Wednesday, August 19, 2009
In a move some fear is a reprisal for opposing President Obama’s health care plan, Democrats sent 52 letters to health insurers requesting financial records for a House committee’s investigation.
Reps. Henry Waxman, D-Calif., and Bart Stupak, D-Mich., sent a letter warning health insurers that the House Energy and Commerce Committee is “examining executive compensation and other business practices of the health industry.”
Waxman, chairman of the committee, and Stupak, chairman of the Oversight and Investigations Subcommittee did not inform their Republican counterparts of their plans.
Health insurers have until Sept. 4 to provide Congress a detailed list of every employee who made over a $1 million dollars a year between 2003 and 2008. Democrats also want documents about conferences and any events held off company property as well as the types of transportation, lodging, food, entertainment and even gifts exchanged.
Raising the intimidation stakes: the Waxman letter offers insurers no explanation of what is being investigated or why.
Industry insiders fear the beginning of reprisals for anyone daring to dissent from the Obama agenda. One said it feels like a reprisal audit by the IRS.
With raucous health care town halls unfolding nationwide during the August congressional recess and polls showing increased opposition to a government-run insurance program or “public option,” neither Waxman nor Stupak nor their staffs would comment on this story. But it’s no secret that Democrats blame anti-reform ads on the private health insurance industry and its supporters.
Private health insurers warn that a public option could put them at a competitive disadvantage and even out of business, but they insist they support health care reform in general.
A spokesman for Stupak told The Associated Press Tuesday night that 52 letters had been sent to health insurers with $2 billion or more in annual premiums. He said letters were not dispatched to other industry groups, some of which have been airing television advertising in support of Obama’s call for legislation.
But Robert Zirkelbach, spokesman for the American Health Insurance Plans, said Democrats on the panel hoped to “silence the health insurance industry and distract attention away from the fact that the American people are rejecting a government-run plan” as part of Obama’s planned overhaul.
Zirkelbach said it would be up to individual companies to decide whether to turn the records over.
Spokesmen for three large insurance companies, Aetna, UnitedHealth Group Inc. and WellPoint Inc., confirmed the firms had received the letters but declined comment.
This another GIANT RED FLAG. Another industry under government attack and afraid of government intervention. Where will this end? Do you remember the “mis-steps” of the automotive executives right before the government intervened and nationalized the industry? Do you remember retro active tax legislation to punish AIG executives for bonuses paid – whether we like it or not under the terms of the compensation plans that they were hired under?
If you do not believe that the current “thugocracy” in Washington is capable of punitive actions you are severely mistaken! Watch carefully America – your liberty and freedom is under attack! Stand up and be counted! Make your voice heard – this is just the beginning of an eighteen month battle to hold the socialist left in check until we can sweep them out of office in 2010. Be vigilant and fight the good fight. Reject Socialism and Restore our Republic!
“With respect to the two words ‘general welfare,’ I have always regarded them as qualified by the detail of powers connected with them. To take them in a literal and unlimited sense would be a metamorphosis of the Constitution into a character which there is a host of proofs was not contemplated by its creators.” — James Madison