Now THIS is what "Mob Rule" looks like!
by Andy Adams on August 24, 2009 at 11:32 AM
This story in Politico is frightening. Apparently, House Democrats have sent letters to 52 insurance companies demanding documents for an examination of "extensive compensation and other business practices." The letter can be found on Politico's website and the list of documents is extensive.
The Democrats are demanding detailed information on compensation for any employee making more than $500,000. In addition, they are asking for tables listing "all conferences, retreats, or other events held outside company facilities from January 1, 2007, to present that were paid for, reimbursed, or subsidized in whole of in part by your company, as well as the purpose of such events and documents sufficient to show the location, number of participants, and all expenses incurred including transportation, lodging, food, entertainment, or gifts."
This information and mountain of other data subject to the request is due by September 14, 2009.
What's going on here?
Is this critical information needed to plan the critical aspects of the health care reform bill? Doubtful. If so, wouldn't that have been more helpful when they were drafting the bill?
This is what happens when you are declared an "villain" by the Speaker of House. This is nothing more than a "shot across the bow" threat by the U.S. Congress to expose the compensation practices of private entities.
I suppose the Democrats' gamble here is that no one is going to sympathize with insurance companies and will not mind spying into their compensation practices. With a majority of the country fiercely opposing the Dems' health care reform based on its own merits, they have nothing but "dirt" to rely on to try to mute criticism from the health insurance industry.
But, what if it were your company? What if it were your paycheck? What gives Congress the right to demand private information from private companies? Have these companies been sued? Have charges been filed? Anyone ever heard of "due process?"
Hopefully, as I write this blog, there are attorneys working for these health insurance companies drafting responses to these letters. Normally, these attorneys are employed to draft coverage opinions, research case law, or maybe even defend a lawsuit brought by a former customer upset with the way the carrier handled their care. Such is the life of a defense attorney. But, today, I hope they are drafting long response letters complete with voluminous citations and the best legalese that simply say, "GO STICK IT!"