Bennett Says Administration Overstepping Boundaries by Issuing Gag Order

WASHINGTON, D.C. - Senator Bob Bennett (R-Utah) today expressed strong opposition to the Obama administration's efforts to quiet a private health care company that shared its concerns on the president's health care proposal with its beneficiaries.

"It is shocking to me that this administration believes it is okay to tell a private company what they can and cannot share with its clients," said Bennett. "This is yet another example of government overreaching and intervening in the private sector. We need more dialogue in this debate over health care reform, not less; the administration cannot pick and choose which information is distributed by a private company."

The administration, through the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, launched an investigation into Humana, a private health care company, for circulating information explaining to senior citizens how the health care legislation being considered in Congress might affect their coverage. The Congressional Budget Office recently stated that the administration's health care proposal to cut Medicare would lead to significant reductions in benefits for seniors.

"The administration proudly spends taxpayer dollars to promote its stimulus package with signage along new construction projects, but the minute a private company spends its own money to warn clients about potential downsides to the administration's bill they are slapped with a gag order. That is not how our government should operate and that is not how we honor our First Amendment rights," added Bennett