lowfog01 wrote:Kathleen Sebelius Secretary of the Health and Human Services sent out a letter to Aetna informing them to stop or she would blocked all government contracts that Aetna has with the government. It was effective and the mass mailings Aetna was doing was stopped. Aetna is one of the companies the Federal workers can chose from and to be banned from all government contracting would have meant the end of Aetna.
It took me (or should I say, Google and Bing) considerable effort to track down the actual offending text of the Sebelius letter. The offending party originally seems to have been Humana, not Aetna, though I'm sure both of them plus many others received the warning. These companies contracted with Medicare to provide certain very-specific services to subscribers, and to describe the services using standardized, approved terminology. Why do the contracts regulate so extensively what the insurance companies can say? In a word, to prevent the companies from lying. It's the same reason most state insurance regulators dictate the "forms" that may be used for homeowner, auto, life, etc. policies. Humana used their official Medicare policy mailing lists to send out vague, scary, self-serving propaganda about pending legislation.
There's no danger that Sebelius could arbitrarily, by a stroke of the pen, ban Aetna or anyone else. There's no denial of freedom of speech for Humana or Aetna -- I have seen plenty of ads by medical insurers. That one form of communication, however, was inappropriate, and Humana immediately agreed to cease. Of course the whole thing was exaggerated and distorted by people whose goal is to sink Obama at all costs.