drm604 (1000+ posts) Thu Aug-20-09 01:15 PM
United Health Care: Strong Arming Their Employees and Associating With Religious Fundamentalists.
I originally posted this in this thread: http://www.democraticunderground.com/discuss/duboard.ph
but it hasn't been getting any attention there so I'm starting a new one.
UHC has been pressuring their employees to contact their representatives about healthcare reform. This isn't that unusual, I've worked for companies that would use newsletters or emails to urge employees to join and donate to their PAC, and I was able to easily ignore those pleas without any apparent backlash.
What UHC is doing is much stronger than that. Here's a copy of the letter, courtesy of TPM.
"As part of our effort to educate and assist you in your effort to communicate your views to your elected officials, YOU MAY BE CONTACTED during business hours by a member of the United for Health Reform advocacy team. Team members are currently reaching out to employees to determine interest in learning more about the debate in Washington and provide assistance in efforts to contact Congress by writing a personal letter, being connected directly to their lawmakers' offices and learning more about town hall events that may be taking place locally. As with all other advocacy activities, your participation in this program is completely voluntary
This is taking things to a whole new level. It's one thing to ignore a plea in a company newsletter, it's another thing completely to have a representative of your employer contact you personally and have to refuse to participate. Now you could of course simply lie and say that you will write a letter and then not follow through, but I suspect that they will offer to send the letter for you. Also, the letter seems to be saying that, during the call, they will offer to connect you right then and there to your lawmakers' offices. So this is indeed strong arming.
But it gets worse.
However, a source who's insured by UHG--and who also obtained the letter--called the hotline on Tuesday and says the company directed him to an events list hosted by the right wing America's Independent Party, and suggested he attend an anti-health care reform tea party sponsored by religious fundamentalist Dave Daubenmire, scheduled for today outside the office of Blue Dog Rep. Zack Space (D-OH).
Dave Daubenmire has been associated (admittedly loosely) with the Army of God, a radical anti-choice group that has spoken out in defense of doctor killers. I'm not going to post a link to their site as it requires a strong stomach.
Daubenmire uses the phrase "Army of God" on his website. http://www.ptsalt.com/about
To be fair, "Army of God" is a common phrase among fundamentalists and is not necessarily a reference to the "Army of God" anti-choice group. But here is a picture of him with Jonathan O'Toole an "apprentice" for the Army of God. http://www.theanswerisno.org/media/freepress-article.ht
... (Scroll down to the third picture on the right). O'Toole has been arrested for harassing people outside a family planning clinic. http://www.christiangallery.com/O%27TooleArrested.html
None of that absolutely proves that Daubenmire actively supports the "Army of God" or the killing of doctors but it is suggestive. Also, why would he be connected with anti healthcare reform activities if not because of fears that tax dollars would be used to fund abortions?
So it appears that UHC is:
Exerting strong pressure on their employees to speak out against reform.
Partnering with religious fundamentalists.
Possibly involving themselves with people who advocate the murder of healthcare providers