GOP Attacks Government Order On Health Care Mailers

Republicans on Capitol Hill continue to express their outrage over an order from a federal agency to bar private insurers from sending information to elderly customers about the possible effects of the health care overhaul plan on their benefits.

The controversy stems from a mailer sent to some seniors by Louisville-based Humana that said the overhaul could result in the slashing of benefits in the Medicare Advantage plan.

Democratic Senator Max Baucus requested a federal investigation of the Humana mailers by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, which has since told insurers not to send what it termed potentially  “misleading”  mailers regarding health care overhaul legislation.

Baucus and other Democrats have called the mailers inaccurate and no more than scare tactics, but Republicans say they contain information compiled by the Congressional Budget Office.

Republican Indiana Congressman Dan Burton took to the House floor Friday in opposition to what he called a government gag order.

 “That is a violation of the First Amendment, and secondly, I don’t know of any rule that would allow Senator Baucus to do this,”  Burton said.

Senate Republican leaders have threatened to block the nominations of candidates for government health posts unless the order is withdrawn.