On Tuesday, the Congressional Budget Office director told Mr. Baucus’s committee that its plan to cut $123 billion from Medicare Advantage—the program that gives almost one-fourth of seniors private health-insurance options—will result in lower benefits and some 2.7 million people losing this coverage.
An insurance company named Humana decided this was information it felt necessary to pass on to its customers.
To put it lightly, Senator Max Baucus, author of the most recent form of Health Care reform legislation, didn’t take kindly to a private company enlightening its customers. Baucus ordered medicare regulators to investigate. What happened?
Jonathan Blum, acting director of a regulatory office in the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), said that a mailer Humana sent its customers was “misleading and confusing to beneficiaries, who may believe that it represents official communication about the Medicare Advantage program.”
Mr. Blum has also banned all Advantage contractors from telling their customers what Mr. Elmendorf has just told Congress. Mr. Blum happens to be a former senior aide to Mr. Baucus and a health adviser on the Obama transition team.
Needless to say, this is downright ridiculous.
Central Ohio’s very own Pat Tiberi isn’t taking this sitting down.
This order was spurred by Humana sending a one page letter to their beneficiaries explaining the possible cuts. However, leaders at CMS have ordered Humana to cease communication and have begun an investigation. It’s censorship pure and simple. Amazing that other insurance providers, like AARP, can vocally advocate for changes outlined in President Obama’s plan,without such scrutiny.
Keep it up, Pat. Keep your boot on their back, and don’t let go ’til they cry uncle.