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WellPoint, United Healthcare Accused Of Illegal Actions

Publication Date: 
September 03, 2009
Los Angeles Times
Carol J. Williams

Professor Henry T. Greely, an expert in health law and policy, comments on insurers' alleged efforts to involve employees in the debate on health care reform. The LA Times reports:

The nation's two largest health insurers have been pressuring employees to lobby against healthcare reform in Congress in violation of a California law against coerced political activity, a consumer group alleged Wednesday.

Consumer Watchdog in Santa Monica has asked California Atty. Gen. Jerry Brown to investigate its claim that UnitedHealth Group and WellPoint Inc. pushed workers to write their elected officials, attend town hall meetings and enlist family and friends to ensure an overhaul that matches their interests.


"I think it's tacky, in the least, and it risks creating the kind of bad publicity that Consumer Watchdog is trying to bring to it," Henry T. Greely, a professor at Stanford Law School, said of the insurers' alleged efforts to enlist employees in the debate. "Certainly, anything heavy-handed would be grossly inappropriate. But it may be difficult to draw the line between informing people and improperly coercing them."