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Ways and Means Republicans Request Hearing on CMS Gag Order Placed on Medicare Advantage Plans

September 24, 2009

Washington, DC – Today, Ways and Means Ranking Member Dave Camp (R-MI) along with all Republican Ways and Means Members, sent Chairman Rangel a letter requesting a hearing on the growing controversy surrounding the gag order the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) placed on all Medicare Advantage (MA) plans. This order, placed earlier this week, states that plans cannot share factual information with enrollees about the impact of program changes that could occur from passage of the Democrats’ health care bill.

In the letter, Ways and Means Republicans ask that the hearing examine four things:

  1. How the sharing of factual information supported by non-partisan, independent analysis from the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) was deemed to violate Medicare Advantage marketing rules; 
  2. How CMS is currently interpreting the marketing rules and compare the Humana case with past actions by the agency; 
  3. If similar enforcement activities were taken against other MA plans and affiliates, including AARP, and if not why no such action was taken; and 
  4. What role the White House, Office of Health Reform, or the Office of the Secretary of Health and Human Services played in deciding to issue the gag order.

To read the letter sent to Chairman Rangel today, click here.