberts

from HHS (link was in article)

http://www.cms.hhs.gov/apps/media/press/release.asp?Counter=3522&intNumPerPage=10&checkDate=&checkKey=&srchType=1&numDays=3500&srchOpt=0&srchData=&keywordType=All&chkNewsType=1%2C+2%2C+3%2C+4%2C+5&intPage=&showAll=&pYear=&year=&desc=&cboOrder=date


15 posted on 09/23/2009 4:25:30 AM PDT by mtngrandpa
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To: chuck_the_tv_out

Fascism 101


16 posted on 09/23/2009 4:28:14 AM PDT by catnipman (Cat Nipman: Made from The Right Stuff)
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Ah, well then I suppose AARP shouldn’t be proselytizing the wonders of Obamacare then? No? Oh, I get it...

‘OBEY The Won and his minions, proles, if you know what’s good for you. Otherwise, we’ll investigate you for some obscure regulatory violation and send Acorn to sit on your doorstep. Geddit?’


17 posted on 09/23/2009 4:30:09 AM PDT by FreeStateYank (I want my country and constitution back, now!)
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To: chuck_the_tv_out

Srew their gag order.

I am beyond outraged...more so at the fact that this is not headline news everywhere in the country.


18 posted on 09/23/2009 4:34:56 AM PDT by Adder (Proudly ignoring Zero since 1-20-09!)
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To: Adder

thats SCREW

[See? I am so po-ed I can’t even screw right]


19 posted on 09/23/2009 4:36:08 AM PDT by Adder (Proudly ignoring Zero since 1-20-09!)
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To: Adder

“I am beyond outraged...more so at the fact that this is not headline news everywhere in the country.”

I thought so too. I tried to put it as Frontpage News, but someone took it off.


20 posted on 09/23/2009 4:37:27 AM PDT by chuck_the_tv_out ( <<< click my name: now featuring Freeper classifieds)
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To: chuck_the_tv_out
That is the modus operandi of authoritarianism - forcefully silencing dissent.

Obama’s own words, from his inaugural address, must be stated to his administration and himself:

“To those who cling to power through corruption and deceit and the silencing of dissent, know that you are on the wrong side of history, but that we will extend a hand if you are willing to unclench your fist.”

Barack/Barry Hussein Obama/Soetoro’s policy of “you vote, I rule”, which only “uses” voters to get elected then makes them inert, will backfire on him and his Democratic (socialist) Party of America politicians. American voters will not be silenced, even if their elected but unrepresentative representatives are silenced. 2010 must and should reflect this truth.

When the voters, across the political spectrum, do become active and demanding not to be merely used at election time, good things can result.

Voters have a great opportunity in 2010 to make their voices be heard in Washington and across America.

This fraudulent POTUS Obama, believed in grassroots politics only to get elected. Now the grassroots effort by active citizens is his and the Democratic (socialist) Party of America's totalitarian authoritarian politicians in Washington's worst nightmare...and the United States of America's saving political power.

The socialists in power now pretended, in their campaign, that the goal is to have a conversation in which people become engaged in political life. Now they has no use for the citizen voters...they believe, in their dark hearts, that these citizen voters are far too ignorant and incapable to have a clue what is good for this republic. A republic that, to these socialists, has always existed in error and in contradiction to their self-serving elitist eugenic and delusional enlightened intellectual superiority.

Get rid of the poison in Washington...get rid of the corruption...get rid of non-representative representatives. Bring on the grassroots political movement that demands to be heard and that refuses to abandon ordered freedom and principled policies of liberty guaranteed by our firmly rooted constitutional laws, both state and federal.

These thugs, in this administration, and their thuggery have deemed the majority of American’s: the enemy; the domestic terrorists; the racists; the opposition.

Always remember the Obama administration's Stalinist-style demand (after his election) that a special prosecutor at the Department of Justice criminally prosecute any candidates, party officials or congressmen who discussed their concerns over voter fraud in their outrageous attempt to use the power of the federal government to intimidate and persecute political opponents. They did this to protect ACORN...their own and Obama’s own corrupt and immoral and anti-American “community organization.” No wonder ACORN’s and SEIU’s corruption is not at all high on Obama’s list of important issues...he depends on the corruption.

21 posted on 09/23/2009 4:44:51 AM PDT by jacknhoo (Luke 12:51. Think ye, that I am come to give peace on earth? I tell you, no; but separation.)
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To: chuck_the_tv_out

When is Obama planning on doing a 4-6 hour show every week extolling the virtues of socialism like his soulmate HUGO CHAVEZ?


22 posted on 09/23/2009 4:48:21 AM PDT by LeonardFMason
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To: chuck_the_tv_out
MEMO
to: Humana Insurance

from: DHS Obergruppenführer

To Whom It May Concern,

Be Advised

Unser Führer ist nicht glücklich


23 posted on 09/23/2009 4:51:09 AM PDT by Condor51 (The difference between stupidity and genius is that genius has its limits)
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To: LeonardFMason
We get a lot more than 4-6 hours a week.

"The American people will never knowingly adopt socialism. But, under the name of 'liberalism,' they will adopt every fragment of the socialist program, until one day America will be a socialist nation without knowing how it happened ... The Democrat Party has adopted our platform."

Norton Mattoon Thomas, who ran for president six times as the Socialist Party candidate.

Only "liberalism" overtly, for America.
24 posted on 09/23/2009 4:52:32 AM PDT by chuck_the_tv_out ( <<< click my name: now featuring Freeper classifieds)
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To: chuck_the_tv_out

Is it time yet for us to pull a Honduras on the Obamessiah?

A nice plane ride to Jakarta or Mombassa just might fix all this. :)


25 posted on 09/23/2009 5:13:18 AM PDT by RowdyFFC (Nancy Pelosi...please deny her any health care....)
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To: chuck_the_tv_out

obama can’t get anything done without silencing dissent. Because what they are trying to do is undermine the Constitution on several fronts. All the plans they have require force of the federal governmnet to implement and make us comply. God help us if we are attacked again.


26 posted on 09/23/2009 5:16:00 AM PDT by Texas resident ( It's us against them. And we're on our own.)
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To: chuck_the_tv_out

Despite these glimmers of some honest reporting, ABC as well a the other MSM is thoroughly in the tank for Obama. They may have a rude awakening when they are given the same dictate to shut up and say nothing against the Dear Leader.


27 posted on 09/23/2009 5:28:01 AM PDT by The Great RJ ("The problem with socialism is that you eventually run out of other people's money." M. Thatcher)
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To: Joe Boucher

Just that today any counter rhetoric is “hate speech”. If someone does not take this administration down a few hundred pegs, it is going to be a real nasty run for those who believe in freedom of expression.


28 posted on 09/23/2009 5:56:03 AM PDT by Mouton
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To: Mouton

Ya know so far this clown is not lighting the world on fire.
He has lost an awful lot of numbers. And no one has challenged him, YET.
When some real bad press finally gets going you will really see his numbers fall.
Obamma lamma ding dong is a liar and folks are starting to see him for what he really is, an antiAmerican marxist


29 posted on 09/23/2009 6:03:21 AM PDT by Joe Boucher (google; operation garden spot and REX84 (FUBO))
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To: chuck_the_tv_out
KARL: And even some Democratic Senators are concerned that the bill now before the Senate Finance Committee reduces spending on Medicare Advantage by $123 billion.

SENATOR BILL NELSON (D-FL): I think it would be intolerable to ask the senior citizens on Medicare who have it to give up substantial health benefits that they're enjoying under Medicare.

No need for costly government death panels for old folks. Just cut coverage and they'll die on their own.

30 posted on 09/23/2009 6:14:11 AM PDT by onemiddleamerican (FUBO)
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To: Joe Boucher
I 100% agree with your points about OZero. He is what happens when you elect someone who is not culturally founded in this society...frankly that is what the framers had in mind by the notion of natural born Citizen.
31 posted on 09/23/2009 6:38:47 AM PDT by Mouton
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To: chuck_the_tv_out; Jet Jaguar; NorwegianViking; ExTexasRedhead; HollyB; FromLori; ...

The list, ping


32 posted on 09/23/2009 9:11:46 AM PDT by Nachum (The complete Obama list at www.nachumlist.com)
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To: chuck_the_tv_out

PLease view this congressman’s message on Obama care.
The truth will set us free.
http://www.youtube.com/watch_popup?v=G44NCvNDLfc


33 posted on 09/23/2009 9:52:21 AM PDT by OPS4 (Ops4 God Bless America!Jesus is Lord!)
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