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September 25th, 2009 12:01 pm
McConnell to HHS: Lift Gag Order On Private Health Insurance Companies

In a letter sent to HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius, Senator Mitch McConnell and other members of the Republican leadership threatened to block some of President Obama’s nominees until HHS lifts its gag order on private health insurance companies.

The gag order was put in place after Senator Baucus and others complained about a mailing Humana Inc. sent to seniors warning that the health care reform proposals advancing in Congress could result in cuts to Medicare benefits.   

McConnell’s office put out a release with excerpts from his interview on Fox News’ Your World with Neil Cavuto, during which he dicussed the letter and issue.  Below are some of those excerpts:

I sent a letter to the Secretary of Health and Human Services signed by the Republican Leadership. They have 10 vacancies of people they are trying to get appointed to the administration. None of those people will get through the Senate easily until they lift the gag order. None of these people make it through the Senate without extensive debate until they lift the gag order and allow the First Amendment to function for everyone in this country, including people who just happen to be doing business with the federal government.”

I think the Democratic majority is undeterred by the facts. The facts are that they are trying to cut Medicare. They certainly are cutting Medicare Advantage as well they are going to have a $500 billion cut in Medicare over the next 10 years. They are acting like they are not. Nobody believes that the director of the CBO has illustrated what they are doing. It is astonishing.”

Other Republican leaders who signed the letter include:  Senators  Jon Kyl, Lamar Alexander, John Thune, Lisa Murkowski, John Cornyn, Charles Grassley and Mike Enzi.

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