Humana was the subject of Congressional scorn - and a Federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services probe - over letters it sent to Medicare Advantage customers which warned that benefits could be cut under health-care reform. Max Baucus and Congressional Democrats said no such cuts would come. However, the CBO says it WILL cut some benefits, to the tune of $100 million over 10 years. That vindicates Humana's position but also raises a thorny issue: Given the well-documented waste in Medicare, shouldn't there at least be some cutting on the back end?
Here's what I think: President Obama has shown yet again that he does not take seriously his oath to uphold the Constitution. His White House web site assaulted the First Amendment rights of visitors to the site a month ago by threatening to record their email addresses. Now, his Department of Health and Human Services has threatened to investigate certain health insurers if their corporate spokespersons speak out against Obamacare. The Supreme Court has consistently held for over 100 years that corporations are "persons" under the Constitution, and, as such, have First Amendment rights. The Dept of HHS can no more threaten to investigate insurance companies who disagree with the President than the Department of Justice could threaten to investigate Republican Senators who disagree with him. White House intimidation of First Amendment-protected rights is expressly prohibited by the Privacy Act of 1974.