KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations

Missouri Group Accuses Humana Of Using Scare Tactics

After administration officials retreated last week on an order to silence insurers, activists in Missouri accused Humana of using scare tactics aimed at seniors. The Springfield, Mo., News-Leader reports: "Days after the Obama administration backed away from a gag order against health insurers, a small group of state activists traveled to Humana's corporate office in Springfield [Missouri] and lodged a formal complaint." David Meinell, president of Bridgeton-based Missouri Alliance for Retired Americans and three colleagues presented an open letter to Humana CEO Michael McCallister, saying that the insurer misled seniors and inappropriately used Medicare funds to lobby its interests through mailings and ads (Tang, 10/20)

Ozarks First also reports on the senior group, which said that "the insurance company is spreading lies to protect its profits" (Baucum, 10/19).

Meanwhile, the Washington Independent reports that "Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) wants a 'further review' in the wake of new White House guidelines reversing an earlier policy that prohibited health insurers from urging Medicare beneficiaries to oppose the Democrats' health reforms, which include clipping more than $100 billion from Medicare Advantage plans." It notes that the administration's change in stance "has been embraced by GOP leaders, who had threatened to stall 10 pending health administration nominees until the policy changed. But McConnell isn't completely satisfied" (Lillis, 10/19).

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